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BOFH: Drunk gravity

E=mc2 + beer - work

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Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Episode 24 "So will the games embargo affect our drunken-ET tournament tonight?" the PFY asks.

"Drunken ET?" a helldesker asks, sniffing out a game discussion (as they tend to do) from across the building.

"Yeah, you know, 10 pints in two hours followed by a long and involved campaign in Wolfenstein Enemy Territory"

"Two hours? So you start play at 7pm?"

"Yes that's right, 5pm"

"Fiv... Oh. Are you in a clan?"

"Clans are for people without lives," I blurt without thinking.

"Or handbrakes," the PFY adds.

"Handbrakes?"

"Social handbrakes - the little woman. You know - well you probably don't - but the person that stops you from playing shoot-em-ups over the net till three in the morning."

"I... So can anyone join in one of these games?"

"Anyone still standing at five after 10 pints!" the PFY responds magnanimously.

"I think I'd like to give it a crack!" the helldesker blurts.

"Of course you would!" the PFY says, smiling happily.

. . . 5pm that day . . .

"RIGHT!" I slur. "Time to go, where's my office keys?"

"Where's the helldesk geek?" the PFY counters.

"Where's the door?" the helldesk geek responds.

"Best get a move on, only quarter of an hour till they lock the lifts down."

. . . just over quarter of an hour later . . .

"Bugger, they've locked the lifts down!"

"Yeah, but we left the pub 16 minutes ago."

"What? The pub's only across the road! That was never 16 minutes."

"Course it was, check your watch - you're thinking in drunk time."

"Drunk time?" the helldesk geek asks.

"Yeah, you know, you decide to walk home from the pub and get there in just under 10 minutes - drunk time. Meanwhile the rest of the household who LEFT THE PUB AT EXACTLY THE SAME TIME BUT GOT IN A CAB have been tucked up in bed for the last three hours. Which means that either cabs are time machines, or..."

"Being drunk makes time go by faster?" the helldesk geek slobbers.

"EXACTLY! It's a theory I've been working on for some time - usually after I've been drinking, like now. You know how relativity means that time isn't constant for a moving objects?"

"No."

"Well it does. Einstein proved it. AND it's also tied up with the effects of gravity somehow. Well the same thing can be said for a drunk object - for whom time appears to travel much faster AND the effects of gravity are negligible."

"Eh?"

"You know how when you're sober and you drop a brick on your foot and break your toe?"

"Yes."

"Well when you're drunk, that never happens. It's only the next morning when you wake up on a traffic island in the nude that you find you have a broken toe. Which tends to indicate that gravity doesn't work as fast when you've been drinking - because you're travelling so fast, in drunk time."

"I don't th..."

"Ever noticed how you can't catch a ball, throw a dart or jump over stuff properly when you're boozed?"

"I..."

"That's drunk gravity for you."

"Tell him about the people," the PFY nudges.

"What people?"

"Because you're travelling in drunk time and moving so fast, conversations get compressed - because of the Doppler effect."

"M?"

"It's technical. Anyway, because of the compression and expansion people don't understand what you're saying."

"Oh, I..."

"And because you're travelling so fast and with the compression and Doppler effects and everything, really really good jokes get dragged out in their minds and so you tell them the best joke in the world and they're just standing there - because to them it seemed like the joke took half an hour to tell."

"Because..."

"Because they're travelling at different speeds. So whereas in rapid drunk time you tell them a quick joke which is the funniest joke in the world and the whole pub thinks you're fantastic, in the morning no bastard is speaking to you because apparently they THINK you told the receptionist she had a fat arse and called the PR guy a big poof. Because of the distortion of compression. Course their memory is distorted because we drunk people are doing and saying things faster than their mind can commit it to memory so they remember it wrong. Sometimes we're doing things so fast that even we can't remember it. But at least it doesn't affect jokes between drunk people - who are all travelling at the same speed - and so they're still great. For instance, there was this bloke with a wooden eye..."

. . . ten minutes later . . .

"Great joke," the helldesk geek says, chuckling away to himself "But shouldn't we be getting into this game?"

"Game?"

"Drunken ET thing?" he hints.

"Yeah, that was yesterday. It's work time now."

"I..." the helldesk geek whimpers, "don't feel so good."

"That'll be the jetlag!" the PFY blurts as he grabs a couple of coffee mugs to help us face the day ahead... ®

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