The Fiction of Owen Thomas

Henry's Interview Corner


A Beagle Dreams of Finally Getting Some Answers


(Interviewed January 8, 2013)

H:   Mr. Boson, welcome to Henry’s Interview Corner. How is our connection? Can you hear me okay?

HB:   I can hear you fine, Henry, but Mr. Boson is not really my name.

H:   What do you mean? We specifically booked Mr. Higgs Boson. Who the heck are you?

HB:   Boson is what I am. It’s not really a proper name.

H:   You think Boson is not a proper name? I was fine with Boson. But Higgs… what kind of first name is that? I bet the kids loved picking on you at school.

HB:   I didn’t go to school.

H:   I wouldn’t either with that name. ‘Course, I’m a Beagle so that’s never been much of a worry for me anyway. All I’m saying is what kind of mother names her kid …. Higgs?

HB:   It’s not a first name. It’s a last name. And it’s not my last name, it belongs to someone else.

H:   Well now I’m completely confused.

HB:   Okay. A boson is any of a group of subatomic particles that has either a zero spin or an integral spin and obeys the rules of Bose-Einstein statistics. A boson is to be distinguished from a fermion, which has a spin that is one-half of an odd integer and obeys the rules of Fermi-Dirac statistics. I am a Higgs boson, named after physicist Peter Higgs who predicted me back in 1964.

H:   …

HB:   Hello?

H:   Uh, I assumed you were named after a musical instrument.

HB:   That’s a bassoon.

H:   So then what am I supposed to call you? Boson

HB:   A lot of people just call me the God Particle.

H:   Excuse me, did you say the God Particle?

HB:   Yes.

H:   Well… la de da. You want me … to call you… the God Particle.

HB:   I do answer to that.

H:   Maybe I’ll just call you Higgy. Take you down a peg or two.

HB:   It’s your interview.

H:   So tell me…Higgy… what is it you are known for? What do you do all day?

HB:   I exist.

H:   You exist? You are known for existing. That’s the big deal? Higgy exists?

HB:   Yes. I’ve been officially discovered. The Higgs field now exists as scientific fact.

H:   They’ve named a field after you?

HB:   Well, yes.

H:   That was quick. Weren’t you just discovered?

HB:   I exist as a field.

H:   I see. And are there any trees in this field? Or rocks? Or garbage cans? Anything upright that holds a scent?

HB:   Yes. The Higgs field has all of those things. The Higgs field is everything in the universe.

H:   Man. That’s some field.

HB:   It permeates everything in the universe.

H:   I thought that was The Force.

HB:   Same thing.

H:   I know a few Jedi’s that are going to be surprised to hear that.

HB:   It is what it is.

H:   Okay, that sounds a little like Master Yoda, so maybe you’re right. So you exist.

HB:   Yes.

H:   Anything else or is that pretty much it?

HB:   I am responsible for all mass.

H:   Are you taking credit for universal health care? Because that has caused no end of contortions for Mitt Romney in that last election.

HB:   No. I’m not saying I’m responsible for Massachusetts…

H:   Flip-flopper.

HB:   No, I’m saying I am responsible for mass.

H:   So you’re a field and a Catholic priest. How do you find time for both?

HB:   No. No. My religion is only science.

H:   Ah, so you’re a Thetan. Now this is all starting to make some sense. Do you think it’s possible I was a famous sled dog in a past life? When I get leashed up, all I want to do is pull hard and find someone to take my picture.

HB:   Not Scientology. Science. When I say that I am responsible for mass, I am speaking of mass as a scientific concept. You weigh whatever you weigh because of me. If it were not for me, Higgs-boson, you would not have any mass.

H:   Well, no offense, but I think that has more to do with the fact that the garbage can in my kitchen does not have a dog-proof lid. But hey, if you want to take the blame for my weight, knock yourself out there Higgy.

HB:   You still don’t understand. Everything in the universe that has any substance exists because of me.

H:   So, you are disowning Donald Trump, Snookie and Glenn Beck.

HB:   What? No.

H:   Oh. Then you’re actually taking responsibility for those guys?

HB:   Everything. Everyone. No exceptions.

H:   Oprah Winfrey?

HB:   Yes.

H:   I interviewed her two weeks ago. She let me sit in her lap.

HB:   Well, that’s fine. But she would not even have a lap for you to sit on were it not for the Higgs field.

H:   A word of advice, Higgy. Oprah is not to be trifled with. Okay? And I’m not just talking about her legions of lawyers. She can buy and sell you like that; and if I had opposable thumbs I’d snap my toes for emphasis.

HB:   I’ll take your word for it. Look, I really think you’re missing the point. Everything in the universe is made out of the same fundamental elements. Everything. And the Higgs field…

H:   No.

HB:   No what?

H:   No, that’s not true. We’re not all made out of the same … whatever it was you just said.

HB:   Fundamental elements?

H:   Right.

HB:   Oh?

H:   You know what a cat is?

HB:   Of course.

H:   Not the same.

HB:   You’re wrong. Exactly the same. A cat is made of all of the same fundamental subatomic material that is in the telephone you’re using and the chair you’re sitting in…

H:   I’m actually sitting under my porch. I was bad.

HB:   The porch then. The cat and the porch are made of the same stuff. And so are you.

H:   You know, for a God Particle, you’re really an imbecile. Dogs and cats are complete opposites.

HB:   You’re way out of your depth, I’m afraid.

H:   Well, no one has named a stupid field after me if that’s what you mean.

HB:   That’s not what I mean.

H:   But, hey, I’ve been in a field or two in my day and I know a pile of shit when I smell it.

HB:   No, Henry, listen. Dog and cats? They’re the same. Okay? The shit too. It’s the same. It’s all the same.

H:   Well, if you are saying that a cat is made out of the same basic elements as a pile of shit in a field, that’s not such a stretch. But cats and dogs?

HB:   The same.

H:   We’re mortal enemies. Polar opposites.

HB:   No. You’re the same.

H:   Almond Joy and Mounds. Republicans and Democrats. Leno and Letterman. Monday Romney and Tuesday Romney.

HB:   The same. All the same.

H:   Okay, so then this other particle you mentioned, what was it again?

HB:   What… a fermion?

H:   Yeah, that. I suppose you two are exactly the same too.

HB:   That’s absurd. A fermion can’t help but spin. But a boson? Sometimes we spin and sometimes we don’t. A fermion only dreams of that option. We’re nothing alike. Fermions are all about the stupid Fermi-Dirac statistics. I mean, who subscribes to that tripe? I mean really?

H:   Well…

HB:   Two fermions walk into a bar… you know why that has always been a ridiculous joke? Because two or more fermions cannot—CANNOT—occupy the same quantum state! However, there is no limit – NO LIMIT – to the number of bosons that can occupy the same quantum state.

H:   But aside from over-crowding the bar, what does that prove?

HB:   What does it prove? What does it prove?! It proves….

H:   I think you’re the same. Exactly…the…same.

HB:   No.

H:   Higgy and Fermi sittin’ in a field, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love, then…

HB:   Of all the stupid, insulting…

H:   You love her, don’t you?

HB:   She’s not a God Particle! I’m a God Particle! I am! You got that? You ... you… Beagle!

H:   You looooovvvve her.

HB:   …

H:   Hello? Higgy?

Next Guest: Twitter


Other Henry Interviews

comments powered by Disqus