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When I was a precocious teenager attending nerd camp, with other teenagers who were just as gifted and weird as me, my friends and I decided that tacking "yo mama" onto pretty much any sentence was hilarious. Mind you, we didn't actually like to insult each others' mothers. No, we did it ironically. That's right, apparently I was a 16-year-old hipster in 1996.

Two years later our sense of humor hadn't changed much.

That summer my mom drove to New Jersey to visit family. Boring! Instead of going with her, I got dropped off in Putnam County, New York so I could spend the week with my friend Rob. This lead to an impromptu reunion with some of our old camp pals. We'd been planning to see Erika, since she lived really close to him (by Maine standards, at least). Then we discovered our friend Hikory was on a cross-country Greyhound trip--and had a transfer in New York City the next day. Talk about cosmic timing. We decided that Dave should be there, too. He could catch the train from Philadelphia the next morning and we'd meet him in the city when we picked up Hikory. His presence would make things exponentially more awesome.

We called Dave.

"I can't come. That thing I thought was poison ivy is actually Lyme disease. I have to go to the doctor tomorrow."

"Pshaw. Whatever, Dave. You've already had it for weeks, what's another couple days gonna matter?"

"I could get lockjaw. If they don't treat me soon, I might miss the start of college. Sorry."


As luck would have it, the Lyme disease could be treated with antibiotics. Dave decided to take the train to chill with us after all. He would arrive in Irvington that evening.

The train station sat next to a little park along the Hudson River. The sun was at such an angle that we no longer had to worry about getting sunburned. A gentle breeze came in from the water. It was a perfect July evening. Rob, Erika, Hikory and I sat on a bench and watched ant-sized cars drift across the Tappan Zee Bridge. We made comments that I don't remember--but I'm sure they were deep, poetic and philosophical. We waited for Dave.

Then Hikory started talking about general relativity. It had been a year since I studied Physics, but some of the foundation knowledge had managed to lodge itself in the nooks and crannies of my gray matter. He picked up a stick from the ground and drew in the dirt. Sometimes he wrote out equations, too. Eventually, he sketched a diagram of a black hole--one of the classic examples used for explaining general relativity. Shit was getting profound. Here I was, surrounded by lush greenery and chirping crickets, learning astrophysics from a long-haired hippie boy from Vermont. This is what life is all about, man.

During the time dilation portion, my mind opened up to the cosmological possibilities. I looked back to the bridge and wondered if, to the people in the cars, it seemed that we were the ones in motion. I wondered what it would be like if a black hole and a worm hole intersected. I grooved so much on the theory that I nearly missed the conclusion of this whole impromptu, riverside physics lesson.

"When I drop yo mama into the event horizon, she gets ripped apart by the tidal forces."


( 24 murmurs — Talk About the Passion )
Mar. 18th, 2014 12:45 am (UTC)
This is really nice! I love those sort of impromptu meetings, and the fact that you are still friends all these years later. (uh... based on fact, yeah?)

I never got 'yo mama' jokes, but I have seen they are a part of north american culture!
Mar. 18th, 2014 07:24 pm (UTC)
We did eventually lose contact and drift apart... time and distance. But I'm FB friends with Rob and Hikory still. (Dave, too, technically, but he doesn't really use it). I still have some amazing friendships that formed during my years at nerd camp, though, and they mean so much.

I didn't really get them either. I just liked making them sound as lame or non sequitor as possible.
Mar. 18th, 2014 01:48 pm (UTC)
Oh! This is fantastic!!!!
Mar. 18th, 2014 07:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I like to tell stories from my past, I always over explain what I find funny, and I wanted to play with recapturing the voice of younger me.
Mar. 18th, 2014 08:13 pm (UTC)
hahaha, some things never change.
Mar. 18th, 2014 10:18 pm (UTC)
Mar. 19th, 2014 01:51 am (UTC)
That is the only appropriate yo mama joke, ever. :P Also, glad to see you writing!
Mar. 19th, 2014 02:04 am (UTC)
Most of them were more like

Me: Man, I love Allen Ginsburg.
Friend: Your mom loves Allen Ginsburg.
Mar. 19th, 2014 05:41 am (UTC)
Ah, Yo Mama jokes... I remember them well... :)
Mar. 19th, 2014 01:57 pm (UTC)
The voice here is so honest and genuine.
Mar. 19th, 2014 02:08 pm (UTC)
Nicely put forward!
Mar. 19th, 2014 02:31 pm (UTC)
Memories of times past with old friends are fun. Nice that you still have contact.
Mar. 19th, 2014 03:49 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh, so nice. Makes me nostalgic for sitting on bridges looking up at the stars.
Mar. 19th, 2014 06:43 pm (UTC)
Shit was getting profound.

This was actually the part I found funniest-- the contrast between the subject matter (relativity, albeit in the dirt, with sticks) and the phrasing just tickled me.
Mar. 19th, 2014 07:13 pm (UTC)
this was really well written I felt like I was there.
Mar. 19th, 2014 08:06 pm (UTC)
I loved the way you ended this! ^_^
Mar. 19th, 2014 10:58 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this, and the punchline had me giggling. :)
Mar. 20th, 2014 12:23 am (UTC)
I miss nerd camp very much.
Mar. 20th, 2014 03:41 am (UTC)
So do I. And qween394 has heard just enough that she wishes she could go (not yet, and we'd have to see how she does with tests and somehow come up with the money, but maybe someday - or maybe at least we can get her into the online part so she can take the Chinese and engineering CTY-for-kids workshops).
Mar. 20th, 2014 01:35 am (UTC)
Nice turn of the prompt. And, education with your jayus!
Mar. 20th, 2014 04:54 am (UTC)
I have to agree with halfshellvenus Shit was getting profound. made me snort.
Mar. 20th, 2014 05:29 pm (UTC)
Yo mama! (:
Mar. 20th, 2014 05:59 pm (UTC)
Nicely done!
Apr. 2nd, 2014 05:50 am (UTC)
Great way to take an in-joke and make the reader laugh along!
( 24 murmurs — Talk About the Passion )