Triangulating Newton

“So what have you been up to?”

“The usual.”

“By ‘the usual’ I assume you mean you’ve been writing?”

“If by the simple term ‘writing’ you are suggesting I’ve been pouring heart, soul and spleen in a rorschach splatter on to the virgin white page of a word processor then yes, I’ve been writing. You’ve been playing or whatever it is that you do?”

“Yes. Twenty years of practice and dedication just so I can listen to some pissed up failed roadie scream at me to ‘play some Randy Rhoads! All aboard the crazy train!’ while I try and feign enjoyment grinding my way through Brown Eyed Girl for the millionth time.”

“Sounds satisfying.”


“I admire you. Music is a noble pursuit for those of a certain intellect.”

“Those of us not smart enough to write you mean?”

“Not at all dear boy, not at all. All that rhyming and so forth takes a sharp mind to construct. I’m merely saying that it doesn’t require the gravity of a Hemingway or a Fitzgerald to put forth three minutes of doo-wops and such.”

“It amazes me sometimes why your circle of friends is so small. In fact, given I’m your only friend you essentially have a straight line of friends. Point A to point B. Nothing planet shaped for you I’m afraid.”

“Speak not to me of planets, bound as you are by the chains of simple physics.”

“Ah. So gravity isn’t for you then?”

“Gravity is for us all. Yet while you flummox and flip upon the shore like a confused whale I have transcended the pull of this brown Earth and as we speak I move beyond its confines. Cosmic accretion picks at the bones of mind. The very particles of my ideas are being sucked out of me to accumulate in a distant universe.”

“So you’re going to become a planet?”

“Perhaps, my friend. Perhaps. My words take flight and strike for the stars.”

“Maybe you could replace Pluto. Planet Pompous-Arse starts with a P so at least there’s no danger of you inadvertently buggering up a mnemonic.”

“The simple mnemonic. Powerful. Memorable. Salt On Hot Chips Are Horrible To Our Appetite.”


SOHCAHTOA. Salt On Hot Chips Are Horrible To Our Appetite. I shall remember that one until the final grains of sand drift down through the hourglass of my soul.”

“That is truly rubbish.”

“Works though.”

“Sure. Assuming of course that you know what sine, cosine and tangent are used for?”


“And further assuming you know how to identify adjacent, opposite and hypotenuse?”


“For a man of such wisdom the grammar is absolute pants. ‘Salt on hot chips are?’ That’s about as bad as it gets.”

“Being as it is from school days, the peasant-like construct is part of its charm.”

“Stupid Overblown Hogwash. Cosmic Accretion? Hardly. Try Outright Absurdity. How’s that for charm.”

“How delightfully droll. How perfectly pithy. How terrifically trenchant. How f…”

“How about you get the beers in?”

“I bet Stephen King doesn’t have to put up with this shit.”

“That’s because Stephen King doesn’t have a one-way head ticket to the upper reaches of his own anus.”

“How contemptuously crabby. Technically you do realise the anus is just the opening so there are no upper reaches?”

“True. But I can still get it to rhyme with famous and throw in a doo-wop chorus…”


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