FURTHERMORE AND THE STUDY OF QUANTUM BOGODYNAMICS
Chunks of the ceiling were still pattering about the cavern floor when I popped through the arched doorway into the old lab I use as a library deep below the house. My pet raven brother, Furthermore, was perched atop the yellowed skull on the mantle that he calls home. He cocked an eyebrow at me as I brushed off the granite dust. "Whacha doin'," he inquired innocently.
"Nothing special," I replied. "Just teaching the hydra about better living through nuclear power." The hydra is the nine-headed beast that I pay an outrageous salary to tyle the entrance to the cave. I figured that nine heads would be better than one. I also figured that it would have a collective IQ of more than 70. I'd fire it, but hydras are hard to find and avoiding it is really about the only exercise I get these days. Anyway, enough about the hydra.
Let me digress: Furthermore is my Masonic pet raven. If you are coming in late, he lives in a vast and ancient cavern about three stories below my home. How he came to be initiated, passed and raised is quite another story entirely. He is accompanied by a number of Things, who show up when needed by the author for plot diversion, the hydra and a bat named Everafter. We don't see a lot of him. Furthermore and I have been friends and brothers for...well, for a very long time. Now, back to the story...
It didn't take but a moment or two to discover that Furthermore was in a fowl mood. He was beaking through the morning paper-always a source of irritants-and finally just exploded, spiraling upward with a shriek before coming to a mind-numbing halt on the oak table in front of me.
"This is so bogus!" he complained. "I can't believe these people! We elected them! They're so sleazy they even give the Clinton administration a bad name!" I wasn't ready for this and asked him to postpone his indignation until I had mixed the martinis. He agreed, reluctantly.
A couple of martinis later, he returned to his central theme.
"Really," he lectured, "this is so bogus. I mean this is like a really living bogon. It's that bad."
He waited longer.
"Okay," I said. "I give up. What's a bogon?"
He grinned and slipped into the skull, emerging a moment later clad in professorial robes and flat academic hat.
"A bogon," he began," is the central element of something that is bogus. The more bogus a thing is, the more living bogons that are present." Whipping out a pointer and a flip chart (he has given up on Power Point presentations-they're so common, after all), he continued. "The study of bogons is, most properly, termed Quantum Bogodynamics and is highly complex."
Warming to his subject, he continued, "Some places are natural breeding grounds for bogons and are, therefore, the subject of large federal studies. Not unlike the $107,000 federal grant given last week to a researcher at the University of Illinois to study the responses of various people to the punchlines of dirty jokes. (This is true.) The grant is, of course, a highly bogonized thing in and of itself. Actually, the places where bogons are found in great density are the places you would expect-board rooms of major corporations, state legislatures, college classrooms, ad agencies, Grand Lodges (that was a cheap shot. I'm sorry) and the like. Of course, the Mother Planet of all bogons is the U.S. Congress.
"You can find fairly high concentrations of bogons just about anyplace you find neckties," the bird continued. "We are still researching the connection here but it does appear to be true. The more neckties in a place, the more living bogons you can expect to find in the immediate vicinity."
Well, I can't tell you how fascinating I found this. I had just never given much thought to the concept of the bogus things in life as an area of scientific study. I mean, a truly dedicated researcher could spend a lifetime in the study of the relationship of bogons and management consultants, for example. The opportunities are nearly endless and I'm sure you can imagine your own. I complimented Furthermore on his presentation and told him I'd never seen anything more bogus in my life. He preened for a moment. He's so vain, you know. Before he could think about it, I poured another martini. Bogons or not, life must go on!