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19 July 2019 20:20

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Asked by: Glenn Hawkins
Subject: The 3rd law
Question: unedited” This is a piece I did for adolescence in 2005. MD's latest run on with time-delay reminded me of and I search and found it. Some of you might like it.


Humpty Dumpty did not grab for the ledge. It had been explained to him that he could fall only downward, or upwards which was unlikely, but that he could never fall sideways. The explanation had involved a newly discovered law about apples and that was the reason he could fall only up, or more likely downward in a straight line. The earth would stop him and then he could climb back a top his wall. That was all there was to it.

The first thing he said after the crash was, “Oh look at me. My innards are scattered everywhere. I have fallen sideways every which a way even though it was explained to me that falling sideways was imposable.”

The first to arrive at the splatter was Princes Haley, who was the King’s own contractor from the neighboring principality of Leber`ton, and who had promised a sack of gold coins to the King’s advisers in exchange for a greatly inflated contract fee, which was to be let to her without competition. The contractor, Princess Haley brought with her the King’s very own stable shovelers furnished freely by the King’s advisers in exchange for an additional bribe. Immediately the stable shovelers gathered about Humpty’s edges and sat to heaving his edges up, over and toward the top of his yellow brain in the center, a distance of twenty feet.

“Wait” Humpty cried. “Clean the dried clumps from the shovels. The clumps are coming off. Just look as the mess you are making of me. Oh dear, as if I weren’t in bad enough shape.”

When there was no response and only the continued scraping of shovels could be heard, Humpty Dumpty threatened to bring a lawsuit.

The working foreman in charge of the brigade of shovlers, who looked a little like Johnny Westmiller the film star of the early Tarzan movies, only pushed his shovel deeper into the gooey edges. Without breaking the rhythm between mussel and shovel, he looked up at the slim coated lumps that were being scattered on top of the yoke and summed up the situation this way, “ Who going to lesion to a broke-open agg with manure for brains?”

“Please Princess!” Humpty cried.

Princess Haley winked at her big working foreman. “My lead attaché has adequately explained the situation to you.” She said amused with a little smile. “You behave egg. Company police forbids delay and cost over-runs.”

“Princes, dear princes, it is known throughout the kingdom that you and a stenographer run the company. You and the policy are exactly the same thing. Oh dear, oh dear. What’s to become of me? I want to talk to the physicists. They are the reason I fell sideways.”

The big working foreman began in his high-pitched Tarzan voice: “It a matter of echconomic. Princes got to be paid. I got to be paid. Everybody got to be paid. You hush up now agg. We got bills.”

From a distant corner in the courtyard lay a bit of eggshell and in the center of that an eyeball. The eyeball rolled around the scene blinking each time a new dried lump landed in the yellow yoke brain. From another bit of distant broken shell a mouth cringed in synchronized mutterings. “Du, du, du, du, help Princes. You are wise and powerful and beautiful and fair and honest and noble and royal and compassionate”, the grimacing little mouth said.

The Princes Haley sniggered daintily into her scented handkerchief.

Then the poor physicists arrived a foot. They were always second to last. Later the horses would be lead to the splatter.

The head physicist stepped forward and bowed. “ We have a stop-work order in the Kings own hand. We are sent here to help.”

Oh boy! Oh boy, Humpty cried. “The first order of course, of course in these matters is always to reason how I fell sideways when you said I wouldn’t in order to know how to reverse the order to put me back together again.”

“Help how?” The Princess demanded of the physicists.

The head physicist began, “We are to examine the specimen, Humpty Dumpty and invent a conclusion that will protect the King’s physics and then return to the castle. That is all. You see Princess when it first happened; through out the castle Humpty was heard bellowing that he fell downward, but then fell sideways in a great splatter. This incisive ignorance cannot be allowed to become gossip. Already there are rumors among the young nobles suggesting his splatter is a right angle reaction and not an equal and opposite reaction. It gets worse. The last thing this specimen began bellowing was that the center of him upon impact fell downwards then upwards then downwards again then sideways. I believe the cardinal and the secretary of energy are on their way here with a plan to shut him up. But we merely have to explain him by inventing new conclusions that mean the same thing as equal and opposite linear motion, no matter what odd multitude of dimensional motions the bellowing idiot specimen thinks he remembers just because they happened that way.

The king’s horses arrived and began grazing around the circle of Humpty Dumpty. In the distance the Cardinal and the Secretary of Energy could be seen approaching.

“Oh boy! Oh boy!” Cried Humpty Dumpty. “More Help.”

From among the physicists one bold fellow suggested to the others about him. “It doesn’t mater what the silly young nobles think. They’re too busy flouncing about like butterflies, pinching young princes and young milkmaids and talking about the latest fashions and the theater and dance and fluttering scented silk scarves in and out of their lace and ruffle sleeves and sniffing pinches of snuff. They’re too stupid to be taken seriously.”

Another physicist replied gravely. “The wizards hear the chatter. There is the great danger. The king has little control over what they proclaim as magically true.”

Humpty Dumpty appealed to the third stupidest animal in the kingdom, preceded only by chickens and opossums. “You! King’s horse there, you mare with the pretty blue ribbon come and help reason how to put me together.”

Molly the mare replied. “Oh fiddle de de with reason. The ribbon is beautiful isn’t it? Oh yes, I almost forgot, we brought George Orwell’s big pig with us. The pigs are the whiz kids around the farm. They can tell us what to do.”

George Orwell’s big pig, who was very found of fried eggs, stepped forward. “The solution is simple. As fast as he is shoveled up, he slides down again. Therefore we will heat him and thicken him and then we can roll him back up. Afterwards when everybody goes home we pigs, who are known to be good at working puzzles can glue the bits of shells back into their original places.”

“Oh, no, no, no!” Cried Humpty. “That will not do. Oh, that will not do at all!”

The big pig replied. “Sure it will. Trust me Humpty Dumpty. We pigs are very intelligent.” The big pig’s guts growled loudly.

“Shut up pig.” The Princes of Le’berton commanded. “Do you think we are simpletons? How much will you pay me for the subcontract to finish this project after we are out of sight?”

“We’re not allowed to have money. We are allowed only to live, to be eaten.” Replied the pig somewhat disrespectfully. “Concerning there is to be no comprise in my future encounter with the deadly feminine tooth and denture at your table, I suppose you can just eat me now.”

“ON A PLATER PIG! The Princes shouted and she was very angry. “On…a…platterrrr. You can bet on it…soon.”

She looked at her big working foreman, who looked a little bit like Johnny Westmiller and who seemed confused. Sweat dripped down his long glistening Tarzan black hair under the sun. His powerful swimming mussels were moistened and shinny with sweat. The whole of his image gleamed in the Princess’ eyes with warmed appreciation. Her voice softened. “Don’t you be concerned with what pigs say to Princess’ and what Princess’ say to pigs. Never you mind, you big Attaché you.”

The pig, silenced, his guts growling, began to sweat like a pig. In his mind he censured himself. “How many times have we pigs said that a smart-mouth pig hurries along the ax man?” But a pig’s gluttony overwhelms all other emotions and soon he was calm again and only concerned with grunting and with hunger.

The Cardinal and the Secretary of Energy arrived.

“Princes.” The Sectary began. “We have no solution as yet. The Cardinal had a perfect idea to burn Humpty at the stake for scientific hearsay and thereby legally shut him up. But then we thought about it more profoundly on the way over here. It would be difficult to tie him to the stake, runny as he is. And as I thought more about it, even if we somehow succeeded he would just slide down the stake and spread over the brush pile and put the flames out. I being the sectary of energy am quite familiar with such things as oxygen requirements and fire. We’re working hard on it. Hard. Hard work. It’s hard. Hard work.”

“You are an idiot.” The Princes said.

The head physicist interrupted. “Not to worry dear princes. We will invent a solution.”

“Here! Here!” A number of fellow physicists proclaimed lifting their abacas’ high into the air.

Princes Haley needed to think for a moment. She had put into her contract a self-preservation clause. If for any reason she was delayed in completing her contract, she was to be paid triple each incident in order to cover operating expenditures. Already there were interruptions everywhere. If she could find a way to cause them to delay her further she was apt to make several small fortunes from this one sanitation-beautification contract to clean up the unsightly Humpty Dumpty splatter.

“Pig.” The princes shouted. “You shall defend Humpty Dumpty’s position in debate with the physicists. He is a royal subject and will have fair representation. You are to prove he fell sideways.” She continued. “Physicists! You are to debate the scientific merits of your Third Law with the pig. If you win you may go with your victorious solution. If the pig wins he may finish the contract as he pleases while the rest of us will leave him to it.” The Princess was very pleased with herself. Even if the pig lost he was capable of making a great long fight of it and she would be the richer for it.

Humpty was happy to have the pig as defender. The pig was very smart. He and the pig smiled broadly at one another. The pig salivated a few dribbles toward Humpty, then turned to the physicist and stood up on his hind legs.

“Friends and countrymen. Noblest minds of our times. Brilliant physicists I shall be honored to defeat you, though you have only an indefensible position and this isn’t fair to you and so you have my warmest and kindest feelings of sympathy toward you. It would be best to give up now and go and drank beer. No one could fault you. Give up now. Give up now and leave. Do the intelligent thing under the circumstances. Give up and go have fun drinking the fryer’s new batch of beer. I have heard it is excellent. Go on now before it’s all drank up. Run along now. I will respect you.”

“Princess.” The head physicist pleaded. “We object. The pig isn’t even a mathematician to the best of our information. He will only twist everything out of place and in the most confusing ways. You see he has already asked us to give up and we haven’t even begun. Perhaps we could debate with the stupid horses, please Princess.”

“Let the debate began.” She ordered.

George Orwell’s big pig began: “I will speak of; Time Delay, the 3rd Law, Right Angle Reaction, the Angles of Collision, Compression and Deflection, the Magic of Inertia, rotation and finally gyroscopic phenomena. To the perfection of this purpose we are going to use a form of mechanics I have invented and named Archulation. With it we are going to dismantle the 3rd Law of Motion and put it back together.”

Humpty’s eye began to blink wildly and his little mouth grinned as far as the perimeters of the bit of broken shell housing it would permit. He interrupted: “Just get to the putting it back together part. That’s all that everyone cares about.”

The pig looked down at his stupid potential prize supper with distant for his stupidity in having interrupted him.

The physicist began an up-roar of disapproval and regret, for the pig’s reputation for oratory and cunning had preceded him and it was already showing. From their mass came these comments: “This isn’t fair.” and “We don’t know Archulation.” and “We agreed to uphold the King’s Third Law, but not to investigate.” and “The basics of the dynamics of the entire universe must be kept to three short sentences.” and “That’s the King’s law.” and “The pig is a heretic.” and “The pig is committing scientific heresy.

The Princess Haley was happy, for as this continued she was making money with out effort at each tick of her heartbeat. “You there.” She said. “You physicist with the green shirt. Know that heads will roll. This would not be the first time I haven given the cruel order: Off With Their Heads. You will debate the pig as I have ordered.”

The physicist with the green shirt replied: “Dear Princess. We can’t allow The 3rd Law to be investigated at all in any way, ever, for any reason, certainly not with a pig and certainly not in public. Not now. Not ever. Not in hundreds of years into the future. Not in a million years. Never. The universe would fall apart. But consider, what if the pig wins with proof dear princess? Our only recourse would be to ignore his proof. And what if he will not shut up with his proof? The king himself may cut our heads off. We may cut each other’s heads off. We are allowed to have only three basic laws for all the universe of motion, without a single exception.”

Princess Haley turned to her big working foreman. “Off with his head.” She ordered.

Immediately the big working foreman with shove in hand began running toward the physicist. The physicist in the green shirt ran, and after him ran the big working foreman. The direction of the chase was a tall green distant hill in a pasture.

“I will have no more of this.” She said to them all.

The head physicist groaned and said. “Well then. Mister Pig, get on with it. Apparently we are forced into compliance of a fair investigation against all the excepted scientific procedures in the kingdom. We are going to have to examine. Get on with it then, Sir Pig.

The big pig began: “If there will be no more interruptions gentlemen. Though you are wise and learned, on this particular subject you have only two legs on which to stand, while I have four. The odds are overwhelming against you. Your subject will not stand scrutiny no mater that you are brilliant and beloved throughout the land and no mater that I for one have genital compassion for your noble minds in this impossible circumstance you find yourselves. You should give up now and go drank beer. It lessens your standings to attempt to contest me in what you know you cannot win. Before I proceed to defeat you I again implore you, to do the intelligent thing. Accept your position as indefensible, and go drank beer. You will be respected for the good and right decision of it. Give up now and go to the pub where you will find sweet redemption and happiness. And there will be o-so-much music, music, music and sweet chickens in the pot and two wenches for every lap of every physics and that honey brew of happy dreams flowing like thick yellow sunshine into every big mug.

“Please, please Princess!” The head physicist asks. “This constant barrage of psycho semantic suggestions is weakening some of us. We have some alcoholics among us and the pig knows it. If we are to be forced to debate, then let the debate begin. Make him stop it. Make him stop it about beer.”

The pig’s voice was loud and confident: “Before we begin, I will state some observations.

Two steel balls of equal mass are sat upon a billiard’s table. The que ball is shot into the object ball at an exact speed. The full momentum of the cue ball is transferred to the object ball, which rolls away at the same speed as was the cue to an exact distance.”

“Here! Here!” The physicists cried in agreement.

The Pig continued: “Considering only the ‘initial effect’, impact, and considering only the ‘end effect’, a full transfer of momentum has occurred and this example the third Law is beautiful and correct. However, if you consider only these effects, beginning and ending, you ignore the full nature of how things happen, and ignore some things that sometimes happen differently. The collision and transfer are far more complex than that, for during the impact many things happen to cause many more things to happen. The mechanics of nature are not so simple as to say one thing bangs into one thing, and the second thing goes away.”

One of the grazing horses stupidly stepped on the edge of Humpty Dumpty and he cried out: “You big swayback get away. They are all trying to save me.”

The pig continued: “Let us look at four different impacts with three different materials, steel, rubber and glass. Princess we will need those items.”

The princess Haley of Le’burton pointed at one of the oldest and feeblest of the physicist who was tottering about muttering to himself only half aware of where he was and how he got there. “You there hurry and bring the items. Yes you, and be quick about it. Know I have on occasion chopped off heads belonging to tardy and insubordinate physicists. Be warned. I told you to be quick on your feet man. Straighten up!” She was breathing faster now. “All of you know this; I am not successful merely because I am blindingly beautiful. I will have no more problems from any of you. I am ruthless because I am successful and successful because I am ruthless. I Promise you, insubordinate heads will roll before this day is through.”

The pig began where he left off: “Collisions. Later we will do test, but for now we will test only in our minds, for those of you who can keep up.”

“My dear, kind and beloved Princes!”, the head physicist began. “At this time we feel we should notify the Minister of Science of this outrage reared up before us on hind legs as if the thing were a man capable scientific understanding.”

The Big Pig began snorting feverously and his pink body blushed toward red with anger and dread for he had heard about the incomparable genius of the Minister of Sience whose name was Sir Isaac Newton. Shortly the big pig roared at them, “Of course you will not. Stand where you are. You are all far too brilliant to need assistance, particularly from that one.”

The princess understood the pig’s new predicament. He did not want to face Sir Newton, but she thought it might be fun. Whether the pig would soon become supper himself, as he knew, he was still determined to win his own supper this day. ‘This pig is not without merit, nor without more than a few admirable qualities she mused. I too am a winner, no mater what, no mater the cost to anyone, even to myself if it must be. Just win, win, win and keep wining. Just as I’ve always asserted that that’s all that matters in my governance of my principality Halliburton.”

The head physic’s face looked sicken. “Dear sweet, fair minded Princess, protector of all that is good.”, he began. “This abomination reared up in the face of man and God is threading us with I believe violence, while we scientists for goodness’ sack, are being forced to debate with of all things on earth, a pig. A pig! princes.”

The Princes was greatly amused with this goings on, but she would not give them the benefit of even that. With little effort she drew her eyes taunt and cold, yet her voice became slow and hot. “The pig is smart. And as for you. YOU! have been given an order, not someone else who isn’t here. My big attaché will return soon with his sharp shovel.” She could not help, but smile a little, as the group of faces grew bloodless. She was making money hand over fist from delays.

But, then the pig was looking too smug to suit her. “We’ll see about this Newton fellow, as we see how things go along.”

No person knew what she meant by that, but the pig was disgusted. She did not intend to allow him an easy victory. He snorted about for a moment, mouthing his molars and the twisted, menacing touches he had been hiding. Even Humpty Dumpty’s little eggshell eyeballs cringed.

Glenn Hawkins

Date: 7 April 2014
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Answer: Patrick Hill - 21/04/2014 23:31:06
 Bit long winded old yellow to block out, the Visum.

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