Friday, 11 July 2008

The Imaginary Peer Review: An Empirical Enquiry into Sleeping with Your Mum by Professor Gerald P. Higginbotham

An Empirical Enquiry into Sleeping with Your Mum by Professor Gerald P. Higginbotham

Six years ago, Professor Gerald P. Higginbotham published the now famous paper, The Effect of Lepton Dispersal on T-Wave Synthesis Cromulation. Hailed for its erudite thought, commonsense ideas and brevity, the paper won the highly coveted A. M. Kenyon Award for Excellence in Scientific Writing. Professor Higginbotham’s subsequent paper, Quantum Mists Versus Neumann Clouds: A Neurophysiological Approach to the Discussion, was less well received, and the eminent scholar’s arguments were roundly dismissed by the Physical Science establishment. Disappearing from the scientific stage for several years, Professor Higginbotham has sensationally returned with a new paper and a new direction for his studies. An Empirical Enquiry into Sleeping with Your Mum shows Higginbotham at his most inventive, yet, conversely, his most infuriatingly obtuse.

Higginbotham begins with a brief discussion of the few papers already existing in this burgeoning field. J. H. Simcoe’s 1996 essay, The Chronic Ill Health of Schrödinger’s Cat: How it Could Improve by Sleeping with Sandra Watkins, is covered, as is the little known The Effects of Polonium on the Simultaneous Orgasm by Marie and Pierre Curie. This section is insubstantial, yet works well as a prelude to the experiment to come. The author also uses the introduction to detail some of the existing information and assumptions relating to Your Mum, namely that she is ‘well easy’, ‘a bit rough’ and ‘gagging for it’. Here, Higginbotham shows his infuriating lack of respect for his audience by neglecting to inform us of his sources. I have searched and searched, but I have been unable to find any evidence to confirm his assertions.

In the methodology section of the paper, Higginbotham lets himself down with some poorly-outlined procedures for the experiment. I will quote a pertinent section:

“Persuading Your Mum to sleep with me was particularly easy, easier than I
expected. I intended to buy her some drinks but she didn’t even need them. She
was incredibly eager to take me back to her apartment, where I boffed her, and I
boffed her good. Oh yeah.”

What drinks did Higginbotham intend to buy Your Mum? Where was her apartment? Alas, these details are lost to the ages, all due to Higginbotham’s lack of presence of mind to tell us.

But it is in Higginbotham’s analysis where he lets himself down the most. They don’t follow on from his experimental results, and they are written in a style that does not befit a scientific investigation of this sort. Is Your Mum really as “loose” and “crap in bed” as the good Professor asserts? How do these facts follow on from the details offered in his results section? He makes no mention of “looseness” in the results. “Dryness,” “Number of bags over the head to make her palatable” and “stench” all appear in different tables and graphs in the results section, but are not referred to again. How they related to the overall conclusions is not elucidated.

One of Higginbotham's many graphs. From this he concludes that Your Mum is both maximally stinky and promiscuous. His methods for arriving at this information are not given.

I can’t see An Empirical Enquiry into Sleeping with Your Mum setting the scientific world on fire, mostly because Professor Higginbotham seems to have forgotten everything he learned in university. It is the kind of paper one might expect from an ill-educated schoolchild, certainly not from an award-winning scientific genius. Certainly, more sleeping with Your Mum is required before we are going to be able to say anything concrete on this subject.

In closing, however, I can say with certainty that Higginbotham’s Mum is a very crap lay, as I have had her several times. I even had her last night. She loved it.


Elizabeth McQuern said...

This is funny as hell.

Sorry I am finishing work/running out the door and can't comment further, but I at least wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this.

Mo said...

"A very crap lay."


*catch breath*


Oh, man. That was awesome.

Falwless said...

The British lilt with which you dissect this subject makes it somehow classy. If someone told me they slept with my "mum," I can't say I'd be all that angry. I'd more likely reply, "Cheerio, good fella, cheerio."

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Elizabeth: Many thanks for your comment! I'm glad you enjoyed it. This post was several years in the making.

Melissa: I'm glad you caught your breath, I would have been worried otherwise. Many thankings!

Falwless: It's true, here in North America my accent means I can't go out and fight on a Friday night any more. I go up to a stranger in a bar, threaten them, insult them and say all sorts of things, but they end up buying me drinks and asking me to say "tomato". It's terrible.