Professor Einstein, I presume?
Professor Einstein, I presume?

Professor Einstein, I presume?

2 years ago
2 mins read

Last week we discussed a particularly difficult subject, and to compensate for tasking your brain so much, I did promise you a humorous story involving Einstein and his chauffeur. Enjoy:

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In 1933 Professor Albert Einstein was in England to give a series of lectures on his Theory of General Relativity, which he first proposed in 1915 during the First World War. The driver assigned to drive him around was Mr Bottomley, who moonlighted as a member of an amateur dramatics society. Having accompanied Einstein to several lectures, Mr Bottomley became sufficiently acquainted with the Theory of General Relativity so much so that he could deliver the lecture himself complete with a German accent. In addition, he was familiar with most of the questions fielded by Einstein from the audience and could manage to a fair degree.

After finishing the last lecture but one in Einstein’s scheduled lectures in England, Einstein was tired and was sleeping soundly at the back seat of the car as they travelled to their next lecture. Mr Bottomley noticed this and tentatively asked Einstein when he woke up if he could relieve him in anyway to which Einstein replied that he wished somebody could deliver his lecture for him as he was tired and bored talking about the same thing. Mr Bottomley at once offered his services but Einstein was sceptical about the ability of Mr Bottomley to step into his “scientific” big shoes. Mr Bottomley pressed his case and like a true Englishman qualified his case with a wager of £10 to which Einstein reluctantly agreed.

The two gentlemen were almost of the same build and both wore glasses, so they exchanged clothes. This was at a time when communication was still a bit primitive compared to the present time, so, only a handful of people in the world knew what Einstein looked like. When they arrived at the university, Mr Bottomley was warmly received by the hosts thinking he was Einstein, and after tea and biscuits was called to the rostrum to deliver his lecture while the real Einstein was given a seat by the corner, out of the way of the glittering gathering.

Mr Bottomley delivered the lecture excellently employing his skill as an actor to improvise so that at the end of the lecture he received a rapturous ovation. Then it came to question time and Einstein was curious to know how Mr Bottomley would manage the occasion. The first few questions were simple enough to which Mr Bottomley gave some garbled answers and the audience being less the wiser took the answers as genuine and brilliant. But a professor in the audience who knew his onions asked a particularly tricky question. Mr Bottomley coughed and called for a glass of water, which was instantly brought to him. He took the glass of water, drank a bit, coughed.

“Ladies and gentlemen.” Cough. “I am sorry.” Cough. “I have a terrible attack of cough.” Cough. “But my protégé, Mr Bottomley, sitting over there,” and he pointed at Einstein. Cough. “Will field in the rest of the questions.” Cough. Cough. “Thank you.” Cough. Cough. Cough.


(Story taken from “Jokes and Short Stories to Brighten Your Day” by Dr Gabriel Chukwu Uguru; In preparation).

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