Earlier this month the scientific world's bespectacled anorak gang, aka the Mensa Morons, with more degrees than a thermometer and less common sense that a business of lemmings, posed, quaffing firkins of champagne and grinning like Cheshire cats.
The most powerful atom smasher to be built since the destruction of Atlantis had been switched on to global acclaim and the anoraks were ready to begin experiments that could unlock many of the enduring mysteries of the Universe: beginning with such enigmatic conundrums as to why the chicken crossed the road, how long is a piece of string, who killed Cock Robin and why UK council tax is so fucking high.
Collective optimism often being a harbinger of Doom, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) created the wrong sort of big bang last weekend, causing a fault so serious that CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, announced last night that the particle accelerator would have to be shut down until next spring for repairs.
CERN director-general Ms. Candida Twatrot (NVQ 1 Particle Physics) informed reporters at last night's press conference "It's partly our own fault for employing the blokes from Scrapheap Challenge to help out with the LHC's last minute assembly and buying second-hand superconducting magnets from a car boot sale in Croydon."
Preliminary investigations into the incident, in which huge quantities of helium and Bird's custard leaked from the LHC's cooling system, was put down to the sub-standard copper piping supplied by B & Q and due employing Polish plumbers on a daily cash in hand basis.
Ronnie Pickersgill, a former Scunthorpe wheelbarrow mechanic now acting as CERN's head of advanced guesswork, advised media reporters that beams of protons travelling around the collider's 17-mile (27km) ring at 99.9999991 per cent of the speed of light had caused the main helium / custard reservoirs to overheat, resulting in the failure of a ten meter stretch of superconducter magnets.
Pickersgill further elaborated "In my opinion the protons are going far too fast for safe operations. People tend to forget the LHC's main ring is constructed out of half inch MDF, not the rumoured laminated titanium alloys, and protons travelling around the inside at 185,362 miles per second have a tendency to knock the shit out of it."
"With the helium / custard reservoirs boiling over, the MDF caught fire and what we scientific types call a 'massive quench' occurred", Pickersgill explained.
When asked by the puzzled media to put the term 'massive quench' into everyday layman's language he replied "A right major fuck-up."