This piece originally appeared on McSweeney’s in April 2016
Do you have any idea who I am? Well do You?
I’m Albert fucking Einstein and you just made me drop my bottle you asshole! Wait a minute, I’ve got another one here somewhere … Hey! You keep the fuck away from my shopping cart! This is my alley and you’re on my turf now pal. The day that you make your own scientific breakthrough that fundamentally alters our perception of reality, maybe you get to touch my stuff — but until then, step the fuck off!
Goddamn, if that rubbing alcohol doesn’t hit the spot. Yowza! Throw in a splash of some Gatorade that you found in a dumpster to take the medicinal sting out of it, and you’ve got yourself a street party my man.
You ever heard of relativity?
Yeah, that was all me. Time measured differently for observers in different inertial frames of reference, gravitational time dilation, the spacetime continuum — all me, bitches. And you would think that mankind would be grateful for having somebody unravel some of the deepest mysteries of the universe for them, but oh, no! It’s never enough for those ungrateful fuckers. They’re all like, “Yes, Einstein gave us the Theory of Relativity, but he never did manage to unify gravity and electromagnetism.”
What the fuck!
If I had a dollar for every time someone started bitching about how I failed to unify gravity and electromagnetism, do you think I would be living out of this shopping cart?
I was the most celebrated scientist on the planet, but I still couldn’t go to a dinner party without some dick reminding everybody in the room about how I failed to unify gravity and electromagnetism. Those two-faced, toadying bastards would be all like, nice to my face — “Oh, congratulations on your Theory of Relativity professor Einstein,” but then I would hear them whispering amongst themselves about how I wasted years of my life in a fruitless quest to unify gravity and electromagnetism — all the while, smirking and casting knowing looks of condescension and pity in my direction.
Well, fuck you all! You’re just jealous.
See this medal? That’s called a Nobel Prize, and I’m probably going to pawn it tomorrow so that I can party with my good friend Jack Daniels. Jack doesn’t judge me. Jack takes me as he finds me, and he would never, ever, piss on my bonfire just because, God forgive me, I wasn’t able to unify gravity and electromagnetism.
Getting this kind of shit is bad enough from strangers, but when you start getting it from your professional peers and your own family as well — well, that’s really fucked up.
When I had the sheer, fucking audacity to air my skepticism about quantum mechanics by expressing my belief that God doesn’t play dice, that supercilious prick Stephen Hawking, wasted no time in publicly stabbing me in the back with his smarmy, “Not only does God play dice, but he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.” Oooh, do tell. Is that what God does, Stephen? Do you have God on speed-dial, you wire-framed spectacles, leather elbow patch-wearing motherfucker?
I’ve even gotten this kind of shit from my wife. “Hey Albert. Are you mowing our lawn at the speed of light? Because from my perspective as an observer at rest, it looks to me like time is standing still where you are.” Or how about: “Albert, did you achieve relativistic velocities while you were doing the shopping? Because you haven’t aged a day since you left, and I feel like I’m a much older woman.” And let’s not forget my personal favorite quip of hers every time I screwed up something at home. “Nice work genius!”
Ha, fucking ha.
If some heavily roided giant can get a standing ovation for carrying an inflated pigskin bladder across a fucking field and dropping it on the ground, you would think that the person who radically altered our perception of the physical universe and everything in it, could get a fucking pat on the back for it every now and then. Wouldn’t you?
I mean, what do you bastards want from me?
I’m fucking sorry I wasn’t able to unify gravity and electromagnetism alright?
Is that what you want to hear?
Well excuse me and fuck you very much, because I have a private party to attend now and you need to get the fuck out of my alley.
© Gordon Webster