Pushing their way through the thronging masses, Professor von Explaino and young Christoph force their way as politely as possible to the wings of the auditorium. The general hubbub shows no sign of abating but, as Christoph well knows, it takes an act of extreme interruption to silence a group of scientists at an exposition. Worse, this was the culmination of the Professor's latest achievement - a Paradox Proof Polytemporal Person Procurer. As the innaugral cross-time science symposium, it had taken Captain Adventure's timely detonating of a variety of experiments (one after another until the desired effect was achieved) for Baron von Borg's opening keynote to be heard over the competing discussions. Still, it was all in good fun as the Cerulean had the foresight to create experiments for just that purpose so nobody's feelings were hurt.

During his musing1, Christoph saw the Professor grabbing the recently adjusted running sheet and make a few adjustments, when he tried to peer over the Professor's shoulder to see what the program was he quickly pulled his head back as von Explaino snatched the program away and gave him a look. The new program brought von Explaino some great delight; the first presentation was on competitive virology from the World Health Organisation (WHO), James Watt was going to expound on some of Nikola Tesla's theories and a late scratching saw Ms Lovelace, or Ada, now up third in a free-form programming event. The maths section held two panels, one on yocto-scale maths (10^-24, symbolised by 'y') and a discussion of base 12 trigonometry (with B as the highest single digit). After lunch was Sune Bergström discussing the importance of peace-promoting research and a German aeronaut discussing their new supercharger for which the Professor had used the appropriate German description of 'Lader'.

The Professor turned and grinned at Christoph.

PvE> Oh, you're in for a fantastic day of science!

C> I'd believe you if you'd let me see *reach for program*

PvE> *snatch away again* No no no, Christoph, you schmooze you lose. But I will read it to you. WHO is on first, Watt is on second, Ada now is on third...

C> That's what I want to know

PvE> I said WHO's on first, Watt's on second, Ada now is on third...

C> Did you invite the guests?

PvE> Yes.

C> You're the organiser too?

PvE> Yes.

C> And you've got the program right there.

PvE> You'd have your own if you paid attention

C> Well, then, who's on first?

PvE> Yes.

C> I mean their name.

PvE> WHO.

C> The one up first

PvE> WHO.

C> The first presenter

PvE> WHO

C> 'And first today is-'

PvE> WHO is on first!

C> I'm asking YOU who's on first.

PvE> That's their name.

C> That's who's name?

PvE> Yes.

C> Well can you please tell me?

PvE> That's it.

C> That's who?

PvE> Yes.

*Pause*

C> Look, you've got a first speaker

PvE> Certainly.

C> Who's up first?

PvE> That's right.

C> When the audience applauds, who gets the accolades?

PvE> Every decibel of it.

C> All I'm trying to find out is the name of the first presenter.

PvE> WHO.

C> The presenter getting ready is who?

PvE> That's it.

C> Who gets the applause

PvE> Sure does, every decibel. Sometimes they send a delegate.

C> Who delegates?

PvE> Yes.

*Pause*

PvE> What's wrong with that?

C> Look, all I want to know is that when you were asking about the program, how did they want to show their name?

PvE> WHO.

C> The presenter.

PvE> WHO.

C> How is it written...

PvE> That's how it's written.

C> Who?

PvE> Yes.

*Pause, both fidget under the shushing looks of nearby scientists*

C> All I'm trying to find out is what's the name of the first presenter

PvE> No, Watt is our second presenter.

C> I'm not asking you who's up second.

PvE> WHO's up first.

C> One slot at a time!

PvE> Well don't change the presentation order

C> I'm not changing nobody!

PvE> Calm, Christoph, calm.

C> I'm only asking you, who's the presenter up first.

PvE> That's right.

C> Ok.

PvE> Good!

*Pause*

C> What's the name of the first presenter?

PvE> No. Watt is on second.

C> I'm not asking you who's on second.

PvE> WHO's on first.

C> I dunno.

PvE> No, no, no, we're not shifting the third presenter again.

C> Now how'd I get to the third presenter?

PvE> You mentioned their name.

C> If I mentioned their name, who did I saw was up third?

PvE> No, WHO's up first.

C> What's on first?

PvE> Watt's on second.

C> I dunno

PvE> Is up third

C> There I go, back to third again.

*Pause*

C> You have a maths section?

PvE> In the east and west lecture halls.

C> The east lecture is on?

PvE> Y.

C> I just thought I'd ask you.

PvE> Well, I just thought I'd tell you.

C> Then tell me who's in the east hall

PvE> WHO's up first.

C> I'm not... stay out of the first session! I want to know, what's the presentation in the east hall?

PvE> No, Watt is on second.

C> I'm not asking you who's on second.

PvE> WHO's on first!

C> I dunno.

PvE and C together> Up third!

*Pause, let Captain Adventure push his way past looking at the both of them oddly.*

C> OK. East hall?

PvE> Y?

C> Because!

PvE> B(cos), West hall.

*Pause*

C> You've obviously got a discussion over lunch.

PvE> Sure.

C> And its on?

PvE> Lader.

C> You don't want to tell me now?

PvE> I am telling you now.

C> Then go ahead.

PvE> Lader!

C> What time?

PvE> What time what?

C> What time later are you going to tell me who's talking during lunch?

PvE> Now listen, WHO is not during lunch...

C> So help me, if you say who's on first! I want to know what's on after lunch?

PvE> Watt is on second.

C> I dunno

PvE and C> Up third!

*Pause*

C> Afternoon session?

PvE> Certainly.

C> And they are?

PvE> Sune.

C> Soon. And lunch is later?

PvE> Now you've got it.

C> Your temporal clocks' all screwed up.

*Pause*

C> You know I'm in ROSEA too.

PvE> Unstoppably.

C> So, I mingle during lunch later. I strike up a conversation with out first presenter, so I walk over to who?

PvE> Now that's the first thing you've said right.

C> I don't make any sense whatsoever!

*Pause*

PvE> I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

C> Talking to who.

PvE> Yes!

C> Now who's talking?

PvE> Precisely!

*Pause*

C> So... I strike up a conversation with the first presenter, they're bound to be at lunch, so who's talking?

PvE> Precisely.

C> Who?

PvE> Precisely.

C> Precisely?

PvE> Precisely.

C> So I get a couple of glasses and walk over to Precisely.

PvE> No you don't, you start talking to WHO

C> Precisely.

PvE> That's different.

C> That's what I said.

PvE> You're not getting it...

C> I start talking to Precisely.

PvE> You start talking to WHO.

C> Precisely.

PvE> You have it.

C> That's what I said!

PvE> You ask me.

C> I talk to who?

PvE> Precisely.

C> Now you ask me.

PvE> You start talking to WHO?

C> Precisely.

PvE> That's it.

C> Same as you! Same as YOU! I start talking to WHO. They're not interesting and the conversation drifts to the next speaker. WHO spots Watt and calls them over. Watt brings over I dunno and everyone's up to date. Soon gets interrupted later. Why? I don't know! And -

Baron> YES! We've done it!

C> We have?

PvE> YES! With electrodes attached to Abbot and Costello's bodies, we've got enough power from them spinning in their graves to be able to send everyone back home! Good work, Christoph

C> *sinks to the ground, whimpering*

Imported comments

  1. [PQR, 2009-09-24 09:31:21] We have to radio play this one.
  2. [Professor von Explaino, 2009-09-24 10:07:49] It would work much better in audio.
  3. [Pól Rua, 2009-09-23 22:07:14] *Standing Ovation*

    SCIENCE!!!

  4. [Professor von Explaino, 2009-09-24 10:08:07] Heck yeah science. Abused science, sure, but science none-the-less.

  1. And by 'musing' read 'oggling the science dancing girls troupe who were getting changed into brass outfits for the opening number' ↩︎