July 20, 2014
I spent the fourth of July at Farmer B.’s place in the country, gorging on his famous pulled pork and other goodies, enjoying a spectacular neighborhood fireworks display and talking with family and friends. My highlight of the day was me playing with Farmer B.’s three granddaughters, Marley and the twins, Piper and Peyton.
The girls’ dad Corey had brought a paper bag stuffed with cracker snaps, those teardrop-shaped wrapped fireworks that you step on or throw to the ground and they give off a satisfying bang. I may have tossed a few cracker snaps. Certainly I sat on one, the crack of my ass making a popping sound. Most satisfying.
And then I had an epiphany. It came while Marley stood by me on the pergola at sunset and threw down the last of the cracker snaps. Marley is four. Compared to a tiny cracker snap she is a giant.
Relative giant-bang-explosion smaller than a crumb! Yes! Dark matter within that bang! Yes! OMG!
I had solved a universal problem. I had figured out the last mysteries of physics. I ran home—actually, I drove home—and fired off a letter to Professor Stephen Hawking, widely regarded as the most brilliant mind on the planet. I, a humble writer, who got D’s in physics, had suddenly seen the universes. Would Professor H. respond?
Two days later, my phone rang and a computerized voice greeted me. “Thanks to you, Mr. Baldwin, we can finally drop the word “theory” and just call it the Big Bang. Would you come to London and spend some time with me? Time is just a word as you now know, but fly to London, my treat, and I’ll introduce you to the Queen and Keira Knightly, and let’s get high and unify the Baldwin Universes.”
The Baldwin Universes. I would be in the future cosmology textbooks as the discoverer of The Baldwin Universes, all because I watched a beautiful little girl throw down a cracker snap.
And so I secretly flew to London on a private jet provided by the Stever, as his friends call him. The Stever is always surrounded by drop-dead-gorgeous women. There were six in his office when I met him, three for him, three for me. I knew I could come to like this life as a physics gene-ius. We drank champagne and discussed wine bubbles. We chewed gum and discussed bubblegum bubbles. We took a bubble bath together and . . . Well, some things are just private. I can reveal, The Stever farted in the tub and his computer said, “Oops,” and we discussed that mighty bubble.
The next day we held a symposium at the Royal Academy of Sciences, featuring Neil Degrasse Tyson—the Neilster—and the Stevester and Bill Nye the Science Guy, among others. My pockets were filled with cracker snaps, some of which blew up in my pants, a not unpleasant experience. The film composer John Williams was there with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Johnny had written special music for the announcement of the Baldwin Universes. The “Baldwin Theme” was bold, a kind of fanfare with trumpets and French horns.
And then, dressed in my best black tee shirt and clean blue jeans, I addressed the august assembly (yes, you can be august in July). I showed a power point presentation of photographs depicting Marley—The Goddess, as she has come to known—tossing cracker snaps, and I slapped a couple of cracker snaps on the Stevester’s head and the crowd went crazy, and Tommy—AD 1624’s Dr. Thomas Sydenham—took the stage and announced an evening mixer, The St. Vitus Dance.
Galileo and Socrates and Isaac Newton were in attendance, made possible by the Baldwin Universes discovery. My dead mother was there, as I have proved the existence not of heaven, but parallel universes.
“Gods and Goddesses throw down cracker snaps, each one creating a bubble of light and energy, suns if you will. And microcosmic worlds filled with living things born of viruses from children’s feet are “born,” and, like “I Love Lucy” reruns these events run forever in cosmic time and space. And all the lives which came before us still flourish. And future lives (which is how I met Uma Thurnan’s stunning great-great-great-great-great granddaughter Mua) visit us and poke sticks at us and rename us Ants.”
Alas, with the dead coming back, everybody from Pascal to Descartes (he served the symposium dinner ala cart) to Aristarchus of Samos are now claiming that the Baldwin Universes discovery is old news. The Stevester said it best: “You Kant always get what you want.” Patent not pending.
My only consolation is that I am God. But so are George W. Bush and Jared from Subway and Donald Trump and Cotton Mather and the brass-tonstils Oxiclean guy. Marley is Goddess. But so are Joan Rivers and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and Ayn Rand and Flo the Progressive Insurance gal and Pam Anderson. Good news: Sojourner Truth is Goddess. The Truth is out there.
Ted Cruz is still a stupid ass.