It all finished up with my travelling to Geneva, and Jerry slipping the Higgs Boson that I had found in my attic surreptitiously into the collider thingy. I am beginning to very much regret the whole episode, and am starting to feel like one of the protagonists in a third rate sitcom.
I was a little concerned to read the news about the machine being switched off, and called Jerry this morning.
“What’s happening, old zucchini?” I enquired.
“All a bit embarrassing old mate”, he said, wearily, “there’s nothing wrong with the apparatus. It’s bloody l'électricité du Sud-Est – they’ve cut us off for non-payment. Officious bastards! They sent a big bloke who looked like one of the guards at Colditz round with a screwdriver and nail-clippers and disconnected the supply. So damn silly. We had a bloody accountant whose only job was to ensure that the utility bills were paid, and then we find out that he has been spending his entire working week in a Star Trek chatroom. We’ve only managed to flush the bloody toilets by diverting Lake Geneva. It wouldn’t surprise me if the bloody thing emptied in the next fortnight. God knows what they’ll find at the bottom of that bastard. It’s where the Swiss dump all of their junk. – supposed to be clean and tidy – Bollocks! Probably thirteen undiscovered subatomic particles among that lot.”
I had to interrupt him, despite his being clearly shaken.
“What’s going to happen now?”
“Well, even when we get another shilling in the meter it’s going to take bloody ages to get the thing up to speed again. In the meantime they will probably send maintenance crews and cleaning staff down there to tidy up. There’s even been talk of a celebrity colliding programme on Sky 3, where we fire Ross Kemp or some other twat at Claire Rayner or some other twat and see if any fucker can find any redeeming features in the components when they break up.”
“Shit!” was all that I could think of to say.
“I sneaked in last night looking for that pissing boson that we put there,” he confided, “I thought that there would be a good chance of my smuggling it out before it was either discovered by an over inquisitive nipple adjuster or mopped up by some Amazonian Swiss lass in dungarees. Could I find it? Could I arse! Then I got tumbled by some over zealous security guard. You should have seen me, poncing about like Basil Fawlty ‘just checking the walls’ while Himmler’s nephew looked down his nose at me and wrote my name in his notepad.”
I was less than pleased to hear all of this.
The outcome, if I need to spell it out, is one of:
- The greatest scientific discovery of the century will now be claimed by a Teutonic Nora Batty with a mop and a bottle of Domestos.
- The only Higgs boson ever to be found will be lost – marched out of the collider in the turn-ups of a flange-thruster grade two, and laid to rest in a smelly pile of laundry for a couple of centuries.
- We wait for the machine to be up and running (I’d give it about 40 years) in the misinformed hope that it does what it was intended to and explains to us the nature of matter.