No variable specified
Column: Plum Nelly Pitts says Higgs Boson won't fix stupid
by Dick Yarbrough
July 11, 2012 02:32 PM | 4675 views | 3 3 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dick Yarbrough
Dick Yarbrough

News bulletin: Scientists working at the world’s biggest atom smasher near Geneva have announced the discovery of a new subatomic particle that looks remarkably like the long-sought Higgs boson. Sometimes called the “God particle” because its existence is fundamental to the creation of the universe, the hunt for the Higgs involved thousands of scientists from all over the world.

That announcement sounded like it was very important but its significance was lost on me because I’m not a quantum physicist, just a modest and much-beloved columnist. Also, the only thing I have ever smashed is a cockroach. I hate cockroaches. I do, however, understand the part about the “God particle” because if we keep messing around with His universe and not giving Him full credit for what He has created, we are likely to end up atop Mt. Ararat in a rowboat with two houseflies and a pair of possums.

The bigger question is what does this mean to our daily lives? That required a call to Plum Nelly Pitts, of Varnell, Georgia, the prestigious and prodigious prognosticator. You will recall it was Plum Nelly who first predicted that if we looked in one of Vice President Joe Biden’s ears we could see clear through to the other side.

“Well, darlin’,” Plum Nelly said when she answered the phone, “I kind of thought you might be getting in touch.” She knew it was me calling before I had said a word. This is either another amazing example of her extraordinary psychic powers or she has caller ID.

“I’m guessing all that talk about smashing atoms has got you a little upset,” she said. I admitted that I had planned to spend a lot of time at Big Canoe this summer but if the world was coming to an end, I didn’t want to waste the gas if a Higgs boson was going to smash my car.

“Don’t waste your noggin worrying about that,” Plum Nelly assured me, “The Higgs boson isn’t going hurt your car because it is primarily responsible for the existence of mass in the elementary particles.” How does she know this stuff? Plum Nelly Pitts never ceases to amaze me.

Will civilization as we know it change, I asked with trepidation. “Do you mean, are members of the Legislature going to quit mooching meals and free tickets to tractor pulls and the circus from lizard-loafered lobbyists? Ain’t no boson on God’s green earth going to change that,” Plum Nell Pitts said firmly. “You can go to the bank on that one.”

I didn’t want to sound like a know-it-all but I had already figured that one out for myself. Still, I wondered whether or not smashing all those atoms might have a deleterious impact on our civilization in other ways.

“Sugar, you can smash all the atoms you want but as one of those comedians on television says, you can’t fix stupid,” she said. “Or to paraphrase the Good Book, ‘the stupid we will always have with us.” I should have been assuaged by that because as a columnist I need all the stupidity I can lay my hands on.  But I wanted more assurance.

“Let me put it this way,” Plum Nelly Pitts said, “because a bunch of scientists crushed a few atoms over in Switzerland, do you think Isaiah Crowell is suddenly going to decide that driving around Athens at 3:30 a.m. with an unregistered gun under the seat is a bad idea? Is our Ambassador to Outer Space Cynthia McKinney going to open her mouth and say something that makes sense?

“You think that preacher that runs the Baptist seminary in Kentucky is going to say that he didn’t mean yoga was a sin; he really meant yogurt? And how about Sen. Chip Rogers saying we can do things ourselves and don’t need government doing it for us while he is pushing for state government to take over the charter schools commission. Darlin’, you can’t smash atoms small enough to fix these kinds of dumb.”

Plum Nelly said she had some other thoughts on the subject but she had to go. Prestigious and prodigious prognosticating makes her voice week and she has choir practice tonight. She made me feel better that the Higgs boson is not going to change life as we know it – with the exception that Isaiah Crowell is headed to Alabama State. I plan to give the officials there Plum Nelly’s phone number in Varnell. I predict they are going to need it.

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Ga. 31139.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
July 12, 2012
So you think that any great scientific discovery is simply "nothing"?

Could it be that you are jealous that your mind isn't that great?

Give credit where credit is due instead of making light of a wonderful and intriging discovery!
July 12, 2012
I certainly don't see it fixing your stupid.
Ziya Morali
July 11, 2012
Mr. Yarbrough,

Your article is self-describing. Higgs boson will bring new, exciting insight to understanding our universe and new physics Nobel prizes which your intelligence won’t understand. From our star wars president to your GOP, science has never been a strong point. VP Biden is the second most important person in the world, he has an accomplished CV, as far I can see your CV only lists middle page journalism in our free local paper. By saying he has no brain is an insult to your readers and saying “look me too don’t have brain between my ears”. I thought you would be writing about July 3rd flood, that turned Abernathy road between Roswell and Johnson Ferry Roads into a impassable monster lake. I expected you to say thanks to Galambos and Isakson duo for this and bringing 50,000 East Cobb commuters to our backyard everyday once in the morning and afternoon. Or by creating the most dangerous road in Georgia (maybe) between the river and Abernathy road. I strongly urge you:

A. Write about the things you understand.

B. Write about Sandy Springs. I also read The New York Times. You should try reading sometimes, it will bring you new perspectives.

C. Show us your accomplishments, so that when you bash successful people we understand where you stand.

D. Be a Gentlemen, don’t be derogatory or insulting.

E. Respect the people who likes trees and who hates GOP sponsored environmental disasters.


Ziya Morali, Sandy Springs

*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides