So there is a parallel universe
AND now, a breakthrough in astrophysics. Like all great leaps forward in science, it is based on years of painstaking experimentation, observation and interpretation.
The observations I made are of the weird behaviour of a strange body not in deepest, darkest, coldest space in some far-flung galaxy but one that occasionally passes through the comfort of my own home.
It has led me to formulate a theory which I can now announce is a scientific act (of which more, later).
Rewind a couple of years to the first of many (many, many) visits to casualty with my son.
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He'd been in overnight having his lower arm reset after breaking both bones for the second time in five months.
I sat him down and had a male-to-male chat.
"Listen," I began. That is a good way to start a conversation with a young boy; they need to be told that what follows is being addressed and is relevant to them, and is not intended for the other invisible person in the room who they are searching for with their wandering gaze.
"The doctor said you must be very, very careful this time," I continued. "You must not climb trees or walls or jump out of your bedroom window, or ride your bike, or go on your mate's scooter, or play rugby or football or cricket, or wrestle, or play chase, until the arm is completely better and the bones are properly healed. Do you understand?"
He nodded, and left the room. "Where are you going?" I asked.
"To the garage."
"You mustn't do anything dangerous, remember?"
A few minutes later I saw him whizzing down the garden path on his skateboard.
I raced to the door. "What did I tell you?"
"You didn't mention the skateboard."
There have been many happenings since, some of them documented in this column over the long and crazy years since.
One recent incident involved him trying to turn a damp meter into a Tazer. I'm just glad that he didn't blow out the National Grid.
The latest was on Saturday. I was gazing out of the window at the steady October rain. I had just delivered the latest in a series of "What were you thinking?" rebukes to my now 11-year-old.
The incident involved a two-handed axe and a tin of red paint. He could not deny his wrongdoing as he had – yes – been caught red-handed. I was wondering if he could ever do anything that would surprise me. My train of thought was derailed by a bright yellow flash as a large object flew past the window.
I might have mistaken it for a meteorite, except that the loud noise you would expect from such an impact came a few seconds later and behind me. My lad came thundering down the stairs (remarkable in itself: he usually treats his bedroom window as a short cut to the garden).
"Have you thrown something out of the window?" I asked, foolishly. I have yet to learn that asking questions which might imply bad behaviour is pointless.
There could only be one answer, which he duly delivered. "No," he said.
I sighed and rephrased. You have to cut off all argumentative escape routes. "I know you have thrown something out of the window. I saw it go past. It is in the garden behind that bush. What is it?"
OK, contact established with a plausible answer: the mattress has a bright yellow cover. "Why did you throw it out of the window?"
"Because it was too heavy and awkward to carry down the stairs."
Again I sighed and asked the question as it should have been framed. "What were you going to do with it?"
He said that he was going to drag the mattress across the muddy garden, up the riverbed that passes for a road in October, and into his mate's garden where they were going to use it on the trampoline. They thought it would be make the trampoline less slippy and more springy.
He was shocked when I angrily told that him he must retrieve, dry and clean the mattress and then place it back on his bed.
On reflection, I agree with him. There is no logical reason why I should be angry. A replacement mattress would cost, what, £100 maximum?
Who cares about the odd £100 here and there?
This time next year I should have £900,000 or so left from my prize money.
Winning the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics, and the sum which goes with it, is a formality.
My observations show that there are creatures which are exactly the same as humans in every respect apart from their behaviour; and judging from their puzzlement when challenged, that behaviour is considered quite normal where they come from.
The only possible explanation is that there is somewhere inhabited solely by 11-year-old boys. At last! Hard evidence for a place which astrophysicists have before now only speculated at: a parallel universe.
In fact I believe there at least three other realities running somewhere else alongside mine, although my observations on the behaviour of teenage girls are not yet complete – and those on the otherwise unfathomable conduct of women are unlikely ever to be published for fear of my safety.