Our science reporter from U-R-FKD magazine found Prof. Hawking in his study, hard at work at his computer. Our reporter, Toto Bohr, asked him some searching questions. Dr. Toto is no amateur in the field of scientific exploration. He is the man who invented the aquatic mousetrap, currently selling well in Malaysia.
Hawking replied in his usual Dalek accent for which he is famous.
B. So what is a black hole, Professor Hawking?
H. A region in time-space where the gravity field is so intense that nothing can escape... not even light. A collapsed star.
B. Why am I thinking of George Bush?
H. I cannot say what you are thinking. My work on telepathy is in its infancy. Only the future will tell.
B. And if I was to fall into a black hole?
H. You would re-emerge in another universe.
B. Why am I thinking of George Bush again?
H. As I said....
B. Yes, I know. What if I fell into a black hole without any insurance? Can I get accident insurance for black holes? Or would I have to supply a time-traveler's license and a character reference from David Icke?
H. I am not sure. But in another universe you would not be worrying about insurance.
B. How do you know? I might arrive there with a pocketful of dollars that nobody will accept... but that would not be my main concern. My main concern would be where exactly in the alternative universe I might end up... and if it had room service. I may need to change my pants.
H. It may not have any rooms either. But, you never can tell.
B. What if I arrive in the alternative universe and fall into another black hole as soon as I arrive?
H. Then you would be in another alternative universe.
B. But how could I tell them apart? Can I take my camera? Would I be allowed to take luggage into a black hole? How about a small carrier bag?
B. Could I get back out of a black hole and maybe find another one and hopefully get back into my own universe? And what if I took a wrong turn somewhere and landed on friggin' Pluto, or in a hole of George Bush's private golf course? I am not ruling this out because traveling at great speeds can result in rapid height loss. I mean, I might be too late to use my EU referendum vote and what then would become of Europe? And how would I make it back to earth from Pluto if they don't accept dollars, assuming Pluto runs short stopover flights to earth? And will they let tiny, Earth midgets on board?
B. How many black holes has our universe... ball park figure? And where does a black hole go to when it disappears? And how can you tell the good ones from the not so good? Maybe, you could draw up some sort of black hole classification system so that we earthlings would know what to look out for... should one of us fall into one, an easy thing to do I might add... if, like me, you have bad eyesight and a lousy sense of direction.
B. Professor... I'm in a bit of a hole about the whole thing actually. In fact, financially I am in a very big hole with my bank at the moment. Am I already in a parallel universe and don't know it?
B. Well, anyway, Professor, it's nice to know there's always an alternative. And should you ever find a mouse in your toilet, do look me up.
Unfortunately, Prof. Hawking has had his lawyers Schillings of London issue a writ against us for "unwarranted theft and misappropriation of Professor Hawking's valuable time."