It's now two on a Thursday morning, leaving me with four more days to finish the novel I sort of wrote back in November and wanted to actually end properly. Unfortunately writer's block has hit pretty hard (and if anyone has a cool name for a hideously be-weaponed battle cruiser, I'm open to ideas), so I'm basically just up drinking. Thus, in order to justify the damage to my liver, I choose to indulge in one of the activities I'd always assumed the internet was built for: relating stories about my insane friend Mad Richard.
Mad Richard is, at the very least, a statistical anomaly. In fact, he is a statistical anomaly on two fronts. Firstly, the very weirdest of weird shit constantly happens to him; Richard is liable to say "I had to hitch-hike home on a tractor" in much the same way you or I might say "I had to go inside because it started raining."
Secondly, none of the crazy events that seem to follow him around like probability-defying flies has ever managed to kill him. They totalled his bike once, and it's a miracle his liver survived celebrating R's nineteenth birthday (he told me once he'd only been drinking so hard because he'd misheard his biology teacher in school and thought he had two livers; the revelation that he had only the one was something he likened to discovering that Santa Claus was entirely fictitious).
In honour of Mad Richard, then, I present the conversation that occurred between us on the day R introduced us.
Mad R: Hey!
R: Hey Richard. This is my mate Squid.
R: How are things.
Mad R: Pretty awesome actually. I got a job!
This is clearly news of some surprise.
Mad R: Really. Of course, I had to lie a bit on the entrance form.
This is apparently news of considerably less surprise.
R: Christ, Richard, what did you do this time?
Mad R: I pretended to have eighteen years of fighter pilot experience.
R: You're only eighteen years old!
Mad R: Well obviously I had to lie about my date of birth, too.
R: Fine. Let's skip a number of steps and get straight to you telling us what this job actually is.
Mad R: You know what a black hole is?
Mad R: And you know how anything fired into a black hole will be instantly crushed by the horrific gravitational forces such celestial phenomena generate?
R: I'm not sure I can cope with what's coming next.
SS: I find myself oddly curious from a scientific perspective.
R: You said that about "Pets Win Prizes".
Mad R: Anyway, the very instant NASA develop a vessel that can survive the pummelling already described, they're going to fire me into a black hole inside of it. You would not believe how much they're offering as payment.
There is silence for several seconds.
SS: I think we need to review.
Mad R: What do you mean?
SS: I mean that even if NASA are so blind they can't tell the difference between a man who's been flying for eighteen years and a teenager who's been breathing for eighteen years, and even if we skip over the somewhat inconvenient truth  that we're talking about singularities here, and "survive the pummelling already described" isn't really a question of bolting on an extra layer of steel or anything, and the equally problematical fact that we have no idea where to find black holes, much less how to get you there, then current scientific thinking about this stuff suggests you're gonna get tossed into another universe, or into the past, or something. You'll never return to collect your salary.
Mad R: Well, if I'm going to get thrown into the past, I hope it'll be to yesterday; I completely fucked up that assessed chemistry practical.
R: Is it time to get drunk yet?
Right, that hasn't helped at all. I'm going to bed.
PS: I promised not to drone on about politics unless I came up with some angle I hadn't seen anywhere else, so I'll keep this brief, but I did want to mention that the White House has started dealing with irksome environmental reports that condemn them by no longer opening the e-mails they are contained in. This, by the way, is an excuse that has been tried by our undergraduates and failed miserably, so it's interesting that the "Leader of the Free World" is looking to get in on the action.
 I fucking copyrighted that! Damn Al Gore. DAMN HIM!