As a real scientist, I have hated the “Ask Dr. Science” humorous newspaper column ever since I was a small child. I mean, this man, this “Dr. Science,” who writes the column is obviously deranged: a compulsive liar who seems to know almost nothing about science. In contrast, I was almost a child genius who graduated from Harvard with a Ph.D. in theoretical physics at age 17 (note to editor: please be careful not to delete the word “almost”). But, did anyone give me a nationally syndicated column called “Ask Dr. Science”? Need I answer that question?
The “Ask Dr. Science” column irritates me constantly. I admit I am dangerously obsessed with “Dr. Science” and his absurd, nonsensical answers to serious scientific questions. My psychiatrist suggested that I focus my mental energies more productively, so a few weeks ago, in an attempt to get on with my life and do the great things I was meant to do, I invited “Dr. Science” out for lunch, where I was going to teach him the errors of his ways and his abuses of that venerable word “science.” There was also a finite probability that I was going to wind up in jail for the rest of my life. It was to be an important lunch date.
To my surprise, “Dr. Science” accepted immediately. We live in cities only about 100 miles apart, so it didn’t take long to find a mutually agreeable day and place for our lunch date. What I did not expect, however, was to save the life of this man who had caused me so much personal pain.
After the waiter took our orders we exchanged a few normal niceties, but soon the conversation began to veer in a way I had both expected and dreaded. “Dr. Science” began to make several attempts to explain luncheon science to me.
“Do you know that if you hold your hand over your glass, that you can stop your ice from melting? It’s a pressure effect.” He was clearly trying to impress me.
“As with many of your columns,” I sighed, “you’ve taken a scientific fact, the fact that pressure does effect phase transitions, and you’ve made it completely incorrect and nonsensical.”
“Says you,” he countered. Our food arrived. He took this opportunity to explain to me that hot food violates the second law of thermodynamics.
“It does not,” I retorted to the retarded. “Can you even tell me what the second law of thermodynamics is?” I asked.
“Of course, it’s the law of the fit!” he blurted excitedly. “It the law of the land, and the slight of the hand!” He then flung a small piece of meat across the restaurant with his fork. I must admit that this bizarre behavior caught me so totally off guard that I partially discharged a soft-drink from my nose, to which he responded, “Ah, I see you’re losing cerebrospinal fluid. Perhaps you should use a professional grade sealant.”
After composing myself, I pointed out that it was this type of non sequitur discussion, passing itself off as serious science, that had caused me so much pain and obsessive thoughts of violence over the years. To which he replied, “That’s probably just the fluorescent lights talking.”
“What the Hell does that mean?” I shouted, attracting the worried glances of the waiter and a few of the other customers.
“Some people are highly sensitive to certain types of phonons,” he whispered across the table to me, “it nothing to be ashamed of, but it can make you act incommutably.”
“I think you mean ‘photons,’ not ‘phonons,’ and, and the rest of your statement doesn’t even make any sense, so I don’t know why I’m correcting you.”
“Ah yes, you are absolutely correct,” he said through a mouthful of food, “phonons are actually the molecules used in cell phone communication, you see I was testing you.” He then began gagging on something he was eating. Assuming this was yet another antic, I simply shook my head and tried to calm my nerves. It soon became apparent, however, that “Dr. Science” was actually choking on something. He began clutching at his neck and making a horrible noise that sounded like a cross between a retch and a squeak. He suddenly stood up and leaned over the table, knocking over his water glass and putting one hand directly onto his unfinished lunch plate.
I had a serious moral dilemma on my hands. There was a finite probability that I was the only person in the restaurant who knew the proper technique for the Heimlich maneuver. I pondered the possibilities for a few milliseconds, but for better or worse my altruistic side stepped in, and I swiftly and efficiently administered the life saving maneuver. In an odd quirk of fate, the morsel of meat that shot out of “Dr. Science’s” throat followed almost the same trajectory as the morsel he had previously flicked from his fork, and, in fact, landed on the same table as had the previous chunk of meat.
Ever since that fateful day, “Dr. Science” has been my good friend. At least as good a friend as an overcaffinated monkey would be. Since I saved his life in the restaurant, “Dr. Science” has decided to repay me by becoming my personal servant. I don’t know how long this will last, especially since the guy’s attention span is zero when rounded up to the nearest whole number. But for now, it’s great to have someone around the house to wash the dishes and clean the toilets.