As we all know, the black holes in the universe all lie beyond what physicists call the Sock Event Horizon. This is the place where all the odd socks, lost pens and other detritus of the universe ends up as it disappears from this universe, using the black hole as a conduit or wormhole to an alternative universe. This alternative universe is much like our on, only with more interesting TV programmes and slightly less egregious and mercenary politicians. It is also – many scientists postulate – a universe where socks, pens, and the other detritus that we lose in our universe spontaneously reappear.
Luckily for them, however, this alternative universe has – by necessity – invented odd sock-powered nuclear fusion. A form of almost limitless power that can provide enough power to run an entire city for a week from one teenager’s lost sock. Not only that, their mass transport system is entirely fuelled by the ink from pens lost in this universe that reappear in theirs.
There was a fear in this alternate universe that they would either all be buried alive under the great spontaneous odd sock mountains, or drown in an ever-rising flood of ink from our lost pens, unless they did something about it.
However, this seemingly inequitable transfer of energy in the form of odd socks and mislaid pens puzzles physics on this side of the Sock Event Horizon. In particular, as it at first seemed there was no compensating return of energy to this side of the black holes.
All seemed unsolvable until the eminent theoretical physicist, Mindy Mellowthighs, put in a grant application to study the phenomenon. However, she found the entire proposal process bogged down in red tape due to a number of new rules and regulations brought in by politicians in an attempt to simplify the process. Of course, these new provisions, regulations and the laws they were based on were mostly pointless, a waste of time, contradictory, and with a whole host of unexpected self-defeating consequences. All of which turned a relatively straightforward process into a form of torture by ordeal that made various human rights organisations express their concerns at the unnecessary cruelty of the grant application system.
But on further investigation, Mellowthighs discovered that the amount of useless, pointless and self-contradictory legislation brought in by all the world’s politicians exactly matches the mass of the lost pens, odd socks, and other detritus lost at the Sock Event Horizon.
Physicists were first amazed and then shocked at this breakthrough. It did – after all – seem entirely unbalanced; even though the mystery was solved, it did not seem fair that the alternative universe gets a ‘free’ power source while we were lumbered with more and more politicians passing useless and pointless laws.
However, in her second breakthrough, Mellowthighs claimed that if the amount of energy produced by passing the legislation into law were instead used as fuel for a new design of fusion reactor, then our Earth would itself have unlimited cheap, or even free, power. Some Physicists expressed doubts though that the fusion reactors would not reach the initial very high temperatures needed for fusion to occur without some external heat source. Mellowthighs then pointed out that all the hot air produced in the world’s legislative chambers would be more than enough to set the reactions in motion and keep them at the necessary super-high temperatures.
So, this year Mindy Mellowthighs is expected to win the Nobel Prize, not only for her breakthrough in physics but for, at last, and for the first time in human history, finding a use for politicians.