Dark Matter

So all this time, the Hubble Space Telescope’s been pointed the wrong way.

All that money wasted searching the stars. Go figure.

See, if it had been pointed toward Earth instead of off into the heavens, aimed particularly at Baltimore and a funky little neighborhood called Hampden, then it probably would have picked up a black hole right in our own solar system. It was the one that Mary was staring through Shop Boy. And all because I told her she was perfect. Sheesh. What’s a guy gotta do?

As it turns out, a guy’s gotta be able to detect printing flaws so small that the units of measure that would describe them have not yet been named. Smidgen? Way too big. Skosh? Not even close. Sliver of a skosh? Nope. In honor of Mary, the only one who can see them, Shop Boy has made the executive decision to name these bedeviling levels of misalignment, these infinitesimally small blemishes himself: micro-Mashburns, or mMs.

The time element the micro-Mashburn represents is a much larger unit, say two hours per mM. And, of course, there’s a financial measurement that must be factored in. What the heck? Let’s say $100 an hour. Shop Boy’s buying.

Now say, for instance, you’ve got a holiday card that is designed to be folded, accordion style, into four panels. Proof after proof shows Shop Boy that the wording on the long card is perfectly, undeniably, dead-on straight. Mary, however, has detected a 3 mM swing from one end to the other. She’s absolutely, unswayably sure it’s there.

Well, for purposes of this blog, time will be represented by a “T” and financial implications by a “$.” The simple equation, then, looks something like this: mM x T = $.

You follow me? Good.

So, Shop Boy does the math and the answer is clear. It’s unnecessary — OK, I said “crazy,” sue me — to hold up production on something that we’ve nailed so thoroughly, unquestionably, perfectly and exactly.

Well, you know Shop Boy’s odds of winning this argument, right? Slim and mM.

Sure enough, we were still tinkering late into the evening. You can’t say that we at Typecast Press won’t kill ourselves to get the job done right.

Mary: “See? It looks much better now.”

Shop Boy: “I can’t see a difference. Maybe it’s because we’ve been standing over this thing for hours and hours trying to correct a problem that’s not there — what is this, Horton Hears a Who? — and my eyes are tired from counting all the money we’re throwing away while we’re fixing something that was already perfect in the first place.”

You should have seen the look she gave me.

Man, some folks just don’t appreciate good scientific logic.

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