Hello! Nice to meet you. Before we begin this conversation, I have to ask: are you a scientist?

Oh. Okay. This might be hard, then. You see, I am a scientist, and it will be difficult for me to talk to you, a layperson, without seeming like I am tooting my own horn, as you laypeople are fond of saying.

Why, you ask? I am assuming that is a rhetorical question, but I am happy to answer, rhetorically. For starters, I am endowed with an incredible intellect, so at least half of what I say will be completely unintelligible to you. You might be able to understand the other half, but by that point you will feel so hopelessly insecure that you will run away and resume familiar, comfortable activities, such as watching television, drawing flowers, or eating brightly colored food.

Also, I do not need to mention that, as a scientist, I am filthy rich. In my home, for example, I own a very expensive time machine. This is not what you think it is. If you think this is a device that will send me backward or forward in time, then I will shake my head and laugh at you, because laypeople watch many movies that star Michael J. Fox, and this is where they get so many wrong ideas about science.

No, what a real time machine does is create time. If we, as a species, ever come upon a situation in which we need more time, this machine will simply make that happen. So far, it has only been tested with a small group of acquaintances my wife and I feel compelled to invite for dinner every few months for reasons too tedious to explain. Obviously, in this case we hit a red button on the machine labeled “Erase” and actually take time away so they leave faster.

Scientists are also renaissance in nature. This is because scientists do not need to distinguish between different kinds of science. In other words, my specialty is everything. Whether I am mapping the distance between two stars or two bunions, I will always know the correct result. Watch any movie with a scientist in it, except the Christopher Lloyd ones of course, and you will see what I mean.

Speaking of fake scientists, there is a reason why the smartest characters in movies and on TV are all scientists. If you are thinking it is because real scientists are smart, then you are wrong! While that is certainly true in and of itself, that is not the reason. The reason is because real scientists are incredibly sexy.

When a person hears the word “scientist”, or sees someone dressed in a full-length lab coat, they will instantly find themselves in an agitated, vulnerable state and do crazy things that they will later regret. In order to balance that irresistible hotness, TV and movie writers need to make their scientist characters extremely smart. This allows laypeople to concentrate on things like dialogue and plot, and not just on how unbelievably good scientists look.

Another reason laypeople feel powerless when talking to scientists is because scientists are unpredictable. If you ever run into a scientist, first bow to him, but afterwards make sure you keep a respectful distance of about three to five yards. Who knows what he is going to do? He may have a death ray in his pocket. Do you doubt the existence of death rays? Well, let us just say I will doubt your existence after you are vaporized by one. So there.

But please, do not feel threatened — all scientists are still genuinely kindhearted people. We take pity on the rest of the world’s ignorance and work hard to improve the lives of millions of lab rats. For all the talk of how smart, rich, powerful, and hot scientists are, the most important thing to know is that we are essentially good, decent folk, just like laypeople.

Now leave my presence. You are boring me.