How To Spot Your Evil Twin

Are you the good twin or evil twin? Sometimes just looking for the goatee isn't enough (especially for the ladies). Luckily, Everything Explained Through Flowcharts has you covered! Determine your evilness in this week's excerpt.

Are you familiar with Isaac Newton's third law of motion? I'm sure you are, everybody knows it. Summarised in plain English, the law states that "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction". Newton's laws of motion form the basis of classical mechanics and explain innumerable natural phenomena: the recoil of a gun, the orbit of the moon, and - most famously - the presence of an evil twin for every person on the planet.

Newton formulated the third law of motion after discovering his own twin, the German philosopher, mathematician and polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. (See Figure 1: Separated at Birth?) Like Newton, Leibniz was a brilliant polymath who made significant discoveries in a wide range of fields. This in itself was not conclusively twinny, but when Leibniz invented infinitesimal calculus simultaneously and independently of Newton, their twin connection became undeniable. Newton took immediate action to discredit and ruin Leibniz, thereby exposing himself as the evil twin and demonstrating the Second Law of Twins: the evil twin will always try to kill the good twin. Although there was ample evidence that Leibniz had achieved his discoveries independently, Newton succeeded in discrediting Leibniz, who died in relative obscurity for a scientist of his eminence. (Fun Fact: Leibniz invented the binary system, the system of 1s and 0s that helped The Matrix look cool.)

If you still don't believe that Leibniz was the good twin, then examine his work in philosophy, where he invented Théodicée optimism, the idea that the world we live in is the best of all possible worlds. Conversely, Newton's personal coat of arms was crossed shinbones on a black background. Newton was literally waving a flag that declared how evil he was. "Look at me, I'm a pirate!" If only Leibniz had been aware of the Twin Nature of the Universe and understood its laws, he could've anticipated Newton's attacks. If Abel had understood the symbolic significance of Cain's jet black goatee, he might not have turned his back on his murderous brother. The question you should ask is not "Do I have a twin?" but rather "Which twin am I?"

It's helpful to know whether you're the good or evil twin for a couple of reasons:

1. The evil twin always tries to kill the good twin. So, if you're the good twin, you'll want to watch your back. And if you're the evil twin, and you've always felt adrift and unfulfilled in life, now you know why: go kill your goody-two-shoes twin and trick his spouse into bearing your child.

2. There are sub-categories of twins within the main groups of good and evil, and each of them has different needs. For instance, if you're an evil twin created by the good twin's nemesis as a living weapon, you might want to kill your creator as well as the good twin.

3. If you're the evil twin, and don't want your good twin to know, it's smart to shave your goatee off. Similarly, a good twin can purchase a false goatee at a costume store to confuse his evil counterpart.

You might think to yourself, "I'd certainly know if I was the evil twin," but you'd be surprised. The evil twin almost never realises they're not the good one, just as people who wear sunglasses indoors don't realise they're not the cool one, and my girlfriend doesn't realise she's not the one who can force me to cut off my ponytail.

Doogie Horner is a stand-up comic, writer and graphic designer. He made his TV debut by winning over an unruly crowd on America's Got Talent and was the only comic among the Final 48 contestants. He was declared Philadelphia's Funniest by the Helium comedy club in 2010. He has also written the McSweeny's Joke Book of Book Jokes, Dirty Jokes Every Man Should Know and designed the cover of Pride and Predjudice and Zombies.

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