The Bartlett Identity
A few years ago my friends and I wrote a screen play about Greg Bartlett, one of our close associates, called ‘The Bartlett Identity.’ The other day I rented a film and realized we had been ripped off.
Here’s an excerpt from the life of the man behind the movie.
‘Who has a refrigerator full of Mountain Dew, Hot Pockets and bologna? Who has a T-shirt from 1988 that they still wear or even can wear? And the first thing I’m doing when telling a Kentucky joke is catching the sight lines and looking for an exit,’ he said.
While spending months as a starving, Louisville late-night comedian, Greg frequently fell off the radar for weeks at a time. When we finally saw him, he was inexplicably pale and thin.
Then Greg went for what he described as a ‘job interview’ and was subjected to a battery of tests. His scores were off the charts and eventually he was hired to analyze various online publications.
We imagined him sitting at a computer, combing through his friends’ Web logs, a few new e-mails and his remaining hairs, but, in fact, his work was difficult and increasingly strange.
One day he poured over ‘Artificial Intelligence and Society,’ ‘European Journal of Clinical Nutrition,’ ‘European Journal of Epidemiology,’ ‘Genetics,’ ‘Journal of Chemical Education,’ ‘Marine Biology’ and ‘The Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press.’
We sat down for brunch at Pigasus and things got really odd.
‘I can tell you the communicability of the Ebola virus. I can tell you that a blue whale has a gestation period of between 11 and 12 months, and the guy sitting over at the counter has two recessive genes for blue eyes and doesn’t get enough vitamin D. I know that the best place to look for cyanide is a leach mining operation, and, in the Ukraine, a thriving mail-order bride service exists at Odesa on the Black Sea,’ Greg said.
‘Now why would I know that? How can I know that and not have a dental plan?’
Any reasonable person can see that Bartlett’s story was used and not so much as a penny was paid for the tale or even likeness rights. That’s OK though. We have a sequel in the works called ‘The Bartlett Supremacy.’
Last week Greg analyzed ‘American Journal of Physics,’ ‘Animal Behavior,’ ‘Geology,’ ‘Psychology and Aging,’ ‘The Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press’ (again) and ‘The New Republic.’
We sat down for brunch at White Castle and he said …
‘I could discourse on polydisperse liquid sprays in a shear-layer flow. Geode is derived from the Greek word Geoides, and the guy sitting over at the counter … ‘