May 13th, 2009

me: ooh!

Why I go to dinner with space physicists, Reason #234715

(NB: Familiarity with Douglas Adam's Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy helpful.)

Lecturer: "I once met a member of the Golgafrincham B Ark.* No really, I did! I had a summer job in an office, and I'd only been there for a week or so. I was sitting in my cube pushing paper one morning when this woman walked in. She began chatting merrily away to the other people in the room. As she visited their desks one by one, she would pick up their telephones, scrub the receivers vigorously with a cloth, and then put them back. Finally she got to my desk, where she picked up the phone and scrubbed it while smiling and chatting with me. When she put it down, I realized she was a telephone sanitizer. That's not a job!"

Postdoc: "That's not even a hobby!"

* Golgafrincham: In the Adamsian universe, the planet Golgafrincham creatively solved the problem of useless people by blasting them into space. Management consultants, marketing executives, film producers and of course, telephone sanitizers, were persuaded that the planet was under threat from an enormous mutant star goat. This segment of their population was then packed into B Ark spaceships and sent to an insignificant planet, which turned out to be Earth.