On our last night before a 10-day tour break, Professor Brian Cox is stumped by a question. The audience in Salt Lake City are relieved. The replicant physicist becomes a real human; it turns out that he doesn’t know everything. It has happened before. In our culture of hasty certainty, moments of “I don’t know” are strangely empowering. If the wise scientist doesn’t know, and is prepared to admit it publicly, maybe we all can every now and again. The question that stumped the professor tonight was from a seven-year-old. He wanted to know how crayons were made.
After the show, we spend a while contemplating the construction of crayons. Next time, he will be ready for the seven-year-olds.
I was also pleased to see that the musical The Book of Mormon had visited the theatre here twice. I wondered how mixed the reaction was in the world’s most Mormon city to the South Park creators’ clever and filthy minds. Then again, all publicity…
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Walking back through the main street of the city, I see a man in a vest top with the face of Edgar Allan Poe on it. I don’t think Poe’s face was made for a vest top, but had sales of them helped pay his bar bills he probably wouldn’t have complained.
Before all this, the professor faced a Cucumber Glow quandary in a Utah health store. He was stalled at the juice cabinet. Did he need something with celery or cider vinegar, pomegranate or kale? Should he risk a cleansing juice so close to showtime? What if his internal organs start cleaning halfway through his explanation of black holes and the Schwarzschild radius. We resorted to water that has been vaguely flavoured by being bottled near a peach.
We were parched from walking to the Gilgal Sculpture Garden in the midday sun. I usually go to see art on my own, but I read out the description of this outsider art extravaganza and its quirks win over my travelling companions.