As a college student I worked at a snooty little bistro called The Periodic Table – a restaurant renowned for its primordial soup and Big Bang Burgers. To say The Periodic Table caters to academia would be…ummm, the second sentence in this paragraph (sometimes I just don’t know how to finish a thought). But not only does The Periodic Table cater to academia, they also cater to people who…ummm want food supplied to an event they’re having. Again, sometimes I just don’t know how to finish a thought.
The Periodic Table has a superlative staff. Pastry chef Madame Kurie won a MacArthur Genius Award for twice baking half-baked ideas so they’d emerge from the oven as one fully formed idea. I probably could’ve used her help in the first paragraph. After all, she’s a stable genius. I’m just happy to be a wobbly virtuoso.
Susan Williams, the sous chef, can be very argumentative. She often exclaims, “You don’t like my bouillabaisse? Sue me.” She’s shrewd. She knows no one will sue a sous chef named Sue?
With Covid-19 protocols in effect the social distancing between elements is a minimum of 6 atoms. It’s strictly enforced by nuclear bouncers carrying electron microscopes. The Periodic Table spun-off a restaurant called the Isotope. Managers mathematically determined the Isotope would last for 20 years, but signed a 10-year lease because they were smart enough to realize the unstable Isotope would have a half-life of 10 years.
The Periodic Table is a popular love nest for couples who are carbon dating. Chemistry majors love this semantic den of clever linguistics. For example, chem students can order their milk shakes in three states: solid, liquid or Massachusetts.
Most of the tips I received were of the “Hey, don’t do anything Einstein wouldn’t do,” variety. The fallout from working at the Periodic Table added gritty luster to my otherwise geek-dominated résumé (1st chair high school triangle, Chess Club equipment manager, foster home for orphaned light sabers). Unfortunately the money I earned had a half-life faster than radium and I spent money like an “unstable Cesium-137 atom decaying in a nuclear chain reaction” (I never get tired of that old expression). And even though I spent most of the money on ginkgo biloba, I could never quite remember where it all went.
I hope you enjoyed this overture to my list of newly discovered elements. Elements that all have one thing in common. They radiate humor:
- Shelium – Newly discovered sister element to Helium. Oddly enough when you inhale it, it makes your voice deeper. And even though Shelium is lighter than air, it always thinks it’s fat.
- Fartium – At first it was thought to be a Noble Gas. But after just one whiff you knew…it ain’t so noble.
- Cranium – This element is a head case
- Copper – Not that kind of copper. In fact, not really an element at all. It’s what gangsters called a policeman in the 1930s.
- Miseryium – Not much is known about this dark matter other than Miseryium loves company
- Moronium – An element that only seems to affect other people’s intelligence
- Acronymium – BTW, Scientists believe Acronymium stands for something, but FYI, they don’t know what…LOL
- Belgium – Not an element. Just a shout out to the country of Belgium.
- Tamponium – Tamponium will always have a seat at any Periodic Table – usually once a month.
- Yumyumium – What Chinese restaurants sprinkle on food to make it taste better
- Conundrum – Scientists are still trying to figure out just where this perplexing element fits in
- Viagrium – A lot like zirconium in that it’s not an authentic rock-hard diamond, but no one seems to mind and actually appreciate it nonetheless. Warning: If its half-life last longer than 8 hours – see a mechanic – a quantum mechanic.
- Blamium – It’s always somebody else’s element. Eventually decays into an Inferiority Complex.
- Blamium-238 – A rare isotope causes complainers to reassess their lives and admit “mea culpa”
- Sherlockium – Elementary, my dear reader. Also available in the sarcastic isotope, No Sh*t Sherlockium
- Steakumms – Found in your refrigerator. At least that’s where I thaw it.
- Mormonium – The only element that thinks it’s acceptable to marry with the electrons of more than one atom
- Cofault – When cobalt decays and makes a mistake it becomes Cofault
- Cobalt – makes you feel blue
- Codependentbalt – enables cobalt to make you feel blue
- Meme-ium – That thing where “We haz no cheezburgers”
- Virginium – An element of unblemished purity. High concentrations found in Ivory Soap and Promise Rings
- Tounguestun – When a taser accidentally hits your tongue
- Palladium – Amphitheater shaped element. The Beatles played there in 1964
- Homonymium – Sounds just like an element, but it isn’t. Prefers the orbits of its own kind, as opposed to Heteronymium.
- Synonymian – An element that can be substituted for any other element
- Cinemanium – What a drunk scientist calls a movie theater
- Sinamonium – Too much of this element and you won’t get into Heavenium
- Cinnamonium – Above a certain threshold and you develop and overwhelming desire to move to Cincinnati. Also tasty sprinkled on toast.
- The most important relationship you’ll ever have is your relationship with yourself. Not an element. Just wanted to send you a little preachy reminder in an Oprah kind of way. I zinc it’s important to remember this.