Insulting the Elements #8: lutetium to mercury

Lutetium (Lu) - I don’t care that you can recite portions of The Canterbury Tales with an authentic Middle English accent. Breaking out with ‘Wawn Aprilluh weeth ets shoures soatuh’ is not going to get you laid. Just ask Cindy out for a drink already. Losers get her hot.

Hafnium (Hf) – When are you going to realize that zirconium is never going to sleep with you? At least lutetium has his Chaucer shtick.

Tantalum (Ta) – I know what’s going on here. You’re angry and envious of steel. Steel hogs all the news, you say. It’s just an alloy, you say. Sure, it’s not as hard or heavy or resistant to chemicals as you are, but you missed the boat on some crucial branding opportunities. That’s why I don’t refer to myself as 150 pounds of twisted blue tantalum. At least not when I’m flexing.

Tungsten (W) – Have you seen those new fluorescent bulbs? They are so energy-efficient and attractive. They may cost a little more, but they’re worth it in the long run. Oh, and they have a message for you, Mr. W: take your filaments and go light up a landfill.

Osmium (Os) – If you’re so expensive, osmium, why do you smell so bad? Perhaps you’re too invigorated from your morning run along your private beach to waste time in the shower. And since you’re surrounded by fawning yesmen and suckups like rhodium, I imagine no one’s taken you behind the woodshed and kicked your ass. Well, prepare for a little trip, osmium. Your time is now. No, no need to call security, we’re just talking here.

Iridium (Ir) – When iridium walks into the bar, you've got a twenty-minute window of safety before he starts asking you about the extinction of dinosaurs and then drops the little tidbit about coming to Earth on the giant meteorite that caused it all. It’s really impressive the first time you hear it. In grade four.

Rhenium (Re) – I looked up also-ran in the dictionary the other day, rhenium, and there you were: nearly the densest element, with almost the highest melting point, and earning the distinction of being the next-to-last natural element discovered. Congratulations, rhenium: you're almost interesting. I'm surprised they don’t make horseshoes out of you. Maybe they almost did.

Platinum (Pt) - I met you once at a wedding reception. You are the worst kind of snob. First of all, you showed up dressed entirely in platinum, which was a bit ostentatious. And you spent the whole time chatting with osmium and pointing in my direction, like I was so goddamn funny. Well, nuts to you, platinum. I don't care what you think of me. And those ‘investment tips’ you gave me? My ex-wife thanks you.

Gold (Au) - I'd like to think it's a coincidence that the world threw out the gold standard in the year that I was born, but if life has taught me anything, it's that a) Big Macs are poorly engineered sandwiches, and b) some elements just can’t age gracefully. You’re may be pretty, gold, but you’re not money anymore. I was embarrassed for both of us when you made that cameo in Battlefield Earth. How the mighty have fallen.

Mercury (Hg) - What a shifty ponce you are. Really. Last week when you ‘dropped by’ our family reunion? It was tough to keep the guffaws down when you reminisced about all the times we had fevers and how you felt ‘so blessed’ to help out. You sat around in a tube and reacted predictably to exothermic stimulus. And as I recall it, you seemed only too pleased to stick yourself in my mouth.