Jam in a Quantum Tunnel

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“Turn right at Betelguese, I said!” Professor Pie tugged irritably at his beard. “You went straight on.”
“Right, so we’re a bit lost.” Professor Strudel calmly studied the controls. “The problem with the quantum tunnel space drive is that the more precise your instructions then the more indeterminate is our direction.”
“Indeterminate?” Pie echoed. “This is a one way quantum tunnel and we’re going the wrong way. We’re more than a bit indeterminate.We’re... What’s that?” He ducked.
Alarm signals started to beep. Lights started to flash. The air itself smelt of burning as millions and millions of circuits made nanosecond decisions. The immaterial substance of star ships in tunnel space zoomed towards the two professors.
“Strudel, of all the quantum tunnels in all the known universes,” Pie exclaimed, “You had to pick this one.”
Boiling with anger, Professor Pie dashed towards Professor Strudel with his fists in the air. But before he could land even one punch, there was a sudden lurch. That was followed by a bump and a crunch. Professor Pie had the weird sense of being turned inside out. When the physical sensations stopped, Professor Pie took a few moments to settle his mind. He then looked towards the control panel. To his surprise, Strudel was no longer in front of him. His space faring companion had somehow disappeared. Impossible! Especially as the panel showed that they were back in norm space.
At an attempt to turn around, Pie felt strangely heavy. Next, a movement on the edge of his vision caught his eye and he automatically looked down. At that, he almost fainted. He felt sick. He felt completely discombobulated. No wonder, he felt heavy. Strudel’s head and neck were sticking out of Pie’s chest. An immediate extrapolation suggested that Strudel’s feet must also be sticking out of Pie’s back. Freaking fractals, the two professors had merged into one.
“Wha,... wha... what are you doing?” Pie stammered.
“Hmm.” Professor Strudel, who was very much an introverted theoretician, managed to keep his head – even if it was attached to someone else’s body. “In quantum tunnel space,” he mused, “we were best described in terms of wave functions. And wave functions, of course, are always intermingling or passing through each other. That emergency threw us back into three dimensions where we are best described in terms of particles. Unfortunately, our wave functions weren’t separated properly, suggesting that we might even be in a three and half fractal dimension, and so our molecules are still sharing some of the same spaces.”
“I don’t want an analysis,” Pie screamed. “Just get me out of this.”
“Well, that’s an easy one, Pie,” Strudel declared. “Don’t get your fractal knickers in a twist. We just have to return to tunnel space.”
Easy? Easy! Pie wanted to stamp his foot. The only thing that stopped him was that he might stamp on his own head. If he could’ve kicked Professor Strudel with a foot – anyone’s foot, he would’ve. But they were too complexly intertwined. In despair, he began to walk towards the control console. Yet, at the same bloody time, so did Strudel. The movements of the one unbalanced the movements of the other. Pie began to fall. Spontaneously, however, Strudel stuck out his hands. A miracle, the fall turned into a cartwheel. Quick to catch on, when Strudel fell, Pie stuck out his hands. In short, two conjoined and portly figures cartwheeled over to the console.
“Dear me, dear me.” Strudel was running out of breath. “Have you ever been in such a jam, Pie?”
“Don’t give me your sauce!” Pie said tartly. “This is more like a Swiss roll.”
Artfully, when they reached the console, Pie managed to use Strudel’s head to strike the right button. The sense of being turned inside out was repeated, accompanied by the feeling of being sucked from a hole into a whole. Returned to tunnel space, Pie at once felt as if a weight had been taken from his shoulders – as well as from his knee bones and his kidneys.
Both professors inspected their bodies and were pleased to find themselves completely separated.
Pie smoothed down his beard. “Now, if we could just return to norm space but, this time, please keep your wave function out of my face.”
Strudel smoothed down his bald patch. “At last, I understand what my old grannie used to say.”
“And what was that?”
“Never follow a Strudel with a Pie.”

About the Author: 
I was brought up in England but moved to Australia after completing a PhD. After a few years, I left research to concentrate on tai chi and meditation. I started writing poetry around 1974. Currently, I live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland where I combine writing with woodwork.