Thursday, December 29, 2005

Twerpolium, The Wonder Element

(advance for Saturday, December 31, 2005)

An explanation of why we sometimes act the way we do.

Do you remember chemistry class and the table of the elements? Oxygen, Nitrogen and so on?

Well, we at the Secret Seaside Laboratory have discovered a new one, and it’s not one of those fancy elements you have to make with huge atomic reactors and subfreezing potions shot with neutrons from outer space.

This is a naturally occurring, colorless, odorless, tasteless (especially tasteless) gas called Twerpolium, chemical symbol TP.

We don’t have the entire genome down pat yet. Nor do we know how it appears in the atmosphere, at what intervals and in what amount. But we DO know how it affects those who breathe it.

It’s ever present in some quantity. And it affects various people in various ways, according to our 30 odd years of research.

Inhale it and you acquire the quirks of a twerp.

Inhalation can turn an ordinary human being into an instant twerp without warning, and it often does.

And some people overdose easily. Perhaps, scientists speculate, this is because some people are more susceptible to its “charms” than others, they may have an inherent tendency toward twerpism.

Some people are put into a constant state of twerpitude, suggesting that the effects of TP linger in the body and are not expelled or exhaled completely with each breath.

Hence, when your friends start acting like twerps, figure it’s probably because they’ve had a little too much of this element – which, we find, is water soluble without losing most of its strength or concentration.

When politicians do strange things, make strange statements, make lame excuses, remember that TW exists in higher concentration around government buildings.

Our research has developed no hypothesis about why this is. But it can be measured with a Twerpolium Content Detector or CDT.

CDT readings in Washington DC, Trenton NJ and right here in Moote Pointe, NY are all generally higher than average.

The same is true of many centers of higher learning and corporate activities. Yellow Springs OH, Cambridge MA and Berkeley CA are all higher than average.

And the entire state of Delaware has a concentration beyond the scale on the most up-to-date CDTs, apparently matched by the air over lower Manhattan, though it’s hard to tell which is higher.

There’s no known antidote, yet.

Fortunately, it’s not usually fatal, and generally the effects eventually wear down if not off.

So when friends and colleagues start acting like twerps, try to remember it’s probably not genetic or intentional. It’s probably from a high concentration of Twerpolium.

(Editor’s Note: the original working name for this element, when first discovered in the mid 1970s was “assholeum,” but that’s soooo gauche we changed it for today’s blog. Call it what you will.)

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.™

©wjr 2005

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