Blame it on smoke inhalation. Fortunately, the fire that’s been plaguing us since Friday night appears to be out, at last. Though it was nothing like the wildfires that have been plaguing California lately, it was bad enough for us to lose some sleep. Not to mention that everything we own reeks of burnt leaves. Flesh and blood can only take so much …
We’re sitting in the living room, trying to unwind, and the discussion turns, for reasons now forgotten, to photon torpedoes. Which aren’t made of photons. Naturally, she wants to know what they are made of. So I head off to Memory Alpha. Where I learn that the warhead of a photon torpedo consists of magnetically constrained matter and antimatter.
I start to explain this. And she says:
“How can you constrain anti-matter?”
I start talking about the principles of magnetic confinement, and she stops me cold. “How can you constrain anti-matter?”
I must have looked at her as if she had three heads (I was beginning to wonder), because she said next:
“If it’s anti-matter, it’s not matter. How can you constrain something that’s not there?”
I wish I could tell you that what came next resulted from my timely application of the Lawyer’s First Law of Courtroom Dynamics: “For every good tort, there’s a retort.” Alas, I can’t. I just used the first thing that popped into my head.
“It most certainly is there. It’s anti-matter, and it’s sitting next to uncle matter, and if it isn’t constrained, the place is going to be overrun with nieces and nephews.”
When I could next get an intelligible word out of her, she accused me – she accused me – of provocation.
We need sleep. Anyone got a smoke-free room?