Big Bang

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs
A chin-wagging couple of men discuss theory.

Submitted: November 03, 2018

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Submitted: November 03, 2018



The blame fell squarely on Henry! Albert had bought a clutch of Pekin bantam eggs for one of his clucky hens to sit on, and happily they hatched successfully, but there was a surprise! Two grey ducklings hatched as well. Of course Henry didn’t take the blame, taking the blame would mean some trick or other would later be played on him, and he didn’t want that! He’d been down at the river clearing a willow log, which looked like it was going to sprout and eventually block that particular branch of the river. He inadvertently destroyed a duck-nest with two eggs, and knew the duck wouldn’t return, so he took the eggs.  He knew every Friday Albert spent the day in town, which gave him the chance to visit the clucky hen.

The ducklings would be ok, Albert had reared ducks before and he had a pond below his house. But they would be wild, he would allow them to come and go as he pleased. After feinting innocence about the ducks, Henry sat down with his mate under a huge weeping willow, both ready for a yarn.

‘What came first, the chicken or the egg?’ Albert asked out of the blue. They had discussed the issue several times, with both changing sides from time to time.

‘You don’t really want that discussion again do you?’ Henry responded. ‘Unless you have a new joke.’

‘No not really,’ replied a smiling Albert, ‘birds came from dinosaurs, so the question should be, “What came first, the dinosaur or the egg.” But talking about that sort of thing, the Jehovah What’s-their-handle called the other day, so to change their prepared sermon, I asked them about the big bang theory, but they don’t believe in it. Took ages to get rid of them though.’

‘They’re harmless enough. But I’ve got the Guinness Book of Answers,’ Henry smiled, ‘it tells all about the big bang theory.’

‘What kick-started it then?’ Albert asked.

‘Ha! It’s in the book if you want to read it, I do remember a bit. They reckon the universe is expanding and has a definite age. Anyway for some reason they don’t say why or how, but it happened faster than an eye blink, they nailed it down to ten to the power of minus… something like fifty seconds. Anyway after that it expanded at ten to the power of something bigger.’

‘What’s that mean? It’s clear as mud!’ Albert asked.

Henry dragged out his phone and asked the robot what ten to the power of fifty was, he couldn’t remember the number but he thought he’d try fifty. The robot said it was ten with fifty noughts on the end.

‘I should have known that! Anyway, so in a fraction of a fraction of a second, whatever kind of stuff it was, expanded, boof, to all those noughts in size and just kept on increasing.’ Reported Henry.

‘Easier to say it was created.’ Albert said firmly, ‘That way, you don’t have to think about it.’

‘But don’t you?’ quizzed Henry. ‘If you have a void of nothingness, how does it get to explode? And how does the original nothing suddenly expand replicating as it goes? Anyway, who’s to say it went bang? In a vacuum, sound can’t travel, so how can there be a bang? Wouldn’t an explosion in a void have to be nuclear because there’s no oxygen? So it’s all beyond me. But how can a nuclear explosion go off spontaneously, how did the sun catch fire?’

‘Dunno.’ Mused Albert. ‘But the void they talk about, can there ever be such a thing as nothing?’

‘I dunno either. In science at school, they had a vacuum in a jar thing, apparatus, but there must have been specs of dust on the inside of the jar, apparatus, specks of dust would contaminate it in a tiny way. But what’s beyond the universe?’’ Henry was tossing ideas like winnowing pine seeds.

‘Apper-arse what?’ Albert smiled. ‘Well, when religious people say the universe was created.’ He mulled. ‘Do they mean someone fired the explosion, or actually moulded all the planets and moons and push-started it all to get it going?’

‘Yeah, pressure causes diesel to go bang! And spontaneous combustion needs the right conditions too, so how that happened, would depend on what you believe.’ Henry asserted.

‘Oh, so now you’re hedging your bets.’ Smiled Albert sensing a sort of victory.

‘Not at all.’ Replied Henry. ‘I’m a definite believer.’

‘You believe in what?’ asked Albert, thinking he’d missed something.

‘I believe it’s ok to believe what you want.’ Henry replied. ‘After all, nobody can prove one way or the other, so let it be like that.’

‘What about what’s-his-name who didn’t believe in eating meat?’ Albert grinned. ‘You know, he worked for us for a while. Some odd religion he was hooked up with?’

‘Yeah,’ laughed Henry, ‘he asked me if I drank beer and when I told him I did, he asked me how often I beat my wife! Still what he believed didn’t harm us, but on the other hand, there’s the buggers who do!’

‘Bloody extremists!’ agreed Albert. ‘Good at bombing and killing, but they seem to be allergic to work. Wonder if they’ll help fix what they wrecked?’

‘Yeah, you don’t see them when there’s a tsunami or earthquake!’ Henry added.

Albert had one of his prize gerberas flowering in a pot beside where they sat, he held a flower without picking it, admiring the spiral-shape at the centre. Without speaking he followed the outline with his finger.

‘Curiosity, Albert, ever hear of the sequence of numbers, 1,1,2,3,5,8 it keeps going forever! To the end of the universe. You keep adding the last two numbers and on you go. So here’s one for you. How come if you draw them into squares of the same unit in sequence, you can create perfect spirals, the same spiral you see inside a nautilus shell, hurricanes or on a sunflower heads and even in distant galaxies? How’s that all happen then?’ Henry asked.

‘Beats me.’ Replied Albert with a shrug. ‘But look, here comes the bantam with her chicks… and ducklings.


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