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Atomic Whispers: Blind Gossip Items from the Periodic Table of the Elements

December 15, 2011

Which noble gas likes to prance around the house in sexy, lacy lingerie while his wife is away on business? We’re sure we don’t know—though maybe our local dollar store should change their sign to read “she-lium balloons.”

Rumor has it that a certain aging precious metal has secretly been maintaining its honey-colored youth with extensive plastic surgery. However, as strict adherents to the golden rule, we find it unseemly to speculate further.

“Ho” may just be the symbol for holmium, or it might describe the way one rare earth was behaving after six drinks too many at fluorine’s annual holiday party. Either one. Or both.

Speed it up, we say! What will it take to get the lead out? Of the closet? If that happens to be where you store your lead? Just saying.

Fresh from a messy divorce, this highly reactive—or is it just randy?—gas has been celebrating his newfound freedom by combining with anything that isn’t nailed down. Which one, you ask?  “One” might also refer to an atomic number. Might. Let’s just say that your water may not be as “clean” as you think. Really. If I were you, I’d start making ice cubes out of Purell.

Several actinides have been grumbling that one of their own has a severe problem with body odor. “P.U.,” they say. Or, alternately, “Pu.” Then they choke from the stench. Don’t bother looking it up. It’s the abbreviation for plutonium, which is an element, and therefore cannot sue. Even sulfur is holding its nose.

How does one statuesque post-transition metal manage to maintain a svelte atomic weight of 114.818—very close to, or exactly, that of indium? Concerned galpals say that her self-esteem is lower than her melting point, and she’s purging neutrons after every meal in a desperate attempt to land a man. Come on, gurl—you’re better than that, and any man who won’t love you for what you are doesn’t deserve you, or should probably date actual women rather than semiconductors.

Bismuth is “Bi.” Make of that what you will.

If polonium, oxygen, and phosphorous could somehow magically combine into a new molecule, the symbol would be “PoOP.” This isn’t gossip, it just makes me snicker, even though I am an adult. Also: Iron + Carbon + Aluminum = FeCAl.

Guess it’s easy to get hooked on prescription meds when you’re a mood-altering drug—right, unnamed alkali metal? Of course, we say this purely hypothetically. [Pointing at lithium, rotating finger around ear, and silently mouthing the word “bipolar.”]

Oh, you naughty silvery-white devil. Silicon may have told you that her atomic number was 21, but it’s really 14. It’s gonna take some quicksilver moves to convince the judge not to throw your pervy old ass into prison, where you’ll have plenty of time to remain liquid at room temperature. And make license plates.

Shoplift much, praseodymium? Oops. Too obvious. Fortunately, no one even knows what you are.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2011 9:31 am

    I just wish there was some way to keep the children from being exposed to those trashy science journals in the grocery store checkout line.

    • December 27, 2011 10:08 pm

      That reminds me of when I was twelve and my mom caught me in the bathroom with a copy of Discover.

  2. December 16, 2011 10:28 am

    I had to work way too hard for this post. I called my old, high school chemistry teacher, Mr. West, for help, but it turns out he’s dead. So I had to consult Wikipedia, and you never know if that info is good. Now my brain hurts and I’m all jittery. I’m going to Li down.

    • December 27, 2011 10:09 pm

      The Periodic Table at Wikipedia is an actual piece of furniture.

  3. December 16, 2011 5:06 pm

    Some people are so judgmental and condescending. They have a lot of brass in my opinion.

  4. December 18, 2011 5:38 am

    And just when I was sure there was no humor in science… 😉

    • December 27, 2011 10:14 pm

      You’ve clearly never partied with a particle physicist.

  5. December 18, 2011 7:18 pm

    Now I know what Bismuth meant when it said my sister was way better at doing it than I was.

  6. December 18, 2011 8:40 pm

    [raises hand] Umm Professor Japey?

    Would the Kardashians be classified as noxious gas compounds or [soulless] valence shells?

    • December 27, 2011 10:17 pm

      I have no idea. When it comes to TV families, I’m strictly Partridge and Addams.

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