Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows, part 3

"Look," he [Feynman] said. "You've found food."

There was a big buffet in the Athenaeum courtyard. There seemed to be a wedding reception going on. We stopped and gazed at the crowd in their elegant dresses, suits, and ties.

"Yeah, but unfortunately we're not invited."

"I see you are an expert in etiquette."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, if you are not invited, does it mean you aren't welcome?"

I shrugged. "I usually assume that."

"Then I guess you aren't that hungry."

I thought about it for a moment.

"Well, we're not exactly dressed for it." He had on a dress shirt and slacks. I was clad in shorts and a T-shirt.

"Of curse we aren't. What scientist goes to work looking like he's dressed for a wedding? Well, other than Murray [Gell-Man]." He laughed.


At first, no one seemed to pay much attention to us, but then a man in a tuxedo came up behind us in line.

"Bride's side or groom's?" the man asked.

"Neither," said Feynman...."We represent the physics department."

-- Richard Feynman and Leonard Mlodinow, as quoted/(semi)remembered by Leonard Mlodinow in Feynman's Rainbow, Warner Books, 2003, pp 79-80.

("Semi-remembered", because the author warned in Ch.1 that some (non-italicized) scenes in the book were condensed, fictionalized, etc.)

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