SCIENTISTS attempt to enthuse the public about watching tonight’s meteor shower.
“Astronomy is so incredibly tedious,” declared Stacey Gubbins, a resident of Much Craplock.
“There’s a certain weatherman who is always slipping astronomy bulletins into his forecasts. ‘Tonight, you might be lucky to see the Perseid meteor shower!'”
“Allegedly, 200 meteors per hour will streak across the sky in a ‘beautiful natural firework show’. ”
“I can guarantee it will be foggy. It’s already ‘p*ssing with rain!”
‘Tomorrow, you might see a blood moon!’ Cloudy! ‘Next week, you might see a comet or the International Space Station’. This will be some tiny smudge in the sky, but you will have to freeze yourself to death in the garden to watch it.”
“Some of my friends went all the way to Iceland hoping to see the Northern Lights. They never saw them. Checking my Facebook the other night, everyone here in Britain could see them, due to exceptional levels of solar activity. I couldn’t be bothered to drag my backside off the sofa and open the curtains. I knew that I would be disappointed.”
“I added my Bronx cheer to the prodigious quantities of solar wind.”
Gavin Rowlocks, local fruitcake added, “Astronomy is very similar to physics. It’s just a ruse to con millions of pounds of public funding from government agencies. The only reason the Hadron collider exists is for physicists to be able to claim permanent salaries and pay their mortgages. It’s never going to produce any useful results – half the time it is out of action anyway, requiring expensive repairs by highly qualified technicians. It usually gets fused by a fried weasel or short-circuited by a chunk of baguette dropped by a passing bird. Basically, it’s like one of those bug-zappers you see in a chip shop. It is just there to electrocute local wildlife.”
“Astronomers go really over the top with enthusiasm for the latest dull celestial event. As these things are usually so boring you start to ignore their health and safety warnings. I completely ignored Brian Cox when he said I shouldn’t look directly at the last solar eclipse. I can now see it permanently. It’s etched on my retinas.”
“They tried to get us excited about their new black hole telescope by calling it the ‘Event Horizon Telescope’ as if it were part of some sexy Hollywood film. The best they are hoping for is a picture of a ‘bright ring of light around a dark blob’.”
“They boast that their new telescope will be so sensitive it could see a grapefruit on the surface of the Moon. Why bother? There are plenty of grapefruit in Tesco, we don’t need to link together a global network of giant radio telescopes to see them!”
‘The Daily Squabble’ asked its religious correspondent, the Reverend Neil Down, why celestial objects are so universally dull.
“The only interesting astronomical event, in human history, was the Nativity Star,” said Reverend Down. “This star was relatively close to our planet and hovered over baby Jesus’ stable in Bethlehem. It must have been fantastic for the three wise men to follow a star guiding them across the country and finally witness that it pinpointed the birth of our saviour. God controlled this star by omnipotent remote control.”
“I imagine the Nativity star to be similar to the camera drone that I hover over Stacey Gubbins’ garden while she is sunbathing.”
“The problem with other celestial objects is that they are incredibly far away. For example, the black hole, Sagittarius A*, is 26,000 light years away. It’s only the size of a pinprick in our night sky – a black pinprick in the night sky!”
“If our planet was actually in danger of being sucked into a black hole or we were all going to be wiped out by a massive meteorite, we would all be a lot more interested in astronomy.”
Gavin Rowlocks said: “They are already making excuses about the clouds of gas and dust that might shield this black hole – so they might photograph a big hazy nothing.”
“I might as well just draw them a picture of a black hole now – to save them all the time and expense. It will be very similar to one of my previous compositions: ‘Black Cat at Midnight’.”
Professor Hardy Weinberg, from the Council of Science, said: “It’s not just the Perseids! The Alpha Capricornids will peak tonight and the Southern Delta Aquarids showers will peak Saturday and Sunday!”
“Whoopee-f**king-do!” said Stacey Gubbins.
Photograph by NPS