Emeritus Professor of Herbalism and Cosmology at the University of Upper Poppleton, Andrew Knowlman, called a surprise press conference yesterday, making another important announcement. A junior reporter from the Yorkshire Post was the only one of five hundred invited journalists in attendance, and was the first to break the news.
‘About 3 o’clock last Sunday morning, there was a loud bang, almost a big bang, and it woke me up. It was not a normal sound, so I phoned my colleagues at the Green Hammerton Deep Space Sonic Observatory’, explained the professor. ‘They confirmed my suspicion that this was the sound of a black hole exploding at the dawn of thyme. I was so excited about it, that I was unable to sleep for the rest of the night.’
Suzanne B. Finkelheimer of the NASA Distant Space Observatory in New Mexico said, ‘These preposterous claims are a disservice to astronomy, and I would like to see the so-called professor banned.’
Professor Knowlman’s wife commented, ‘Last night, about 3am, a bookshelf fell down on the wooden floor of the study upstairs, and our bedroom is directly below it. There was one hell of a racket. Andrew has always been rubbish at DIY, and I just thought, here we go again.’
Doctor Susie Ramsbottom, Theoretical Deep Space Physics Lead at the Green Hammerton Observatory explained, ‘We know that sound travels at 331m/s or 741mph, that it takes about three hours from Leeds-Bradford Airport to Corfu and that the black hole where thyme started is 19 trillion light years away. Putting that information into our computer model, we can categorically confirm that the big bang heard by Professor Knowlman emanated from the TCM , or Thyme Creation Moment.’
Asked to describe the sound and how long it lasted, Professor Knowlman recalled that it was as if a shelf full of books had fallen on a wooden floor.
Meanwhile, it has been 5 weeks since A Brief History of Thyme was published, and it has sold three copies. Unfortunately, one person took it back to Waterstones, after complaining that it was ‘unintelligible drivel written by a money making scab.’
Writing in the Harvard Journal of Interplanetary Cosmology, Visiting John D. Hopkins Professor of Mediterranean Herbs, Markus von Brockenheim, commented that the theories in Professor Knowlman’s book are ‘groundbreaking and change the way we think about herbal evolution.’ He has since been fired for stealing $500 from the college refectory.