The Effect of “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon-Marigolds” on Me

February 11, 2013

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon-Marigolds

This Friday, I’ll be auditioning at Western Michigan University. I’ll be performing two monologues, the first from The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon-Marigolds and the second from Moon Over Buffalo. Both of these monologues are from plays that Mr. Nott assigned me to read this trimester.

The monologue from Moon Over Buffalo is one man’s last ditch effort to make his wife realize how much he loves her. It’s relatively comedic and fun. While I do really love this monologue…It doesn’t even hold a candle to how I feel about the monologue from The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-the-Moon-Marigolds.

I can still remember the day Mr. Nott placed that torn, old script into my hand. I read the title and laughed. But it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with it.

I could talk all day about the play as a whole, but I’d like to focus on a curious idea presented in the monologue that I’ve chosen to perform. The monologue is about the realization that we are all miracles. The character, Tillie, muses at the idea that she is comprised of atoms that were once other things. Things that were more special and amazing than she could even conceive. And if she’s made of these special atoms…then she must be pretty special herself.

While that in itself is a pretty cool idea, I’d like to try and take things a step further…

Our Universe follows many laws. The law I’d like us to focus on is the Law of the Conservation of Mass, which states that matter cannot be created or destroyed. It’s impossible. Every bit of matter that exists in the Universe has always been here and it will always be here. The atoms that make up your body or your chair or your phone or your computer…have been in this Universe for all of forever.

Now, I’d like to turn your attention to the Big Bang Theory. I’m no scientist (I’m still mucking my way through AP Chemistry) but I think I understand the gist of the theory. It says that at one point in time, everything was condensed into a singular point. That…”Universe-in-a-box” was wound up a little too much, I suppose, because it exploded and expanded into the Universe we know and love.

Maybe you see where I’m going with this and maybe you’re thinking: “Well, duh. I knew that.” But I’m just realizing this and I think it is the coolest thing since sliced bread…Or before sliced bread? I dunno. Anyway…

Combining the ideas in this law and theory result in only one conclusion: At one point in time, you and I were crushed into the same speck. All of us. All that we know and everything beyond that. We were all crammed into an inconceivably dense ball. Even your parents were there…and your grandparents…and your great-grandparents. Your entire ancestry and my entire ancestry and that tree outside and the air you just breathed and the food you ate earlier and the car you drove…It was all there with us in that speck.

And…That’s kind of cool. Don’t you think? The atoms that make up me and the atoms that make up you used to hang out way back in…the beginning of the Universe.

From my atoms to yours, it’s good to chat with you again.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)


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