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May 18, 2009 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

Does gravity still exist?

Today I am doing a very extremely totally mega-cool cowabunga badass science experiment: I am going to prove whether or not gravity is still real. I will do this by jumping off the 8th floor of the VUW Kirk building, onto a small metal post in the carpark, upon which I will land elegantly with a Jackie Chan-esque dive roll.


Because VUW is a high-profile university, and in the hope of raising public awareness of modern science, the aesthetic touch must come into this. So to make it look extra wicked, and as homage to the latest James Bond movie, I will be jumping through the greenhouse window of the 8th floor botany department, spraying shards of glass everywhere, making the physical sciences really staunch and bad to the bone. Naturally I will be drunk when I do this—one does not science sober! After all, doesn’t science come from Europe? This home of thinking is where we get some of New Zealand’s greatest inventions, like the fold-up rice paper safety helmet that fits in your pocket, and the five-seater push bike with four slightly wider wheels, a motor, a steering wheel, a windscreen, and four doors. Not to mention the broccoli-powered television this really nice fella sold me! I haven’t quite got it working yet, but I will one day. And we mustn’t forget the USB stick that’s as big as a normal computer, so you don’t lose it!

And yes, yes, yes, don’t worry, I am well aware of the safety issues, and I know exactly what you are going to ask: of course I will be wearing my Spiderman pants.

And what if I am proven wrong and gravity is just a wacky make-believe theory? Then I shall slowly waft downwards to the top of the metal post and elegantly pirouette tippy-toe upon it once I land, blowing a sloppy, condescending raspberry at the Earth’s fictional pull. In case of this slow decent, I have decided to take Chamber’s Webster’s Pickforth’s Dictionary of Murgatroid’s Cumbersome Prose for Distinguished English Gents, which, at slightly over fourteen-hundred pages, will make for an egalitarian, informative read on the way down. Then, if I am feeling particularly arrogant, and nobody is watching, I will urinate all over Planck’s constant.

And if this quaint notion, this archaic concept of gravity is still real? Then as I come crashing through the greenhouse window and begin my earthward descent, I will kickflip three-sixty, go into a tuck, followed closely by a double ollie fakie to inward half-gainer, spin the handlebars, and land. I am hoping for at least an 8.6 rating from every judge, but France is always fussy.

I was thinking of emailing the head of the Biology Department in the Kirk building to let him know I will be jumping, but I’ll just tell him later. No need to build anticipation. I’m sure him and the rest of the VUW Science Faculty will be really impressed to know an undergrad like me has solved this perplexing gravity mystery.

My mate Dave will be supplying McKenna bourbon for the jump—well, he always has a bottle or two with him, I’ll just have to hit him up first thing in the morning so he’ll remember. This will eliminate any butterflies in my stomach if I don’t quite make it back alive. But I will not be nervous. There is no need to worry, Salient readers. I am quite adept at thinking ‘on my feet’—I mean ‘in the air’—I have seen just about every episode of MacGyver. The only thing I am worried about is whether Dave will let me have much of his coke as a mixer. McKenna is brutal. His tolerance is better than mine, and he always complains I have too much mixer. He’s so grumpy first thing in the morning.


Well, here we are, on top of the Kirk building, having a few drinks before the big moment. I’m really psyched up, you know, but looking out of the greenhouse window, I can see some people yelling at me to not jump. What? So I shouldn’t go through with my experiment? These people must be unbelievers in the Science Gods—you know, ecologists, or people who like animals, or something.

These nifty pyjamas will give me the ability to sling a cool web, which might help me land if I don’t make my saving throw against the gravity.

So I’m ready to—hang on. What, Dave—my will done? What? Thy will be done? Is that what you mean? Dude, you know I’m not religious. So now he is saying that I should give him my car keys because it might disrupt the delocalisational gravitational computational sequency frequency. Good thinking, Dave!

Oh, so now he wants me to write that he can have my car and money, and all my stuff! Or the government will just take it? Over my dead body! Some friend you are, Dave! Gimme that bourbon, and the dictionary!



“Man, this book sucks… should have taken a TV and some broc—”



Well, If you’re reading this… if you’re reading my voice… it means I’m alive. I succeeded in landing on the metal post, but only completed half my back flip due to the motivational fluctuational constantational speed at which I struck the gravity of the post. It hit me bang in the middle of my back, and I received rather a tentative thumbs up from a leading body-piercing magazine, who said my photos were a bit too ‘hardcore’ to print! I’m the man!

This radical hat got all the girls (and even some fellas) screaming when I jumped.

I am in a rather strange hospital resting up at the moment, there are cushions on the walls. These people obviously don’t know anything about gravity!

But rest assured all you lonely single ladies out there, and of course my favourite hand: I didn’t land on my willy. I got a peek at it the other day when the nurse changed my catheter, put a few replacement organs in—just minor ones like a lung or two, a liver, new heart and ribcage, etc—and took the big metal pins out of my hips, and it is sure a sight to behold. I think it even tried to poke the nurse, or reach up and see what was going on. So don’t worry, it is still well and good, and one day I hope to poke it into all of your… you know… it… you know where I mean… the guilty place.


And gravity? Yes, gravity exists, and at an unfair speed too, I might add. Maybe gravity somehow knew about my jump and was saving itself up in a big quantity, because I barely had time to do my ollie-fakie combo. And when I landed? Ouch. That was some serious pain. In fact, I think the entire carpark is just made totally out of gravity—really firm, hard, light grey gravity. With all these stupid bits of rock in it.

Everyone here is being way too nice to me, acting all worried about me and stuff, and always asking me if everything is okay, but I am just hanging out for my Novel Prize. Which is pretty sweet, because I only write columns, I haven’t even finished all my short stories, let alone a novel! Could I write a good-sized novel about gravity? I might have to put some kissing bits in it for the single older women demographic, but there’s lots of pain and violence I could write about. A surprisingly large amount, in fact. I’m kind of surprised that Stephen King hasn’t written a horror novel about gravity yet. The nurse told me I’ll have a fair while to think about book ideas, though. So far I haven’t gotten any real recognition from the worldwide science community, but there are a lot of psychologists who keep on coming to talk to me. But why would those loonies be interested in gravity? They don’t need it for anything.

You know, I’m just really grateful to the Gravity Gods—who I think might have been a bit angry with me before—that I still have my sanity and my intelligence, so that is a plus. Okay I better go now, the person writing this for me used to be a court stenographer, but she is getting a sore hand while I dictate, and I just saw a—hey did you get that bit?—Yeah I got it—good, cos heaps of people are gonna want to know what happened—I doubt it—shut up—hurry up—I have to go—yeah yeah just get it all down, even this bit, what I just said now, and the bits where you said stuff. You can be in it too. So I will take my leave of you. I mean you who’s reading this, not you, writing it down. There is this old dribbling dude here, this guy is pissed as all the time, he needs a walking frame to help him go anywhere, and he’s always gripping the handrail along the wall.

I’m gonna take him out with my wheelchair now! Medical experiment! Science is gonna kick his arse with a sideways gravity blast from my leg stump! Yaaaaaaaay!

I’m gonna waste him, ay! Vrooooom, vrooooom! Seeya!


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  1. Dan says:

    Never really laughed from reading before, But that was funny x]

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