Phrench Phried Physics

Recently, I was in attendance at a business meeting with several colleagues. The meeting proceeded apace, until just shortly after we had ordered lunch. The events that followed gave rise to a flurry of research and experimentation, and ultimately this paper. I discovered that simply by placing my order, I had unwittingly stumbled onto the frontier of a new science.

This phenomenon, though frequently encountered, appears to have been either completely forgotten or willingly ignored since the beginning of the history of the scientific method. I am unable to determine which condition is most appropriate since I have been entirely unsuccessful at uncovering any previous research regarding this particular

What exactly is this uncharted discipline? This heretofore unrecorded phenomenon? It is the physics of french fries. Or as this paper is officially titled: “Observation and Partial Analysis of the Variable Disappearance Rate of Deep Fried Potato Slices.” And in layman’s terms, “Why is it that the number of fries I get to eat is never equivalent to a complete order?”

Following are just three of the several experiments I have conducted.

I) I was seated with two companions. As a control measure, I have absolutely no idea what either of them had ordered. My order was a Monte Cristo sandwich and french fries. Shortly after our food was delivered, I excused myself to retrieve some important papers from my store. (We were in a restaurant at the mall where my store was located.) On my return, I immediately noticed that the volume of the french fries on my plate was considerably reduced from what it had been originally.

Curious, but not yet alarmed, I inquired of the waitress as to the weight of an order of fries before serving. She, looking at me as if I had lost my mind, indicated that she had absolutely no idea (especially since there is no record of any prior research into this subject) what I was asking, but helpfully suggested that I ask the cook, who was sure to know. This astute piece of advice turned out to be the crux of this entire investigation, and the clue that ultimately led to my conclusions.

From interrogating the cook, I determined that the original weight was two ounces. Ignoring the strident protests of the waitress, the thoroughly interrogated cook, and the manager, I hurriedly scooped up the remaining potatoes and dumped them onto the scale. There was only a single ounce! Half of the original volume had disappeared, giving rise to the formula:

where ‘x’ is the volume of fries I was able to eat, ‘y’ is the original volume of fries on the order, ‘t’ is the amount of time I was gone, and ‘n’, the number of companions at the table.

II) The second experiment, initially, was identical: the same companions, the same orders, the same waitress, and exactly the same amount of fries on the order. (Yes, I asked.) This time, however, before leaving the table, I doused the items in question quite thoroughly with ketchup, thus introducing a random number, K, into the equation. Not only did the number of fries that disappeared increase, so too, did the rate of disappearance. Thus:

III) Not wanting to jump to any hasty conclusions, the next day I conducted yet a third experiment and drastically altered the parameters to point up any flaws in my still young hypothesis. This time, I eliminated my companions—I mean I didn’t invite them to lunch, not that I actually eliminated them—I eliminated my disappearance from the table, and I eliminated the Monte Cristo. This time the results were absolutely astounding! The number and weight of fries on the order equaled the number and weight of the fries I ate!

I ordered a second batch and again added the random number k. Once again,

Two possible theories readily suggest themselves from these experiments:

  1. A Monte Cristo either produces or attracts a black hole that devours only french fries;
  2. A Monte Cristo secretes, or exudes antimatter particles that reach out like fingers to annihilate the physical substance of french fried potatoes.

Obviously, much more research into this burgeoning science will be required before any definite conclusions can be reached, and tons of government money will be required to do this research. However, I believe a word of caution is in order here. We do not know yet that these black holes or antimatter particles confine themselves to the destruction of only french fries. The first step, and probably the most expensive, is going to be in determining what other substances are at risk. Please send your contributions to the Phrench Phried Physics Research Center in Glendale, AZ so that we may continue this important work.


This legal disclaimer and warning label is required by the FDA, the FCC, the IRS, the Surgeon General, the ATF, DOT, FBI, OSHA, NASA, the local PTA, and the OMB.

Please observe all known and implied safety measures when conducting your own experiments in this area. Remember, new sciences can be dangerous to the unwary experimenter.

Restoring the Good Name of a Retired President

"Mama. How come I look like I’m a hundr’d years old or more and you still look the same as you did when Daddy was president? No, that’s not the question I wanted to ask you. Darn this old failin’ mem’ry. What I wanted to ask is, you’re not really my mama, are you? I mean, are you one of them space aliens? Not illegal are you? I remember there was this big ol’ set to about illegal irrigation back when I was Mr. President. El Presidente. The Presidio.

"No, no. That’s not it either. It’ll come to me…

"Mama, what ever happened to that Mr. Cheney? What was his name? Dick. And what do you mean when you say he was aptly named?

"Did Rumy ever get that real estate deal he was workin’ on done? Seems to me he should be swimmin’ in oil by now. Can you do that? Swim in oil, I mean. Is that possible? Man, what a lucky guy. To find that much oil that nobody owned and nobody wanted. The Shock and Awe Ranch must be huge. Is that how we got our oil, Mama? By findin’ it somewhere that nobody else had thought to look?

"And the rockets red glare. The bombs bursting in air… That was a catchy tune that Rumy used for his theme song for his ranch, wasn’t it, Mama? Did we ever have a theme song for any of the houses we lived in while I was growin’ up? I wish I’d a thought of a theme song for that ranch down there in Crawford. That would have been nice to have music playin’ every time Laura and I pulled into the driveway.

"I miss ol’ Rumy. Secretary of D-Fence. Just like in a football game. D-Fence. D-Fence. Yay! Go Team.

"Now I remember what I wanted to ask you, Mama. Do you think I was a good president? I mean, I never really wanted the job, but I was more than happy to take it. I always tried to do the best job that I could, just like you always taught us to do. Set your sights on a goal and never wave. I mean never waiver.

"Just like Guantanamo. Sounds kinda like Geronimo, don’t it, Mama? I remember there was a short name for it too, ’cause nobody could get the real name right. We used to call it Guano, I think. Wasn’t that it? No, it was something else … what was it? I know. Gitmo; short for ‘git more info’, I think.

"Mama, am I old enough now to be eligible for Social Security? Oh, no, never mind. I remember now, that went belly-up – why do they call being out of money going belly up? – just a few short years after I was done being the El Presidio. I really like that word.

"Did we ever manage to balance the budget, Mama? How’d it get over or under or imbalanced in the first place? I remember all them numbers I used to have to look at and approve. I usually just picked the highest one. You know me an’ math. But I figured bigger is more and more is better, right?

"How come Conde doesn’t come by any more, Mama? Boy she was so smart. I’m not sure I ever understood a single sentence of hers, but she was so smart I just kinda figured she had to be right. It really didn’t matter what the subject was. She kinda reminded me of you sometimes. ‘Cept she doesn’t look much like you. She always knew what she wanted, though, just like you. Is she an alien like you, too, Mama?

"Mama, just one more question. Did Karl ever write that tell-all book about that president he used to work for? I think that would be a great book to read, full of intrigue and espionage. I always did like espionage stories like the ones Daddy used to tell. Good night, Mama."

State of the Union, 2006

As seen by the President as it scrolls across the teleprompter

My citizens… fellow citizens… of the United States, Senators, Congressmen and Congresswomen, distinguished guests: welcome.
And thank you for allowing me to spend some time… some important time… this evening with all of you.

You know, we live in a great country.

The greatest country on the face of the planet and in the whole, entire history of the world. I’m proud to live in this country; to be an American citizen. And I’m prouder still that you all have chosen me to be your president. I’m proud for the courage of our troops, some of whom are seated here tonight…

and for the unselfishness of the American people who have spent great time, effort and money in bringing democracy to oppressed nations around the world like Afghanistan. And Iraq. And Libya. And I’m thankful. I’m thankful that God has given me the strength to help lead that effort and the courage to face tough choices, and make hard decisions.

This job of being president requires me to make some hard choices. It requires me to look at the big picture… to see what’s really going on in various parts of the world and to make the right choice in defending the American people. We need to be constantly on the lookout for the proliferation of nuculear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. We need to be vigilant in fighting the "War on terr’r". We need to be able to move quickly and with authority to prevent another tragedy like September 11, 2001 from ever happening in this country.

I will not allow another bunch of murderers and terr’rists to propogate such an horrendous attack on this country.

As I stated, my job… my number 1 job as president is to protect the American people.

We are at war. We face an inhuman enemy that is out to destroy us and our way of life.

You need to trust me to fulfill my responsibility to protect the American people. To that end, I am requiring that Congress act quickly to implement the changes that I am going to propose here tonight.

First, and foremost, Congress needs to grant to the president the authority to act as he sees fit in any given situation. The time required to follow proper channels and get all of “our ducks in a row” is far too long to actually prevent the terr’rists from succeeding. If Congress fails to act on this immediately, I am prepared to sign an executive order granting all privileges to the discretion of the president in fighting the "War on Terr’r".

Secondly, I am authorizing Congress, in conjunction with the National Security Agency, to launch an investigation into the state of democracy around the world, and I’m appointing Vice President Cheney to spearhead this effort. "If you’re not with us, you’re against us". We will be probing all foreign governments to determine whether or not they truly are our friends, or if they’re in the camp of our enemies. This silly infighting and bickering among our allies around the world has got to stop. It’s unproductive. It’s harming our image in various backwater countries. How are we going to encourage them to move in the direction of democracy when we can’t agree on anything?

When I say "encourage" I mean encourage by any and all means necessary to promote the establishment of healthy, free societies all over the world. Listen, our best defense is to help other nations of the world, the people of these other nations, see and experience the benefits of living in a democratic society. We’re in a battle for the hearts and minds of oppressed people all over the world. If we let them have a taste of the same freedoms we have there will be no reason for them to want to destroy us. That’s why we went into Iraq. And Afghanistan. The people of those countries were living under brutal regimes and they were crying out for freedom. We gave them what they wanted. And they love us for it.

Next, we need Social Security reform. I spoke to you briefly, last year at this time, but for some reason, Congress has failed to accept my proposal. It is imperative that Congress act to change the way Social Security is administered. We have a huge shortfall coming, and I want to head it off before it becomes an emergency. We simply don’t have enough money to fulfill our obligations to aging Americans. We need to increase the retirement age to 72 or even 75 to allow Americans to continue to put money into their retirement.

A healthy, average American can expect to live, on average, about 77 years. So, extending the retirement age to 75 should not pose an undue hardship on any American worker.

We need to allow American workers to establish private retirement accounts in the stocks and bonds market. That is an idea that makes sense. It’s good for the people. It’s good for American business. Good for American business means it’s good for our economy. And good for our economy means it can help ease these outrageous budget deficits we are facing. Privatization of Social Security should be one of Congress’ primary focuses this year.

Lastly, I am calling a special emergency session of Congress to begin immediately in the morning. We are going to, together, hammer out a new direction for this country… a new Constitutional Congress if you will. My chief of staff will have a preliminary version of this new sacred document delivered to your offices before 7:00 a.m. I want an amendment to protect marriage. I want better limits on frivolous lawsuits. I want authority granted to the president to pursue any and all means to defeat the terr’rists who want to destroy this country. I want Congress to dispense with these multiple, baseless investigations and probes that are costing hard working Americans’ tax dollars. With those tax dollars free, we can direct more funds to defeating the terr’rists. I want the "New Patriot Act" passed without hesitation. I want certain provisions—specifically those dealing with the military recruiters and sharing of information—of the "No Child Left Behind Act" extended. Only when all these issues and others that you will see in the document tomorrow have been addressed will we equipped to defeat the terr’rists and win this war.

I am your president and I am asking you to trust me. I know what is best for the American people.

State of the Union, 2011

January 25, 2011

Or: I’m sure you think you understood what you thought you heard me say, but I’m not at all certain that what you think you heard and believe that you understand is actually what I said and not at all what I meant.

Senators, Congressional Representatives, distinguished guests, and those of you that are Republicans; let me welcome you to these hallowed chambers tonight for, what I hope, will mark the beginning of the end of the partisan politics that originated under my predecessor and continue even to this day.

Tonight, I would like to present to you, at least part of my vision for the coming year. I can only wish that I had more time to present my whole vision to you, but the First Lady and I have already made dinner reservations for about 48 and a half minutes from now. One of the coolest things about being President is that I can take about 47 of those 48 and one-half minutes to converse with you, and still make my dinner date what with Marine 1 on 24 hour stand-by. I have to tell you&#8230 that’s really cool!

Can’t keep the First Lady waiting, now, can we?

So, let’s begin. We are two years into, at least, a four and hopefully an eight, year project. We have begun with baby steps, but there is still much to be done. We are in the middle of an economic slump; there is not enough cash to go around, not enough to pay the bills.

Anyone who has listened to me knows that I will not—repeat; WILL NOT—ever endorse a tax hike on those of you who work hard for a living; those of you who have not yet made enough to be considered rich.

But you also know, that I think there comes a point when, well, to be blunt, when I think you have made enough money, when your income is sufficient enough to support a higher tax bracket, and thus assist us in providing for the underprivileged and those less fortunate that walk amongst us each and every day.

Now, I know that sometimes, it is hard for people that are scared or confused, or misinformed to know where that point of making enough money is. That’s what we’re here for. We can help you realize when “enough is enough”.

Corporate greed, embodied so well by my predecessor’s second-in-command, has run amok. You executives that make hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions of dollars a year while your employees make minimum wage should be ashamed of yourselves. Sometimes, even after a date and a concert and some hoops and desert, I can’t sleep at night knowing that some people in this country go to bed hungry while others, because of their station, because of their position, because of their wealth, because of their greed, don’t know what it’s like to ever miss a gourmet meal. I ask you, is this fair?

Do you think that’s what the Founding Fathers meant when in the Articles of Confederation they guaranteed that the Federal Government would grant us those inalienable rights of life, liberty and happiness?

No they didn’t. And I am standing here before you tonight to help us gain some insight into their vision; to help get this country back on track and heading in the right direction, and bring a little slice of that happiness pie to all the people in this country and the world we live in.

We are a wasteful country. We consume more—and throw away more—than any other country in the world. We have major polluters, industries, that are contributing more than their fair share of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and significantly adding to the problem of global climate change.

Our coal mining, and oil drilling industries are the primary culprits of these crimes and I am authorizing my EPA Director, Ms. Lisa Jackson, and her agents to begin levying and collecting heavy fines on those industries to force them to clean up their act and to comply with the UN recommendations on carbon footprints for developed countries.

Monies collected over the next several years will go to the Chevy Volt plant in Kansas to help finance doubling the amount of production this year, and next year. I look forward to the day when every car on our streets is electric and not the old, antiquated fossil-fuel guzzler of today.

We have a long way to go. We have infrastructure to build and community planning to do to make our streets ready and friendlier for these innovative, viable vehicles.

I know my critics will trot out all their nay-saying, silly arguments about costs and deficits and they’ll throw their neanderthal experts up on some of what passes for news stations in this country and they’ll try to convince you that global climate change is not real and has no merit. But, I’m here to tell you that the climate does change every day and from city to city and country to country. Look for yourself and you can see. You don’t need experts to tell you that. Snow, heat, rain, they’re all part of global climate change.

Now, first and foremost on the minds of most Americans though, is jobs. We need jobs. But more than that, we need a centralized repository—sorry, that’s just a big word that means storage facility, like a warehouse—a central database that houses jobs waiting to be filled and those looking to fill them.

We’ve been working on this like crazy people, up late, behind the scenes and in long meetings with select business experts. We talked to union leaders, environmentalists, government agency directors and a couple of unemployed people. From those discussions, we’ve come up with a few ideas.

Starting tomorrow, on our website,, we will begin making a netID card available. $5.00 will get you a card that stores all of your information: medical, insurance, social security, thumbprint and an ongoing synopsis of your current status in life. You will simply put the number on your card into a form, and our database will do the rest, matching you with the perfect opportunities for you.

If we could get 100% participation in this program, we could raise 1.5 billion dollars to throw at education in this country. Just think of what we could do to our kids, in terms of education that is, if we had an additional 1 billion dollars for teacher salaries and their unions. I’m excited just for the potential and I think you should be too as this program begins to roll out.

In addition, I am prepared to do everything in my administration’s power to increase jobs in this country.

Starting tomorrow, any of you who wish to work on some of our shovel ready projects can log onto, get your netID card, and begin your free training toward a better career.

In two years, by benefit of your education, you will be better prepared to find a job in our economy that should be in full swing again by then. All at no expense to you.

I see my time is running short, so let me close by saying this. I have visited every single one of the 57 states and I sense everywhere the seeds of hope and change that we planted a couple of years ago starting to bear fruit. Trust me, and my administration when we tell you we are on the verge of reaping the harvest of those once dormant, now germinating seeds. The harvest is upon us.

Thank you, and good night. No questions tonight folks. Can’t keep the First Lady in waiting, now, can we?