Slim Randles' Home Country
Sometimes drive-by knowledge can hurt innocent
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[January 09, 2017]
they ever give a Nobel Prize for reading about science, our guy Bert
Underwood would be a shoo-in. His own career had been strictly
non-scientific, but his retirement absolutely reeked of cutting-edge
discoveries, which he read about and tried to pronounce.
It was like that the other night when the Mule Barn closed. We
had taken our wives down to split either a chicken-fried steak the
size of a saddle blanket, or a fish and chips large enough to feed a
cavalry regiment. We stepped out into the chill of the night and
looked up at the many stars.
“Nice night for neutrinos,” Bert said. His wife, Maizie, groaned
quietly and looked for something in her purse.
“Neutrinos, Bert?” Doc said.
“You know what neutrinos are, of course, Doc,” Bert said.
“I think that’s the chess team in Fairweather, Doc,” Steve threw in.
“You’re wrong, Steve,” said Mrs. Doc. “Those are the Machismos.”
“So the neutrinos … aren’t they dogs that have been fixed?”
Bert was ready to bust a gut. “Are you kidding? You don’t know what
neutrinos are? You don’t study astronomy?”
“Well, no, actually…”
Bert smiled in the darkness. “A neutrino,” he pronounced, “is a
sub-atomic particle. It doesn’t have an electrical charge, and it
flies around at the speed of light going through things. The word
neutrino means ‘small, neutral one’.”
“Just like Gilbert’s Chihuahua. He charges around going through
things… and I’m pretty sure he’s been neutralled.”
[to top of second
“I don’t know why I even bother bringing up
these scientific things,” Bert said, in despair.
“Me neither,” said Dud.
“You probably don’t know about charmed quarks, either, I’ll bet.”
“Charmed, I’m sure,” said Steve.
Doc made wing-flapping gestures. “Quark, quark … QUARK!”
Bert got in the car and drove off.
Sometimes drive-by knowledge can hurt innocent bystanders.
[Text from file received from
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