Boffin: Hmm? What? Did I hear something?
Katie: A little deaf are we? GOOD EVENING PROFESSOR BOFFIN.
Boffin: I can hear perfectly well thank you. I am merely testing the theory that you do not exist.
Katie: I don't exist?
Boffin: There you go... what did I say. Further corroborating evidence. Even you don't believe that you exist!
Katie: I do exist!
Boffin: Oh please! Can't you make up you mind? You don't exist.
Katie: Yes I do.
Boffin: Oh no you don't
Katie: Oh yes I do
Boffin: Oh no you don't
Katie: Oh yes I do.
Boffin: Behind You! Oh sorry, just my little joke.
Katie: It's not a joke - of course I exist.
Boffin: How do you know?
Katie: Well you're talking to me so I must be sitting here although I'm beginning to wish I wasn't.
Boffin: Where exactly is here and how can you be sure that here exists?
Katie: Well it's a TV studio - I come here every week.
Boffin: So just because here was here last week means that here will be here this week? Hmm. I see. A classic axiomatic assumption....
Katie: I'm sorry?
Boffin: Now I made the axiomatic assumption last week that things don't exist unless someone is looking at them. I tried to test this observationally with trees.
Boffin: Yes trees donít exist unless youíre looking at them. This proved an extremely difficult theory to test. Because every time I looked at a tree. There it was! And when I looked away I could not see the tree but was it still there? Well I tried all sorts of clever tricks with mirrors but didnít get anywhere. I think it has to do with collapsing quantum states and a dead cat.
Katie: So the tree collapsed and killed a cat?
Boffin: No the cat was in a box and the man did not know if the cat was dead or alive until he opened the box and looked in.
Katie: I expect it was dead if it fell out of the tree. Any way what man?
Boffin: The man was a famous scientist. Name rings a bell - Dinger - Schro-dinger. It was Schrodinger's cat.
Katie: Now youíve totally lost me. Whatís the point?
Boffin: He proved that people see what they want to see. So now I'm trying to test another theory which doesn't have the observational problems. I'm going to assume that things I can see don't exist.
Katie: You really are quite mad arenít you?
Boffin: Quite possibly. That is indeed one explanation. You don't exist because you are a figment of my deranged imagination.
Katie: I give up!
Boffin: Anyway why am I here?
Katie: I'm beginning to wonder why any of us are here and I'm absolutely certain youíre not all there.
Boffin: Sorry? No wasn't I supposed to be talking about something?
Katie: Yes we were supposed to be discussing Black Holes.
Boffin: Black holes? black holes? black holes! Why didn't you say so. Now black holes definitely exist. We can't actually see them of course, theyíre black after all, and space is black so they are a darn nuisance to spot but all the observational evidence suggests they are far more likely to exist than say you are....
Katie: [interrupting] So what youíre saying is that I don't exist despite the fact that I'm sat here and millions of people see me on TV every week and black holes that no-one has ever seen do exist. You really are one electron short of an atom arenít you. Well that's all we have time for this week on Beyond the Horizon please join us next week when I will be asking whether Professor Boffin has more socks than brain cells. Good-night.
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