Big bang was more than a total turkey

26th September 2008 at 01:00

September 10 was, at least officially, the day I started up my Tortuous Metaphor Generator. What the tabloids didn't know, as they attempted to stir up hysteria with headlines suggesting I was going to disappear down a black hole of my own making, was that the device had been running for some time before then.

Admittedly, it wasn't on full power, though it did manage to produce a few cliched similes. They might have been as dull as ditch water, but at least they proved the TMG wasn't going to be as useless as a chocolate teapot.

On said day, media interest went through the roof. There was even a one- off episode of Torchwood on Radio 4, in which Captain Jack discovers that the Cybermen are a metaphor for our fear of people with a different sexuality from our own.

My first experiment was to be my most controversial. In a massive underground tunnel, accessed via a shaft in a secret building "somewhere near Dunfermline", I took some current science courses, the ACfE draft outcomes, the collected works of Carolyn "Thinking Science" Yates, Stuart Naylor, Brenda Keogh, Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam and accelerated them to a near-light speed. Then I collided them with the leftovers from a buffet lunch given to delegates at a course on Advanced Higher Biology Practicals.

High-resolution detectors went into overdrive, feeding their readings to a bank of super-computers. The first results flashed up early the next morning. "Some science courses are like Turkey Twizzlers ." my PC screen said. Bugger. Another simile. I cranked up the accelerating voltage and waited. "Some science courses are Turkey Twizzler meals." That sounded better. "Many teachers have felt this for a long time and have begun enhancing them with vitamin supplements from a variety of sources. It's time now for a balanced diet."

I could relate to that, and was about to publish the results to the academic world when another message flashed on the screen. "But don't forget: some of the things we've come to think of as bad for us, like fat and salt, are actually necessary in moderation."

Excited, I contacted the press. But, as I hadn't destroyed half of Fife, they'd moved on to pastures new.

Gregor Steele knows a good story about a negative number of fish.

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