Conservation of Fat in the Universe
Wells’s Theory of Conservation of Fat in the Universe (also known as Wells’s Corollaries to the Laws of Thermodynamics)
In the 17th century, Newton proposed his Third Law of Motion:
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
In the 19th century, when Professor Claxton was a young man, others proposed the First Law of Thermodynamics (simplified):
The amount of energy in the universe is constant.
In the 20th century, Einstein tweaked these laws a bit by establishing that Mass and Energy are more or less the same thing, in his famous equation:
E = mc 2
Energy = m (Mass) [times] c (speed of light) 2 (squared)
That tells us that a little Mass becomes a lot of Energy whenever it accelerates to the speed of light squared (about 449,726,663,091,323,641 mph or 450 quadrillion mph). That conversion apparently happens, for example, in the sun, in atomic bombs and occasionally in the bowels of elderly males.
The reverse must also be true: Energy converts into Mass. All you have to do is slow down Energy below the speed of light squared and you have regular old Mass.
Well, about the time I turned 50 I felt myself slowing down a bit and, understandably, accumulating some Mass. That gave me time to do some research. And it involved, as research usually does, a lot of sitting around. It required some hard thinking, which involved more sitting around. It wasn’t long before I noticed that I had accumulated even more Mass. I also noticed that I didn't have nearly the Energy I used to have. Clearly, my Energy was fast becoming Mass.
Late one night while sitting around doing my research, I saw an infomercial that revealed a secret known only to vendors of diet programs: Fat is simply stored Energy. That bombshell led to my first Eureka moment and eventually to what is now widely known as Wells's First Law of Fat:
F = mc < squared.
Simply put, Fat Happens. It happens whenever we human beings aren't moving 450 quadrillion miles per hour. For me at least that is most of the time.
Then, remembering that the First Law of Thermodynamics holds that there is a constant amount of energy in the universe, I proposed what is now known as Wells's Second Law of Fat (also known as Wells's Corollary to the First Law of Thermodynamics):
THERE IS A CONSTANT AMOUNT OF FAT IN THE UNIVERSE.
Now, that rule is not simply a theoretical proposition, having no practical effect on puny human lives like, say, the Rule in Shelley's Case. The important practical effect of Wells's Corollary is that:
If you lose mass (usually fat), someone else must gain it.
If you gain mass (usually fat), someone else must lose it.
But that is not all. Logic tells us that on those occasions when you accelerate yourself to 450 quadrillion mph (as when you hear your dean asking for a committee volunteer) those little fat globules are converted to energy and leave your body, and the globules will then slow, reform and glom onto the nearest person who is not moving at the speed of light squared.
Like body odor and bad breath, this has moral and social implications. By losing fat, you must accept some responsibility for your neighbor's discomfiting fat gain. Does that mean you shouldn't lose it? No. But you should take care with those with whom you associate when you are in a losing mode. You are morally responsible for their having to buy new clothes.
Of course, the good news is that when your close friends are gaining weight, it is easier for you to lose it. If you really want to lose weight, you might want to move to the South. A disproportionate number of folks down here are, not to put too fine a point on it, "pudgy."
This observation also helps to solve a lot of weight-loss mysteries in the world. Not the least among them is why those really skinny guys in grocery stores are always pushing carts for very large women (and vice-versa) and why Richard Simmons, who was always helping others lose weight, seemed to grow pudgier each year.