Whereas religious experts are a dime a dozen at the Whitepebble Religious Institute, there really is only one science and math authority: Tom Tombaugh. And even his credentials are modest: he claims to be a distant cousin of Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of disgraced wannabe planet Pluto. Nevertheless, he’s all we have, so if he doesn’t show, it really creates a void. Truth be known, Whitepebble keeps Tombaugh around to counterbalance Tom Sheepandgoats, Tom Weedandwheat, Tom Wheatandweeds, and Tom Fishandchips - religious nuts who otherwise drive him up a tree.
The Institute had a recent staff meeting and Tombaugh didn’t show. Of course, Whitepebble made a thorough search, only to find that he had been stopped at the border on his return trip from Krukordistan! A concurrent news headline told it all:
NEW YORK - A noted researcher for the prestigious Whitepebble Religious Institute was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule and a calculator.
At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement.
He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction. "Al-gebra is a problem for us," Gonzales said.
"They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute values. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as ' unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country.
Ah, well. So much for our science division