Under the pretext of showing me round the installation, he took me into a small room and said “Stand there – I don’t want the CCTV to catch this”. I watched while he opened a small manhole cover (is it a manhole if it is too small for a man to fit through?) and dropped the Higgs Boson that I had handed over to him down a deep shaft.
“I thought this was all meant to be sealed off already”, I said.
“I know where the bodies are buried!” he said, mysteriously.
We heard the particle bouncing off the walls on the way down, and then trickle along the tube.
“I hope we haven’t split it”, I said, “it is the only one that’s ever been found, isn’t it?”
He looked at me in an old-fashioned way and suggested that we go for a meal. “As long as they find it at some stage, who gives a shit? We’ve spent more on this project than Sarah Palin has spent on cosmetics, so we have to tilt the balance in favour of finding something.”
This morning I was back at the control room for the opening ceremony - a very low key affair indeed. I spent time listening to some chap who, judging by his uniform, I took to be the mayor of Geneva, but, it transpired, was the assistant janitor. I can usually follow someone in French, but this chap had a thick Swiss-French accent, hence the confusion. I was later told that he had been telling me how arduous his job was, cleaning a 27 kilometre tube, having to track back 3 miles to get a new bottle of Flash, and then trying to remember where he had got up to.
In accordance with the gravity of the project, the ribbon was cut by a German comedian called Willi Schlossenheimer, who told an appalling joke about his mother-in-law, a large hadron collider and a tube of fennel toothpaste. Then a youth called Elvis, who was on sort of work experience scheme from Zug hit the “enter” key.
We stood around getting bored until some nerdy looking woman announced that the first particle had traversed the circuit. “It’s a bloody circular tube” I pointed out to Jerry, “it’s not as if the fucker could get lost”. “Shut up, you twat”, he whispered in a not altogether friendly way, and went off to announce to the representatives of the media that everything was in working order. He gave them all a carrier bag full of pictures of magnets and big machines (“Most of them are vending machines” he confided to me, “but these assholes don’t know any different”), and they all tootled off to their next assignment – interviewing Rio Ferdinand about the chances of a conclusion to Kurdish displacement or some such.
He came back into the control room beaming. “Right, now we can get on with it!” and Elvis hit a series of keys on his keyboard. “What’s going on?” I asked. “We’re going to try for the first collision”, he replied, excitedly. “I thought that wasn’t planned for a while yet” I suggested. “Yes, that’s what we’ve told them, but this way we get a chance to put some spin on the results if they turn out to be unexpected”.
There was some tension in the room, everyone waiting urgently for some sign of something happening. (Apart from one chap who sat in the corner muttering about spilling some pesto on his jumper).
After only a few minutes it became clear that something had happened. “What’s that fucking smell? Open a fucking window, someone!” and similar exclamations filled the room, in a variety of languages. In a manner that surprised me by its efficiency the team quickly observed and collated the results and had drawn some remarkable conclusions.
A couple of protons had collided, and produced the echos of sounds or murmurs that appeared in the first moments of this universe.
I will attempt to summarise the results in a non-scientific and simple way, and hope that the implications are obvious to everyone.
- The clearest sounds were those of someone with an accent from either Rochdale or Burnley saying “I’d give it 10 minutes if I were you”.
- The only possible interpretation is that the universe was not created by some mysterious big bang, but by a sentient being.
- The Creator created the universe by accidentally passing gas. The mystery of the nature of matter can be explained by His “following through”, and populating the cosmos with divine excrement.
- Amazing, God is English and comes from Lancashire. He has a high-pitched, almost camp voice – not a bit like the de Mille version. I had always assumed that were he to bear the characteristics of any particular region it would be Tibet or India. Anyone who has seen the way that things are organised in Delhi would see great parallels in the design of the cosmos. As it is, it is difficult to imagine that someone with the characteristics of the pragmatic folk of Rawtenstall being responsible for all of the chaos out there. So I guess there are still mysteries to be investigated.