Archived Story

Collision course

Published 9:58am Wednesday, June 4, 2014

They were two objects of similar size traveling through the atmosphere at identical speeds, one trekking due east and the other due west through the atmosphere on the exact same charted course.

The time was 9:26 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. It was mathematically impossible they would not collide against each other. The resulting impact would confirm Newton’s first law of motion that “an object continues to move at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force” and his third law stating “when one body exerts force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.” Simply stated, the two would meet.

The eastward trekking lower and upper vermillion had pushed both together and outward resulting in a ridge and concentration that protruded in such a way that it would be the first point of contact. Likewise, the westward trekking vermillion had formed the same formation, thus forming a target, or calculated point of impact. The philtral ridge also formed a curvature from the rear, helping to stabilize and strengthen the vermillion as it sought to hold its position while moving toward contact with its intended target. As the two closed in on the inevitable, a tilting was initiated by each, though in opposite directions, so as to sustain a more uniform contact area and thus increase the odds that both intended targets might make their maximum possible impact.

They met, each feeling the force of the opposite, causing a flattening of the vermillion and a retraction of the philtral ridge. Crevices collided against opposing crevices, the force being such that a prolonged junction of the surfaces ensued resulting in a sustained momentum in the other’s direction. The collision was such that both oxygen and light were forced out between the two surfaces during contact.

In due time, and according to the laws of physics, the two bodies retreated in opposite directions, having transferred the energy they possessed to the opposing body.

Thus, the kiss was complete.


REX ALPHIN of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is

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