Has there ever been a substance
so precious, and at the same time so hazardous, as nodegel
The extraordinary lengths one must go to to preserve every little
drop are well documented, as are the awful
consequences of its being mishandled.
The recent meeting of ISO Committee NG2000a, formed to develop a standard
set of nodegel handling procedures, only made matters worse. The
committee dissolved in total disarray after a heated argument over the
proper shape of the magnetic containment field required for transporting
the stuff. A transcript follows:
: Agenda Item IIIa: the use of a D2 orbital
USA: Ridiculous! A nutating slice through a duosesquicentihyperhedron
has always worked for us. Those dumbbells always bleed virtual freegel
and dissolve the ceiling tiles.
Netherlands: I don't see why everyone's making everything
so complicated. I haul the stuff around in my van in 20-liter plastic
buckets lined with plastic garbage bags all the time.
(silence of about thirty seconds, followed by throat clearing)
Canada: I wish my colleague from the States would at least
acknowledge the McGill University study showing a D2 to be the
most stable shape. In Appendix H, it clearly states that problem
is solved with a proper distraction for the containment field operator.
USA: Yes, I read that, but it can't be right. We tried to replicate
the results and lost the fourth floor of the student union building.
UK: Bad luck, that. It's a shame; the coffee bar was on the fourth
USA: I miss my biscotti.
Canada: And if you had followed the instructions and given
the operator a book of poetry instead of a cup of coffee and The Weekly
Standard, it would still be there.
Russia: Poetry, bah. Operator will fill with all sorts of
romantic notions and abnegate significant other. Nodegel field operators
read Chekov and only the occasional refrigerator drawing will dissolve.
Which frees up magnets to strengthen field.
France: Let the record show that the representative from the Netherlands
has just dissolved into a pile of magenta goo. I suggest everyone
run for their lives.
(much shouting, followed by terrified gibbering, followed by silence)
When the Emergency Nodegel Containment Team
arrived on the scene,
it was too late. Opening the door revealed that the meeting room had been
replaced with the missing coffee bar. The only survivors
were the British delegate who happened to have a pocket Wordsworth
n delegate, who was not a coffee drinker. Sadly, the
British delegate now collapses in terror whenever she sees a daffodil.
On a happier note, the event caused the staff of the coffee bar, thought
to be lost in the original disappearance, to reappear. In addition,
a noted particle physicist and one of his graduate students, who had happened
to have popped in for some biscotti were also recovered.