Sometimes I come to think this blog is overextended: it happens when I realize it contains more things than I can remember, even ones I would really like to have at my fingertips. I was reminded yesterday of a very funny story which a reader left in the comments thread of a rather meaningless post, and decided I should make a separate post of it, since it made my day reading it and it might make yours too...

The story was told by Leon Lederman in an introduction to Carlo Rubbia in the proceedings of a conference held in 1984 in Santa Fe:

"... Now I have some interesting news, a story that is at the least apocryphal. It concerns the heroic contestant in one of those ancient trials by strength which are so natural for our "Carlo". This trial was really three trials, three doors.
In the first room, "Carlo" is instructed, there is a full quart of Aquavit (like vodka but strong). He is supposed to drink the whole quart in 12 seconds.
In the second room there is a huge, wild gorilla with an impacted wisdom tooth. He must remove the tooth in 40 seconds.
In the third room is the most famous courtesan in Egypt. He must completely satisfy this lady in 80 seconds.
At the firing of a pistol, "Carlo" dashes into the first room and emerges, red of face but successful after only 9 seconds.
He enters the second room unsteadily and loud roars emerge, accompanied by thumpings and bumpings. Then, silence. And in 38 seconds, Carlo emerges, staggering, and says:
"Okay, where ish the woman with the impacted wishdom tooth?" ...".

I thought you might like to read it, and this might be seen also as a good hors d'oeuvre for a post on Carlo Rubbia that I have asked a colleague to write here.

Also, I thank Tony Smith for bringing the story to my attention.