Play: The ultimate scientific endeavour

Scene and Setting

In a research organisation, somewhere in the states, the scientist Brian is going about his day. He pours chemicals in beakers, measures stuff on a scale, writes down numbers he reads off of metal boxes with red numbers on them.. you know, sciencey stuff.

Brian wears a white lab coat and protective glasses. He’s tall, has dark curly hair and a fuzzy beard.

As Brian leaves one lab to get chemicals from another, he passes Susan, his secretary.

Susan is short and so fat that it would be easier to run her over than to go around her. She has brown hair made into pigtails and wears glasses so thick that her eyes look like they are ten times their actual size.

Susan stands still, facing Brian, as if she has something to say. Brian notices this, but knows that if he ignores her then maybe she’ll just leave him alone. She doesn’t…


[Susan]: Hey Brian? I was wondering about something and I thought you’d be the one to ask. How would you – 

[Brian cuts off his secretary, Susan.]

[Brian]: Susan, I know what you’re gonna say. You want in on this batch of this mystical psychedelic mix I just brewed in my lab, right? Here, let me hit you up.

Brian, who stands there in his white lab coat with thick glasses and a feeble figure, reaches for a leaf blower that he for some odd reason has in his lab. He dumps a beaker of green-pinkish fluid into the blowing pipe and aims it directly at Susan’s face. As he pushes the button that makes the blower blow, and a cloud of vapour with the same color as the fluid blows directly into Susan’s face along with a handful of dried leaves, just as she was about to take an in-breath. She essentially inhales at least half of the entire cloud of vapour. And a few leaves.

[The Scientist]: Oh shit, did you just breathe in while i pulled the trigger? You’re not really supposed to do that, you know? Crazy bit… Well..I’ll give you the rest of the month off and yes! I know it’s only the first Tuesday of the month but shit, Susan..You’re gonna need it. Besides, we don’t really need y… aaaanyway, I mean… You can go sleep in my office after we’ve talked. Anyway, you were saying?

[Susan]: I wanted to ask you about this science realted question that I was thinking about. It concernes gracity, I thinkj.. I mena, how come3 the things keep faaling down? I mean..the things…down. Down, all ways. Dooooown…

Susan was speaking in a manner which was hard to understand. She was already insanely high. But no problem for Brian, the learned scientist. He understood the question perfectly and proceeded to answer.

[Brian]: Oh, you wanna know why things go…down? Haha, well that’s easy. As you said, it has to do with gravity. You see, even though you can’t see it, there is gravity aaaaalll around us. It is this force which makes sure that everything that has mass tends to… well, gravitate, towards earth, right?

[Susan]: Arh, I s3e. Bt..Wher doeS dis grav0tu comi frm? Wht m1kes gr21evity gra12ity?

[Brian]: Oh… Most of my other secretaries never asks this question too.. But erm, let me see. I should remember the answer to your question soon enough….Arh, yes! There it is. So, the thing is that because the planet, Earth, is so heavy, it has gravity. You see, all things that have mass, have gravity. Mass is what makes gravity gravity.

[Susan looks at Brian, not quite sure what mass has to do with gravity and what that has to do with down. She is starting to turn the same color as the vapor she inhaled; a green-pinkish color. Except her eyes; which are turning all black. Brian is a little worried, but figures it won’t be worse than that one time his colleague, Fred, accidentally fell asleep with his face in the soup-bowl, so to speak. Anyway, Susan is starting to get a little more creative and thinks that she just maybe understands that mass is practically the same as gravity which is obviously the same as down.]

[Susan]: But prof3ssaor, scisdegnce Brigan, I hnowh wondherlk something more that what you already ave to me of an ansswer. I think that I wasnt to know: Wghat is then making te masss mass? Makes maekes mass mamass? MAsssss….

[Brian]: Fuck you, Susan. You can’t just ask what makes mass mass, alright? HAHA! That’s like, the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard. It just is, alright? Mass is just mass! And we scientists understand perfectly well why that is! OK, stoopid? Go somewhere else with your philosophy.

Brian saw that Susan seemed a bit sad from the harsh way he spoke to her and he decided he maybe ought to soften up a little on his new secretary. After all, she had only been on the job for two days. How was she supposed to know that she should never speak to him?

[Brian]: Okay sorry, maybe it’s ok, I’ll answer your dumb question. The thing is that what makes mass mass has got something to do with elephants...

[Susan]: Erelpahst?

[Brian]: Yes, dumb dumb. Elephants! You see, inside of every little lump of mass, there actually is a tiny little elephant. This elephant is, as we all know, heavy, right? And so therefore lumps of mass have mass.

[Susan]: Brian I not really sure IO fllow ypi aææ tje wau jere- O ,eanm. wju are thjere—Ok OK OK OK OK OK OK OK  I understand I thingks!! I wanna ask you naorw: What makes these erepants have their mass? I menar…you kno wa i meanar Bwaiaan?

[Brian]: Yeah, I know what you mean, Susan. Geez, you really should lay down soon.. or maaaybe… Here, have another hit. I think that maybe that will reverse the effect that we’re seeing here. Just a theory tho, have no reason to think this may help…

Brian again grabs the leaf blower, dumps an even larger than before beaker of green-pinkish fluid into the blow pipe, aims it at Susans face, tells her to get ready to breathe it all in, and then turns it on. A huge cloud of vapour blows into Susans face, and she swallows it all up in a deep in-breath.

Susans head starts turning, as if she is looking sharply to her left. A few squeaky noises and her head is literally pointing the opposite direction. She turns around and turns her back and face towards Brian. With a polite gesture she nods to Brian to keep on going.

[Susan]: oisfjnEROJ GEOR030RKNdf of rj20 fjjjj !=28058 ?=85æ, Brian!

[Brian]: Good, I think we can go on now. Ok, so what gives the elephants their mass? Well, it’s easy, really. You know how everything is actually made of atoms? Thing is, as it happens to be, atoms are actually made of tiny, tiiiiny, tiny little elephants, too. So there you have it. It’s really these little elephants that make the atoms have mass. And in turn the little elephants inside of each lump of mass have mass. And if you’re gonna get all stupid, Susan, like you quite frankly tend to seem today, you’re probably also gonna ask what gives those tiny tiny elephants their mass?

Susan nods in confirmation and raises both arms over her head in victory.

[Susan]: YEAPPUR!

[Brian]: Good, you follow. Anyway, the answer is, that they too are made of even tinier little elephants. And so are they. And they too. It never stops. Everything is made of an infinite series of elephants. Like, for instance, how the idiots of the past thought the earth was flat and held afloat by an infinite tower of turtles. Seriously, what fucking fuck-tarts, huh? Anyway, it works best if you don’t really think about it. Better to just close your eyes and accept this story as fact. That’s what I’ve always done anyway..especially with those damn electrons and electricity and the little fast running rabbits…Anyway, Susan. You really ought to get some rest.

Brian picks up the leaf blower and this time fills it up to its edge with the green-pinkish fluid. He opens his mouth wide and jams in the blow pipe and turns it on. His eyes immediately turn black, his skin green/pink and some other colour too. He also experiences something which he hasn’t experienced before: Happiness. Happiness overwhelms him. He falls backwards into a shelf full of glass beakers, which all fall to the ground and shatters around his lifeless body on the floor. Susan head-dives straight into the sea of shattered glass with a large, and a little freakish grin, and “gets comfy” next to Brian.

[Brian]: Better?

[Susan]: Bewter! Thnk saoO sjuO))

As Susan lays on the floor with the shattered glass and with Brian, she thinks about what her life really means, and wonders if it is possible to know everything. Given enough time and enough evolution, ressources, measurements, theorising.. Will it be possible to know everything?

Apparently you know gravity when you have pointed out that it’s a result of mass. But do they really know why mass makes gravity?

Is it the Higgs particle? Or something else? And if so.. then why does the Higgs particle make mass or gravity?

And if you are able to explain that… well, what’s the further explanation for why that is.. and further, further, further… until…what?

Does one ever arrive at a point where we have described the entire train of depending phenomena in the universe, such that we can draw a straight line from the first, most basic phenomena of the universe, to every other phenomena like gravity, the speed of light, super novas and the Beatles…?

Or will you eventually get to a point where the reason why something happens, is: “Just cuz…”

Susan took a deep breath, grabbed Brians hand, closed her eyes and drifted off into a void of nothingness. The nothingness contained everything in the whole universe, including Susan, Brian, and her understanding that existence wasn’t so mystical after all. She could clearly see that she was existence, and existence was her.

Consciousness exists, Susan murmured breathtakingly. Just cuz…

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