TO: FILE MEMO
FROM: Wm. E. Allendorf
DATE: June 25, 1984
RE: Portable Hole Acquisition, Naked Singularities
The day I discovered the Portable Hole was a truly momentous
occasion. It was during the Gerbil's mating season, and I had
spent another night lying awake listening to the little rodents
ravage each other. In the morning, I swore that I had had
enough, so I packed a few things in a shopping bag and headed
down into Northside for provisions; I would sleep outdoors until
the gerbils had had enough.
I searched all the surplus stores for a decent pack and a
bedroll. World War II vintage Hick's packs were on sale at one
place. Patton had his tank. Ike had his jacket, and General Hicks
must have liked designing backpacks. At any rate, it was a nice
rucksack with three outboard pockets.
"How much?" I asked the lady.
"Seventeen ninety-five," she replied. "But you don't want that."
"They don't come with a frame, Honey. Now we also have these
adorable Alice packs. . ."
Something about the old canvas Hicks pack caught my attention, so
I perservered until the lady gave in and finally let me have it.
She threw in a communications frame for a couple of bucks--not
very comfortable, but still in my price range. As if I now owed
her a favor for giving in on the pack, she proceeded to hound me
about a fresh shipment of one-owner G.I. socks, and some O.D.
fish-net undershirts. Leaving a stack of leaflets for the Ashram
on the counter next to the survival whistles, I thanked her for
her kind attention, paid cash and left to catch the bus for home.
Back at Le Trou Nouveau, I was met with the next installment of
gerbil lust. After passing out around sunrise and sleeping most
of the day, the bulls were getting back into the swing.
I had no sooner set foot in the place when Hemsath, the young
bull decided he wanted a piece of Old Three-Legs' favorite
squeeze, Hari. Old Three-Legs was caught napping, so Hemsath was
able to get a good poke into her before the old bruiser woke up
and nailed Hemsath a good one right behind the left ear.
That got Hemsath off the doe, but while those two were rolling
around biting each other to shreads, Baby Huey, Hari's kid from
the fall litter, ran up and got a piece of mom. That left Huey's
sister, Georgette, open for a quickie from Hemsath, who had
managed to shake Three-Legs and was not about to go away from the
fight without some gerbil poon.
DWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEB!!! I hit them with a blast from my little
handheld freon air horn. Everyone scrambled for their respective
nests except Huey, who had managed to get himself stuck inside
his own mother. They rolled over and over in the pine shavings
until Huey was able to rip himself out and head out for the back
I had enough of this nonsense. I sank back into my big easy-chair
and began thinking how I was going to pack for the trip. Maybe I
dozed off, I really don't remember.
The next thing I knew, I felt a tugging on my right side pocket.
I didn't pay much attention at first, but the tugging grew
harder. When I looked down, I saw the little air horn being
pulled from my pocket and dragged into the chair by a unseen
Now in case you don't read Carl Sagan Comics, you have to
understand that black holes are places where matter gets so
dense, everything for miles around gets sucked in. What they
don't tell you in CSC is that around the time of the Big Bang,
there were conditions conduscive to creating Black Holes that are
smaller than a star--maybe just a few millimeters. These are
called Mini Black Holes, or Naked Singularities. The latter name
comes from the fact that if these Black Holes existed, they would
probably lack the big black gaping maw (Event Horizon) that we
think of as a Black Hole. Most cosmologists don't like the idea
of Black Holes floating around without anything appreciable that
sets them off from any other cosmic pimple, so in a fit of
blue-nosed astro-politicking they passed a "Law of Cosmic
"All Naked Singularities must be clothed behind an Event
They never told the Naked Singularities.
Now we at the Ashram have made a study of Naked Singularities,
and discovered them to be fascinating phenomena. They are
responsible for everything from Jogger's burnout to the 1973 Oil
Shortage. Some people may question how one phenomena can cause
hamburger patties to be attracted to floors and then turn around
and provide the irresistable force that causes Frisbees to fly
Naked Singularities are all about us, but they are particularly
attracted to road grime. They are also attracted to people who
have road grime on them--old hippies, truckers, transients, and
travelling salesmen. The CB craze was a Naked
Singularity-related phenomena. Southern California, with all its
freeways is another. Fnord. So is the fact that hamburgers seek
the floor, because road people bring naked singularities in from
the road and they are deposited on the floor. It seems that it
is the floor sucking your hamburger to its doom, but it's the
invisible Mini Black Holes that cause this.
So there I was watching a freon air horn getting sucked into
oblivion by a renegade black hole in my easy chair. I tore out
the cushion and reached for it, but it was too late. All I could
hear was the air horn honking, but as though it was from a long
way off and receding rapidly
Great scientific discoveries are often the product of
serendipity, for as I watched, I realized that something
fascinating was happening. The freon in the horn had gotten the
little singularity stoned out of its little cosmological gourd.
Soon it was coughing all sorts odd debris back out of the chair:
lint, ring tabs, $5.50 in assorted international coinage, and a
complete set of Coke bottlecaps with the 1964 Cleveland Browns
printed on the liner
That's when I got the idea. I fished around with a set of
tweezers and got the singularity into the bottom of the Hick's
pack. Using a can of freon I was able to set up a primitive LIFO
(Last In First Out) filing arrangement: Put something into the
pack, and the little singularity would scarf it up. Spritz a
little freon into the pack, and the hole would spit it out again.
I soon had the entire contents of the Ashram loaded into the new
Portable Hole. It was time to leave.
I had to remove most of what I put in because, though the little
hole was great at compacting volume, the original mass was
retained. After my initial enthusiasm, I repacked the hole with
just a few sofa pillows, the contents of the refrigerator, and a
couple of blankets. Pausing to fill the Gerbil's water and food,
I set off in search of adventure, the Portable Hole on my back,
the wind in my face, and the blessings of the Great Nurn causing
my spirit to sing.