“The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics to Yoichiro Nambu.”—Press Release, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
FREDDY MIND: To begin with, let me introduce myself. My name is Freddy Mind. It’s a stage name. I was once one-half of the physics duo of Freddy Mind & Yoichiro Nambu. This man to my right, he needs no introduction! Go ahead and introduce yourself, Yoshey.
YOICHIRO NAMBU (softly): My name is Yoichiro Nambu, and I won the Nobel Prize for physics.
MIND (laughs): When you think of good ol’ Yoshey, you don’t necessarily think of me, you know. The hardcore fans know about the early years, the struggles, but it’s not general knowledge. Ain’t that the truth?
MIND: See, I knew Yoshey from university and I knew he was smart. Myself, I was flunking just about every goddamn subject, including physics, my major! But I also knew that I had the looks, see? The women, they adored what I had to offer! Yoshey was . . . well . . . Yoshey was always what you would call a little shy. Am I wrong, Yosh?
MIND: So I waltzed up to this jackass one day in the university’s Der Rathskeller and he’s crouching over some big old book, and I broach the idea. We can make it, you and me! A duo, right? I got the looks, you got the ideas, I got the heart, you got the brain. Let’s make a go of this! Am I remembering this right, Yosh?
MIND: We began by hitting the college lecture circuit. We’d drive all night in this dilapidated van I bought from a boyfriend of a stripper I knew, right? Guy had one thumb. I say, ain’t that right, Yosh?
MIND: And there’s no heat in this big ol’ lemon and there’s no back window and there’s a mural of a sunset on the side. And I made this guy drive. What? You blame me? The van’s mine! You didn’t mind driving, did you, Yosh?
MIND: He did, but he’s too nice to say otherwise! So we’d give a lecture, pack up and do it all over again the next night—I should explain. Mr. Nimble would lecture and I would handle the visuals. If we needed a chalkboard, I’d get that. If we needed a large molecular model, I’d find that somehow. You know, the plastic whatcha-ma-thingies with the balls on each end. I was also in charge of the wood pointer. Remembering now, Physics Man?
MIND: You say that like it wasn’t important! Without that pointer, you wouldn’t now have your big house, your fancy cars! Ah, whatever. I ain’t angry. So this is when things really start to change for us. Remember that time at the University of Prague and all those women stayed afterwards? And that one in particular? The beautiful brunette with the huge gorzongas and that mole on her cheek in the shape of a banana? And I came in all bleary-eyed the next morning and I told you in great detail what she did to me? You remember that?
MIND: How could you forget! I showed you the photos to prove it! Oh, man. Sick, sick days. So, try to picture this: it’s winter and it’s freezing! Me and Yoshey are well on our way to the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich, and The Yosh is leaning out the window wiping the ice off the windshield and it’s snowing and this smart guy looks over at me and says, “No more, I’m out.” I’m like, what? Out of what? Things are just heating up! You and me, we’re going all the way! You with your theories, and me with my wild energy and zany Hawaiian T-shirts! How can we be stopped? We couldn’t! Could we be stopped, Nambo?
MIND: See, Yosh just wanted to concentrate on some new theories in a solo capacity; do his own thing. That’s cool. But by doing that, he alienated our fan base by taking physics in an entirely different direction. Which ain’t so cool. Jump to a few years later, when Professor Science over here arrives at his special theory. I could have been furious, I could have said, “Hey, if it wasn’t for me, you never would have come up with that award-winning theory, there never would have been a Nobel, the fame, the fortune, the photos in all the magazines. None of it would have happened!” I could also have said it was really me who came up with the y part in that equation to begin with … but I didn’t, did I?
MIND: Yeah, the y part. But that’s all in the past. It’s forgotten. He did his thing, I did mine. Ah, what the hell, I have no regrets! Me and Benny, a poker buddy, we now tour the nostalgia circuit as the Original Mind & Nambu. We come out in elaborate dress, the music is blasting, and we give our little talk and then reenact physics equations through song and dance. Nothing too fancy, just some good, clean fun. We sign autographs, hand out Frisbees, a coupla beer cozies, we pose for photos, we’ll do anything! I invited this guy here, but he’s too good now! You too good now, Dr. Nobel?
MIND: Anyway, I’m glad you brought us back together. We were the best scientific team ever . . . even if Mr. Brain now does have a swollen head! Ha! The creases around his eyes are rising, just like they used to whenever he was angry! But if you ever need a physicist for a birthday party or a Sweet Sixteen, please give me a call. Here’s my card. My name is Freddy Mind and the pleasure was all mine! That’s copyrighted, by the way. Hey! Fat Head, you got a light? There we go, there’s a smart guy.