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Evolution, trailer parks and the Theory of Relativity.

When we got to Chicago-O'Hare Intenational airport, we were greeted with the sobering fact that our plane to Newark was hopelessly delayed by the nasty snow and sleet falling from the sky. Quite a few of the other flights connecting through the airport were either delayed or cancelled as well. Using his keen powers of observation and statistical analysis, Evan Eschmeyer confidently proclaimed "30% of the flights are delayed, sir." Only an NU student would analyze the flight schedule and submit a mathematical analysis of the data displayed; and only Evan would take so much pride in announcing his findings. "Good job, Evan" I replied. We walked on.

Feeling the hunger generated by a 2 hour practice just minutes before, Evan and I made a run for one of the little airport "choke-and-pukes." I was assigned the task of retrieving a large Pepsi for senior power forward Brian Chamberlain as he watched over our possessions. Evan, ever concerned over his public image debated with me over whether or not to wear his leather gloves to the choke-and-puke. "It would be such a shame to hide these gloves," he whined. "Whatever, Evan". We walked on.

Upon entering the establishment, the immigrant behind the counter began to babble incessantly about the twin towers that had just walked into his little hole in the wall. The old man started to annoy me so, as usual, I let Evan handle the natives as I feigned an intense interest in the menu on the wall. Evan bought his Pepsi and moved on. I decided to be a little more adventurous with my purchases and opted for two small bottles of mineral water, two large Pepsis (one for Brian, mind you) and a slice of what resembled a cheese pizza. My price...just over $12. I asked the check-out lady whether my purchase came with a jar of Vasoline. She just laughed, presumably because she knew no English and just wanted me to go away. With hands full and wallet $12 lighter, Evan and I walked back to the terminal to roost with our teammates where we began to engage in our favorite pastime--ripping on our strength coach Jeff Friday who sat placidly reading a newspaper just a few feet away.

After consuming our goodies, Evan started up with his wild ideas and began to examine all the different possiblities for our exodus from Chicago involving connecting flights to other cities. He suggested that one possiblity would be that we would fly down to Miami, only to find out when we got there that Newark is shut down for the duration of the storm--iced in. We would then be forced to spend a weekend in Miami. Realizing the improbablity of his scenario, I suggested that a more probable scenario would involve us flying directly to Bangladesh where we would catch a connecting flight over the polar icecap, dropping us right on Newark. Of course, Evan, being of unsound mind and body from over two years of a bio/pre-med curriculum had to bring up some missing-link called Homoaustraliaus (check your dictionary on that one) which is purported to have been found somewhere near Bangladesh and would revolutionize the theories surrounding the origins of man as we know it. Only at Northwestern will you find such people, I'm sure of it.

This brought senior gaurd Craig Duerkson into the conversation, who began to mock the theory of evolution, taking a stand for creationism. Craig quoted Genesis 1:1. Evan, inspired by a really thick book on dinosaurs he is reading (he's still at that stage) turned to the front cover and read a quote by Einstein: "What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world." Craig, all riled up by Einstein's quote, said "Well, Einstein's stupid. I mean, E=mc^2 how hard is that?" Evan and I got a pretty good laugh out of that one. Evan retorted "Yeah, lets see you work with a set of simultaneous equations dealing with a few hundred variables at a time." Craig, obviously having never studied the theory of relativity past what he learned on Mr. Wizard's World looked perplexed. "What? It's only three variables....that's not hard at all."

I looked at Craig in sheer pity. "One variable, you fool. 'C' is the speed of light and is a constant in the equation, 'E' is what we're solving for." Craig couldn't grasp the concept, so I put it into a little parable he could understand (keeping in mind that Craig is from some little two-horse town in Kansas). "Craig, let me put it to you like this. Imagine you have a trailer park with three trailers in it. A tornado comes, the residents all pile into one trailer to party (as is the custom in trailer parks during times of natural disaster), and the tornado wipes out the other two trailers. The trailer park is a constant--where there is white trash, there will always be trailer parks. The number of trailers is the variable, and the residents are the ones with the problem that needs to be solved."

This got Evan to thinking again. He hypothesized that tornadoes are actually intelligent beings due to their selectively destructive nature. Anytime a tornado strikes, it always manages to find a trailer park. He then backed up his hypothesis by citing that the three areas highest in trailer park population also share the highest percentages of tornado touch-downs those being Florida, Indiana, and Kansas--specifically Craig's hometown.

After exploring the theory a bit further, we went back to making fun of our strength coach Jeff Friday.

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