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Eclipse Won't Happen

Scientist admits he screwed up on calculations

2017-0820 Sunday

2017-0820 Sunday

By JACQUES NECHQUES. Recommended number of wine glasses before reading this piece:   4WG




tWilson2he scientist who calculated the timing and place of the total solar eclipse, scheduled for tomorrow across a wide swath of the United States, brazenly and shamefully announced this morning that his arithmetic was woefully off. "There's not going to be an eclipse; not on Monday; not across the U.S.; not anywhere," said Dr. Cooper Wilson from his home/office above his garage in Schenectady, N.Y.

"It all has to do with the azimuth," he said. "I got the azimuth all wrong."

Reaction across the country was swift, yet mixed. NASA released a statement saying they were very disappointed in Wilson's error. They also threatened to recall Dr. Wilson's Secret Outerspace Decoding Ring, a prestigious collector's item that only the most hailed scientists around the country can receive (provided they send in $5 plus two cereal box tops). "We're also reevaluating our process for vetting information when it comes in to us," the NASA statement said. 

In Washington, President Trump insisted he'd hold the eclipse as planned. The President tweeted Sunday morning, "Eclipse will go on. Not cancelling just because some liberal bafoon [sic], most likely educated in a  public school, couldn't get his math right." An hour later the President tweeted, "The eclipse is going to be wonderful. More wonderful than any eclipse you've ever seen. We're going to enjoy a really, really fantastic eclipse."

The White House later issued a statement: "Just to clarify, if the eclipse doesn't happen, Congress will be held accountable."

In Mystique, WY, eclipse watchers were upset. "We drove all the way here from Little Rock, and now, no eclipse? That really sucks," said Albert Higgins. Higgins brought his family up to Wyoming to spend the long weekend, in anticipation of the eclipse tomorrow. "I hope my boss will understand," Higgins said. "All along, I told him I'd be gone from work for a few days, you know. Now, what's my excuse?"

Ray2Campers and revelers in the central Oregon town of Prineville seemed to be more understanding of the mixup. "Holy hell, there have to be 50,000 people camped out here in this field," Ray Barker of Dufur, Oregon said. "We've been partying and dancing for two days now. We're not going to let a little sunshine spoil this fun. Heck, I still have six cases of beer in the RV. Those cases don't care if the sun gets dark for a few minutes or not. They need drinked! We're stayin' put."

In Newport, Oregon, the first place in the U.S. that was supposed to see the eclipse, there was visible anger. "Why the hell did he not find this mistake earlier? Why didn't someone else figure this out?" Mona Simpson, a waitress in the town's Western Diner said. "I've been puttin' up with out-of-towners since Thursday, and I gotta tell ya, their [sic] a pain in the ass!" Even though the increased traffic was forcing her to put in quite a bit of overtime, Simpson said her overall tips were down. "Minnesotans are the worst," she sneered. "I told the hostess not to seat any Minnesotans in my area. They likely steal all the packaged sugar and butter, then just up and leave without leaving a tip at all. Oh, and those Canadians are just as bad. I had one table leave me a quarter for all my efforts–and yeah, a CANADIAN quarter at that. Maybe it's the cold weather up there, but the Northerners are tighter with their money than a pair of dogs in heat."

Asked for clarification, Simpson just shrugged her shoulders and mumbled something about having get back to work.

In a FaceTime interview with The RASH today, Dr. Wilson admitted the reason for his delay in revealing the truth about his error. "It was just a simple matter of shame. I didn't want to admit the mistake–not after seeing how everybody and their dog was making plans for the big blackout. And to be honest, I've applied to become a Fellow at the Mid-New York Community College Planetarium. I guess now... THAT'S just not gonna happen. What reputable organization, like MNYCC, would want some old fart on their faculty who can't even get his tangential projections of the moon's transit right?"






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