I was riding in the elevator at work, as I’m wont to do several times a day, several days a week, a bunch of weeks a month and a heap of times a year. However, this time I caught an interesting headline displayed on the Elevator News Network (ENN) screen on my way down.

The ENN headline declared that Scientists Are Close To Discovering The Fifth Force Of Nature.

Wow! I caught this announcement between the third and second floors, so by the time I readied my smartphone (“smart” being a misnomer) to snap a pic of this pronouncement the ENN screen cycled away to some sort of celebrity news, and the elevator doors opened to expose annoyed office employees wondering just what I was up to and why I wasn’t vacating the elevator. I did hastily leave and later found out, to my chagrin, that all of my rushed photos were too blurry to document this new discovery.

“No matter,” I told myself. “I can still submit this as suitable subject matter for alastic.ca.”

So here goes.

To recap – the four currently known forces of nature are listed below, in order of my most favourite to my least favourite, along with some personal commentary.

1. GRAVITY
Isaac Newton was so annoyed that an apple conked him on the head that he shook his fist towards the Heavens and vowed revenge. Out of spite, he created a new mathematics to imprison Heavenly bodies, forcing all matter to do his will, according to the laws he codified. Predictability in terms of rest and motion were the fruits (apples?) of his revenge. Of course that upstart Albert Einstein had his own interpretation of Newton’s laws of gravity, but I suspect he was just being a party pooper.

Apple
Newton’s enemy

2. STRONG NUCLEAR
I put this as my number two because it has such a cool title. I mean it’s no GRAVITY, doesn’t have that GRAVITAS, but it’s STRONG and it’s NUCLEAR. Evidently this force has something to do with holding the particles of an atom’s nucleus together, which is good. Holding matter together really matters. It keeps wine in my glass. What if this weren’t the case? I imagine it’d be like that first X-Men movie where that Senator Kelly guy, who tried to pass that “Mutant Registration Act” and is given some sort of mutant medicine and ends up just having all his molecules get all unbounded. I’m chalking that up to the breakdown of his personal Strong Nuclear Force. Just sayin’.

Wine
Strong nuclear wine

3. ELECTROMAGNETIC
ZAP! Although coming in at number three, the electromagnetic force is still a cool force. after all, it combines the three elements essential to my wife’s holiday magnet collection: magnetism, which sticks her magnets to the fridge; light, so everybody can see this cool collection; and electricity to power the fridge in the first place, otherwise why have this giant white behemoth in our kitchen at all?

Magnets
Magnetism… just this side of magic.

4. WEAK NUCLEAR
I admit I was at first prejudiced against this force because of its title, yet I did hope that it wasn’t bullied by all the other forces of nature. However, I’ve since learned that this force is in actually a bully in itself: it’s responsible for radioactive decay. I hope this is not a non sequitur, but I can’t help but be reminded of the C.H.U.D., who were monsters created in part through radiation. I’ll need to do a bit more thinking about this force of nature.

CHUD
It could happen.

5. WHAT IS THIS NEW FIFTH FORCE OF NATURE?
According to scientists, this fifth force could explain such concepts as dark matter blah blah blah. However, if it pleases my readers, might I posit my own candidates for this fifth force?

a) THE STRONG MONETARY REPELLENT
The force responsible for trapping your friend in the restroom when the bar bill arrives.

b) THE DELAYED MAXIMIZING EMBARRASSMENT CONUNDRUM
Awkward things that happen to you occur only in one of two equal ways — when total strangers are witness, or when people of direct authority to you are present. These are not mutually exclusive.

c) THE AVIAN TARGETING PRINCIPLE
Bird Poop being scientifically attracted to new clothing and/or good-hair days.

d) THE AMBIGUOUS ENDING SYNDROME
The state that the Universe decides a TV series is not important enough to reach its episodic conclusion and is thus cancelled, leaving the characters and plotlines in limbo for eternity.

e) THE BLOG PARADOX
The force behind the decision to continue writing a long blog post repelling the equal force to cut one’s losses and end the blog post immediately.