May 04, 2006

The Bunk Files, Entry #2: Theoretical Physics

(sound of phone ringing)

A: Hello. May I speak to Professor Aloysius Sparkplume, of the Physics department?

B: This is he.

A: Professor Sparkplume! I.M. Butcher here, of BOOM! Corporation. I wonder if I might have a moment of your time.

B: Well, Mr. Butcher, I was actually right in the middle of an experiment. If you'd just...

A: This will only take a moment. We're very impressed by your work here at BOOM!, Dr. Sparkplume.

B: I...Well, why thank you.

A: In fact, I'm personally curious about the current direction of your researches.

B: It's very interesting - I'm presently exploring the behavior of a hitherto unnoticed subatomic particle, the Smoove Boson. It's emitted during reactions that take place...

A: I see. Fascinating. So tell me - does this particle of which you speak ever go BOOM?

B: Uh..."boom?"

A: You heard correctly. BOOM!

B: You mean, like a bomb?

A: We at BOOM! prefer not to use that word, Professor. We call them "matter-dispersing incendiaries." But you have correctly surmised the purport of my question.

B: You want to know if my research will help you blow things up?

A: You are a physicist, no? We at BOOM! want to place ourselves at the cutting edge - the exploding edge, if you will, heh heh - of your discipline. Our aim is to hire the brightest minds in contemporary theoretical physics to forge a spectacular bridge to tomorrow.

B: By...making things explode?

A: Well, Professor, as I'm sure you recognize, if you want to make an omelet...

B: I'm not interested in making omelets! I'm interested in uncovering the most deeply concealed secrets of the natural world! I want to seek out hidden truths! To discern the fine structure underlying all that we know! How dare you suggest that I abandon the quest for ineffable knowledge in order to help you spread rubble across the bosom of the earth!

A: We'll pay you $400,000 a year.

B: Sold.

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