Insulting The Elements

A while back I thought I'd insult each element in turn, not even shying away from putting the lanthanoids in their place. Here it is in its entirety. Were you expecting it to be here in someone else's entirety?


This morning I realized that no one (to the best of my knowledge) has ever taken the time to really insult the periodic table. Tom Lehrer put them into a song, but his treatment, while whimsical, was also respectful, and that is where Lehrer fell down on the job. The elements have been given a free ride far too long, and the time has come to call them on their bullshit.

Hydrogen (H): Killed the dirigible industry. Not a fuel source but an energy carrier. Pathetically clingy around oxygen. Ban it.

Helium (He): Helium is fine for balloons and amusing children, but children should not be amused. Children should live in silent, damp terror. Discourage anarchy and outlaw helium now.

Lithium (Li): Seriously. Lithium, you are the least dense of all the metals, and don't think your reputation as a drug makes up for your pitiful mass per volume. Density is what makes metals cool, not their use as a mood stabilizer. I expected better from you, lithium.

Beryllium (Be): Beryllium is called an ideal aerospace material. You know why? Nobody wants it on the planet. Nice knowing you, beryllium. Don’t let the ionosphere hit your ass on the way out.

Boron (B): Oh you sad unloved semi-metallic lump of whatever. Where do you fit, boron? With a name like that? Stuffed in your locker every recess, I bet.

Carbon (C): Carbon thinks it's all that. It gives us life and diamonds, sure, but it poisons the atmosphere. And carbon paper? Don’t make me lol. Verdict on carbon: not all that.

Nitrogen (N): You can't take a breath without getting a lungful of 78% nitrogen. Like an in-law that doesn't know when to leave, nitrogen sits there on your couch and tells you how to raise your kids. I’m a grown-up now, nitrogen, and I don’t have to take that from you.

Oxygen (O): As smug as platinum but without any justification, oxygen is absurdly proud of itself. We can always burn magnesium, you know. And we can breathe neon. Neon will do anything for attention.

Fluorine (F): A pale yellow, corrosive, highly reactive gas that will burn your flesh and scour your lungs at the mere provocation of a breath. Fluorine doesn’t need a reason to be an asshole. This stuff is basically the neoconservative faction of the periodic table.

Neon (N): Back when I travelled for work, neon signs kept me up countless nights with their blinking and flashing. Neon, when I get excited I don’t light up. That’s because I have dignity. You’ve heard of dignity, right? Thanks for ruining my life.

Sodium (Na) – You know what, sodium? I’ve seen you around, and You’re Okay. But when you get together with chlorine, it’s like you to have to show up wherever I’m eating. And you guys have kind of screwed us with the whole seawater thing. Chlorine is bad company, that’s all I’m going to say. I’m telling you this for your own good.

Magnesium (Mg)
– I’m not prejudiced, but magnesium, when I see you covered in a protective layer of oxides, I have to wonder what you’re hiding. That’s why I didn’t serve you that one time. I made that call and I stand by it.

Aluminum (Al) – Pardon me, but do you have any idea of what we go through to remove impurities from you, aluminum? If it weren’t for us, you’d be nothing. You’d be a heap of bauxite. Hey, I just found something in a pile of dogshit, aluminum. It’s all the appreciation you’ve shown us.

Silicon (Si) – Hey silicon. How ya doin? You like being in computer chips? How about the insides of those breasts? Feeling good about all that diatomaceous earth you’re in? You know what, just fuck off.

Phosphorus (P)
– When I was young I admired you, phosphorus. You were bright and shiny and you burned wherever oxygen found you. You were my everything, phosphorus. And then you broke my heart.

Sulphur (S) – This is difficult to say, so I’m just come out with it: you smell, sulphur. You’re pretty, you’re yellow and you’re fit – hell, you’re pretty much the stone fox of the elements – but you really need a bath. Stop coming to my gym.

Chlorine (Cl) – The best that can be said about chlorine is that it isn’t too bad when it’s hanging out with sodium. That’s the best thing. This is a corrosive green gas we’re talking about here. Chlorine is the B-movie monster of the periodic table.

Argon (Ar) – Argon is a pathetic gas permanently stuck in the ‘80s. Argon is that friend who still has a Michael Jackson jacket and breaks it out to be “ironic”. Yeah, right. Argon will also insist that the original Battlestar Galactica was so much better than the remake.

Potassium (K) – Everyone knows that you’re upset with phosphorus for taking the letter P. But K? Nobody knew or cared how you felt until they saw you parading around with that inappropriate K. How do you think krypton feels? Not that you care, you self-absorbed hippie.

Calcium (Ca) – I take it you feel no shame for all those people who’ve fallen into cement vats or choked on a Tums. You’d point to all your accomplishments and pretend like that tipped the scales. Hey, look at your bones, you’d say. But I’m not looking at my bones, calcium. I’m looking at you. 

Scandium (Sc) – Not to be too harsh, but scandium is laughable. Scandium is commonly found in a mineral called thortveitite. WTF? Is that even a real mineral? Scandium, are you real? Or did I just drunkenly make you up in order to feel superior to something? And why am I covered in blood? Wait, that’s something different.

Titanium (T) – I’ll give you one thing, titanium: you’re nicely resistant to damp chlorine gas. You don’t lower yourself to suit chlorine’s abominable standards. But I prefer my metals with a bit more density, you know what I’m saying? Don’t you walk away from me. I own you.

Vanadium (V) – As a healthy adult male weighing about 150 lbs, I contain a whopping 0.002043 grams of vanadium. How disappointing. I wanted enough for a full-on vanadium skeleton. Vanadium, I showed up to the party with all my bones. You sent a crappy Hallmark card with some sad kittens on it. I can't believe Hallmark is doing lolcats now.

Chromium (Cr) – Don’t you have anything better to do than pose in photographs with classic cars and dead movie icons? You were cool in 1963. Now you’re as rebellious as Lawrence Welk, except I’d rather rub my body up against that grand MC of schmaltz than your shiny cool reflective surfaces. Hold on, I may not have thought this through.

Manganese (Mn) – Oh you talentless wannabe. You are no Magnesium. You know I paid 125 bucks to see Magnesium in concert last summer when I went to Vegas? I think you know what I’m going to say next. You've heard it from every fan who showed up that night with a souvenir T-shirt and a dream in their heart. I don't want my money back. It's not about the money.

Iron (Fe) – Hey, iron, can you see me waving from the twenty-first century? It must be nice back there in the Victorian era. Where you're still relevant. Yeah, stay wrought, Pony Boy. Stay wrought.

Cobalt (Co) – I have a word for you, cobalt, and you’re not going to like it. Are you ready? Marmite. That’s right, cobalt, I’ve discovered your dirty little secret. You’re the worm at the heart of the rose, except use ‘spreadable yeast extract’ for ‘rose’, and ‘sneaky metal’ for ‘worm’.

Nickel (Ni) – Oh this is just too delicious. You never thought you’d end up on a list like this, did you, nickel? But your time has come. You stay put while I find something to insult you with. You’ve got a weakness, nickel, and I’m going to find it.

Copper (Cu) – There’s not much to say about you, copper. You’re just kind of brown and bland. But I have to ask: why do you like being pipes so much? That’s kind of gross when you think about it.

Zinc (Z) – I have never seen such a blatant flouting of alphabetical order in all my life. Zinc, you should be right at the end of the line after yttrium, but you just had to jump the queue and get in at number thirty. What’s that? Zirconium? Why you smart-mouthed little son of a bitch.

Gallium (Ga) - Good 'morning' gallium. I guess two in the afternoon is the new crack of dawn around here. Hey, while you're slurping up my Cheerios, could you let me know where the remote is? WHERE DID YOU PUT THE FUCKING REMOTE, GALLIUM? WHERE IS THE REMOTE? This thing is stuck on a Hills marathon and I can't even change the channel. At least come help me figure out if Lauren Conrad has a mustache.

Germanium (Gr) - Guten Tag, Herr Germanium. When did you show up in the table of elements? 1946? I suppose it was only a matter of time before you decided to annex the physical universe on an atomic scale. Next thing you know, Einsteinium is going to become Debyium and then the whole cosmos will turn into one Master Substance. Probably strüdel.

Arsenic (As) - Of all the elements, arsenic, I looked up to you for your toxicity and your place in classic French literature. But then I found out that you had your own alchemical symbol, and my respect for you pretty much sublimed into contempt. I thought you were bad-ass, arsenic, not another pathetic New Ager flailing against mediocrity.

Selenium (Se) - Say, didn't I see you on an episode of CSI once as a poison in dandruff shampoo? ROFLMAO. Because I remember when you were yapping about how you were going to 'make it big' in Hollywood. No one had the heart to tell you this, but just because you're an essential trace element doesn't mean we want to see your fugly metallic grey ass on TV.

Bromine (Br) - Hey bromine. Mah man, how's it going? Insult you? What? I'm not going to insult you - I fucking love you, bromine. Bro o' mine, get it? Just because you're an extremely dangerous nonmetallic liquid doesn't mean we can't be friends. Right? Oh god. Please don't turn to vapour or pour yourself onto my skin.

Krypton (Kr) - I did a bit of research, krypton, and it turns out that you are not the remains of Kal-El's home planet. You're just a trace gas present in the air at about 1 ppm. You're nothing, krypton. I can't believe I stood in line so you could sign my copy of Superman #75.

Rubidium (Rb) - If you didn't ignite spontaneously on contact with the air and react so violently with water, maybe we could have hung out. But I guess you're too selfish. It's all about liberating your hydrogen atoms and not enough about our friendship. Well I'm tired of giving, rubidium. I have to think about myself for a while.

Strontium (Sr) - You're going to like this, strontium. You were named after the Scottish village Strontian, which comes from the Gaelic name Sròn an t-Sìtheinn. Which means 'fairy nose'. Or even better, 'Point of the Fairies'. So congratulations, Fairywangium. Welcome to your illustrious history.

Yttrium (Y) - Yttrium, I didn't lend you my entire set of Y The Last Man so it could sit in the back of you car for a month. I thought you'd be flattered and interested. I mean, that is the single greatest run of comics in FOREVER. Didn't you say you were a fan of graphic novels? I should have known something was up when you didn't come see Watchmen with me and Chad and Kyle.

Zirconium (Zr) - Trashy. Barstar. Bitch.

Niobium (Nb) – Niobium, that plucky element, mostly comes from Brazil. So how come it took a week to reply to my tweet about Terry Gilliam’s only undisputed masterpiece? And here’s what niobium said: “Is that the guy who made 12 Monkeys? OMG what a mindf**k 12 Monkeys was!! Did not understand.” Knob.

Molybdenum (Mo) – Molybdenum, you’re supposed to be a good lubricant at high temperatures where normal oils dissolve. I took your word for it. Now I've got a class action lawsuit to deal with.

Technetium (Tc) – Ugh. Technetium usually stays the hell away from humanity and does its thing in the hearts of stars, but ever since the advent of nuclear reactors, technetium has been showing up on Terra by the kilo. You’ll know technetium when you meet it because it can’t stop talking about Kraftwerk and Doctor Who.

Rhodium (Rh) – Let’s set aside your drippy name for a moment, which will always remind me of a sitcom spin-off. I understand you’re part of the ‘platinum group’ of elements. Get serious, rhodium. Those guys will drop you as soon as their investment house of cards collapses. And you know who’ll be holding the bill at the end of it all? Not palladium, that’s for sure.

Palladium (Pd) – Palladium, this is the fifth message I’ve left. You came over last Thursday and absorbed 900 times your volume in hydrogen. You impressed the hell out of my wife, but the fun’s over and I want my hydrogen back. I’ll take it up with rubidium, jerk.

Silver (Ag) – Between Echo & The Bunnymen and LCD Soundsystem, not to mention those people who’ve gone all grey-skinned from colloidal silver, I’m tempted to give you a pass. Then I remember that you’re mentioned in the Bible and I just know that there’s some sad deluded dope out there who’s wearing silver nippleguards in accordance with some throwaway line from Numbers, and I hate you all over again.

Cadmium (Cd) – Look, I don’t really care about you, cadmium. I don’t care what you get up to with all those other elements. Hey, different strokes, right? But when you take your ‘lifestyle choice’ and parade it in the streets and in our schools, you’ve gone too far. And stop picking me up in bars and sleeping with me. It’s disgusting.

Indium (In) – I bought a mirror for my bathroom the other day thinking it was coated with silver. But when I found out that it was coated with you, I had to return it to Home Depot. I’m just not that comfortable with the thought of you looking at me while I’m in the shower. You creep me out.

Tin (Sn) – Allow me to indulge in a syllogism. All items eaten by goats are either garbage or goat food. Goats eat tin cans. Guess what, tin: you’re not goat food. Modus tollendo ponens SNAP!

Antimony (Sb) – I'm sorry, did you say 'anti-money'? I won't have any of those anti-money ideas around here. I recommend you take your anti-money agitation and go somewhere there isn't any money anyway. Like South Dakota.

Tellurium (Te) – Let me tell you a little story. This used to be a nice neighbourhood. The elementary school was the envy of the district. The cheese factory anchored the local economy in place and the community theatre kept everyone smiling all summer long. Then tellurium came to town. I don't know if there's a connection, but you can't pay tourists to take a shit in this town anymore. You're the rarest stable solid element on the planet, tellurium. Why'd you have to come here?

Iodine (I) – People like to tout your benefits like you're the second freaking coming, iodine. Lack of iodine leads to goiter, they say. Lack of iodine in children leads to blindness, they say. I say if you really cared about those things, you'd be there in abundance. Guess you've better things to do. Or maybe you like blind children *coughamberalertcough*.

Xenon (Xe) – Before anyone brings up how xenon is a noble gas, let me tell you what goes on when xenon ends up in a vacuum tube with an electrical discharge running through it. I'm not going to get into the details, but if you saw what I saw, you wouldn't be so quick to call xenon noble.

Caesium (Cs) – Back in the horrendous shithole of a school I used to go to in grade 8, a couple of kids in senior year stole a bar of caesium and threw it in a toilet in the boy's bathroom. Boom. Exploded toilet. Anyway, I hear that's why caesium was first isolated back in 1860, when the emerging Victorian era was judged too slow and too Victorian.*

*This does not sound like an insult, but caesium is ridiculously proud of its use in setting international time measurement standards. It's going to be royally pissed off when it finds out I didn't mention that.
Barium (Ba) – I'd like to know at what point in history you and SO4 got together for your sick little barium sulfate game. I met you in the hospital once and I was not impressed with the introduction.

Lanthanum (La) – This puffed-up element has a whole gang named after it. They call themselves the lanthanoids and they like to drive around on Harleys like they're bad-ass, but every year, without fail, they get beaten to a pulp at the Sturges Rally. Maybe it's those matching Swatches that mess with their game.

Cerium (Ce) – Cerium likes to noise off on how it's a rare earth metal, but get this: it's totally the most abundant of all the rare earth metals! What a joke! Oh, I'm so scared of you and your gang of lanthanoids. Oh no, please don't form oxides in my presence.

Praseodymium (Pr) – I'd hurl some zingers at you, but with a name like that you don't need any. Praise-ee-oh-what? Ee-i-ee-i-oh.

Neodymium (Nd) – Dude, you think you're getting away with something here, but you're not. You make great magnets for microphones and amps, but hanging out with the band does not make you part of the band. Only recording engineers go all weak in the knees for you, and I know that's not the kind of action you're looking for. Go hang out with your lanthanoid pals.

Promethium (Pr) – You have to be the most pretentious one of the bunch. Thanks, but I have no need to see your collection of King Crimson on vinyl. Or your Criterion Collection Blu-Rays. Give me a break.

Samarium (Sm) – Samarium thinks it’s a big deal that it ignites in air at 150 degrees Celsius. No offense, samarium, but 150 degrees is not really that hot. Maybe you could find some other property to brag about. Like your low to moderate toxicity. Yawn.

Europium (Eu) – I’ve been ragging on the lanthanoids a bit, but let’s face it: with members like europium swishing around and leaving their Sobranie butts everywhere, can you blame me? Europium was discovered in 1890 by Paul Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran, who was attempting to isolate the elemental substance that made up fops.

Gadolinium (Ga) – Another paramagnetic substance, gadolinium has no personality of its own, forever seeking magnetic substances to hang out with and act as if it has its own magnetic field. Once I heard gadolinium bragging about how it was totally going to see Fountains of Wayne with iron. Gooood luck with that.

Terbium (Tb) – No matter how the night starts, if you’re hanging out with terbium, you will always, always end up at Denny’s at 2:30 a.m. listening to terbium talk about all the guys it likes so much who just treat it like crap.

Dysprosium (Dy) – Dysprosium thinks it’s cool to have sex with my girlfriend when I go to sleep because I have to work in the morning. Somebody’s got to pay for all that pot we smoke, you know. Or did you think the magic pot fairy dropped off that quarter-ounce last Saturday? God you are so immature.

Holmium (Ho) – Ho. Heh heh.

Erbium (Er) – Erbium, you have many good qualities. But if you refer to the lens on your point-and-shoot as ‘glass’ one more time I’m going to kick you in the neck.

Thulium (Tm) – Just because you’re rare and expensive doesn’t mean that you have anything to contribute to the conversation. People have lowered their standards to accommodate you for as long as I can remember, and you’ve definitely lived down to my expectations. I don’t know why I even bother.

Ytterbium (Yb) – True story: when ytterbium first found out that it absorbed near-infrared but not visible light, it thought that meant it was invisible. What a jumbo dumbo.

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. 

Thallium (Tl) – Thallium, you’re like my first serious girlfriend in junior high: at first I thought we were made for each other, but the more I saw, the less there was to like. You’re toxic, you show up in crappy electronics, and as it turns out, you’re not allowed to visit the United States. Don’t get me wrong: I was attracted, even a little bit excited at first, but you’re more trouble than you’re worth. And I think you killed my dog.

Lead (Pb) – Oh man. You seriously think you’re cool, don’t you? Showing up in all those early Superman comics really went to your head, but I see right through you. I stopped for a drink at the Airport Sheraton and ran into a trivalent metal you went to school with. Is it true your name used to be plumbum? Because yeah. Plumbum.

Bismuth (Bi) – Just wanted to say thanks for that bit of gossip you dropped on lead when we ran into each other at the bar. Priceless! And when I say ‘priceless,’ I mean give me back my Mastercard, you skank.

Polonium (Po) – I would think that a metal with 27 different isotopes could produce one – just one – that isn’t highly radioactive. But not you, polonium. This above all: to thine own self be true. Even if you’re a one-note radioactive dick.

Astatine (As) – Pardon me, but how did you even get on the periodic table in the first place? Did you have to bribe a security guard at IUPAC? It couldn’t have been much if you’re stuck with the halogen group. Tell chlorine I said Piss Off.

Radon (Rn) – There’s no easy way to say this, radon, so I’ll just come out with it. You are what happens when radium farts. Forget sulphur; you’re the real candidate for the ‘silent-but-deadly’ label on the list. So from now on I’m going to call you Mr. Cancer Fart.

Francium (Fr) – I just think it’s sad that you can afford only one valence electron. I’d give you some of mine, but I'm not sure you'd put them to proper use. Maybe if you were a little more stable you could find a commercial application and really make something of yourself.

Radium (Ra) – You bastard. You killed Marie Curie. And you have radioactive farts, which is beyond disgusting.

Actinium (Ac) – I’ll give you and your actinoid buddies props for being heavier and more radioactive than the lanthanoids. But I’m getting awfully tired of telling you to get your crap out of the front yard. Property values are already in the trash, and I don’t need your rusty Corvette on cinder blocks stinking up my resale value.

Thorium (Th) – You know what’s really cool, thorium? When you reenact the entire ‘you-think-I’m-funny’ monologue from Goodfellas. If this is 1993 then that shit is hysterical. Oh hey, would you look at the date.

Protactinium (Pa) – Permit me to indulge in a thought experiment. Me, protactinium and the Jonas Brothers run into each other on the street. One of us is going to scream like a preteen girl being presented with a pony. And it’s not going to be me.

Uranium (U) – Plenty of elements out there are nothing but evil (chlorine, caesium – basically anything starting with a ‘c’ or ending with an ‘m’), but none of them have got the moustache-twirling, tie-the-lady-to-the-tracks routine down quite like uranium.

Neptunium (Np) – Dude, you’ve got no known hydrides. Don’t you think that a self-respecting element would take the time to get some hydrides before showing up? Go home and make yourself presentable.

Plutonium (Pu) – So it turns out that some scientists, having nothing better to do one day, threw deuterons at uranium until you appeared. You're the result of what is basically the most expensive basketball game in the universe. Do you know how much it costs to get you to make an appearance? You’re like the Linda Evangelista of atoms.

Americium (Am) – Americium, you’re what happens when the cosmos runs out of ideas. You’re a third-grade remake of a washed-out franchise of radioactive metals. Being more malleable than plutonium does not make you a ‘reboot’ of the series. We are done as a culture, and you’re the substance that proves it.

Curium (Cm) – I’m no knee-jerk liberal, curium, but I’ve had it with corporate welfare bums. You wouldn’t even exist without a nuclear reactor to perform neutron capture from americium and plutonium isotopes. In return, you destroy red blood cells and then you stick around for 16 million years. Minimum. Sixteen thousand millennia from now you'll still be freeloading off our advanced posthuman selves.

Berkelium (Bk) – For an element synthesized at Berkeley in 1949, you’d think there’d be a decent chance that you hung out with Philip K. Dick. But no. You haven't even read The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. We had one thing to talk about, berkelium, and you blew it.

Californium (Cf) – Hi Californium. Remember me? I’m the guy who left a bunch of neutrons with you for safekeeping. My friends warned me that you’d just emit them, but I thought I knew better. I blame myself for my failure of judgment.

Einsteinium (Es) – Talk about false advertising. You are one of the dumbest elements I’ve ever met. Did you think you could fool people with that name? I could call myself Michaelphelpsium, but that won’t improve my butterfly stroke. Or will it?

Fermium (Fm) – I take back what I said about einsteinium being the dumbest element I’ve ever met. Fermium, you take the prize. No one knows who Enrico Fermi is. You should have named yourself after a celebrity with a sex tape.

Mendelevium (Mv) – Look, mendelevium, I know you’re busy rapidly decaying, but it’s time you lived up to your name. Dmitri Mendeleev made a massive contribution to chemistry, and you have yet to do a single worthwhile thing with your mayfly-like lifespan. Ah fuck, you’re gone already.

Nobelium (No) – "No"? This is the most pathetic grab at a cool nickname yet. I couldn’t come up with something more excruciatingly poncey if you put me in a ponce-o-tron and turned the dial up to Douchebag.

Lawrencium (Lr) – Your isotopes are grotesquely oversized. I know that some elements are larger than others, but I think you could stand to be bombarded with a little self-respect.

Rutherfordium (Rf) – You know what? I’m sick of everyone pretending that you’re not just hafnium with a beer gut and a greasy ponytail. You think you’re not hurting anybody, but you should see the look on hafnium’s face when you come stumbling into the room. Give it up already.

Dubnium (Db) – I hated that restaurant you opened with Kenny Rogers.

Seaborgium (Sg) – I don’t care that in your aqueous chemistry, you have been shown to resemble your lighter homologues molybdenum and tungsten, forming a stable +6 oxidation state. Molydbenum and tungsten could kick your ass once and come back for seconds.

Bohrium (Bh) – I’m sorry, bohrium. No matter how many times we get introduced, I keep confusing you with boron. Why is that, do you think? Have you considered picking up a personality somewhere?

Hassium (Hs) – We waited a long time for you to actually make an appearance in reality, hassium, and on behalf of reality, I don’t know why we bothered. You are one ugly element. I heard a rumor that you were deformed in some way, and you have yet to prove your detractors wrong.

Meitnerium (Mt) – Say, what do you get when you bombard bismuth-209 with accelerated iron-58 nuclei for a while? Give up yet? Because when the answer is meitnerium, why not give up? Why not just sit at home and watch pay-per-view porn while discarding draft after draft of your suicide note? Because a world with meitnerium in it isn’t worth getting overly involved with.

Darmstadtium (Ds) – I remember the days when nobody cared about you, darmstadtium. You were just a few heavy atoms named after a German suburb. Then your decay level scheme got “leaked” onto the internet, and wham! Instant stardom. That must have been the trauma that turned you into a vapid fame whore. 

Roentgium (Rg) – We’re all grown-ups here, roentgium, so I’d like to pay you the favour of being frank in the expectation that you will repay me in similar coin one day. Which is to say, I don’t think you’ve thought through the concept of being extant. When was the last time you passed through this this universe? Sure, you visited back in 1994, but since then you’ve made yourself pretty scarce. Here’s the thing, roentgium: we’re doing just fine without you.

Ununbium (Uub) – So you’re the first element with three characters in your symbol. Well la-di-da. I suppose you think you’re special. Don’t get used to it.

Ununtrium (Uut) – Hey shithead, someone I know at RIKEN was raving about that time in July 2004 when you showed up for a millisecond. July 23. My birthday. As I recall, you said you were too high-energy to come to my party, and now I find out that you went to Japan. You know what, I’m glad you didn’t show. There were so many synthetics there already that you would have felt ridiculous. Ununseptium showed up, and he doesn’t even exist. Way to make me feel like a friend.

Ununquadium (Uuq) – Who the hell spread a rumor that you had noble gas properties, Mr. eka-lead? Until you put up a photo of yourself, I’m not taking anything for granted. I’ve been burned by Craigslist before and I won’t put up with another six months of heartache.

Ununpentium (Uup) – Look, stop bragging about your ‘island of stability’. Everyone knows that you decay within milliseconds. You come on like you could outlast the universe, but the truth is, even a piece of fried chicken from 7-Eleven has a longer shelf life than you. Save it for the geeks.

Ununhexium (Uuh) – Great. Hey everybody, it’s Stevie Nicks. Hey, Stevie Nicks is looking pretty rough. Wait, it’s ununhexium again. Sorry to disappoint you.

Ununseptium (Uus) – You know, ununseptium, you’re not real. And I like you that way. Stay theoretical, buddy. Once an atom or two of you pops out of some insane reaction, all the scientists will make a big noise for a while. Then the inevitable backlash will set in when they realize what a wanker you probably are.

Ununoctium (Uuo) – I don’t mind admitting that you scare the living hell out of me, ununoctium. If radon is what radium farts out, then I don’t want to meet the radioactive ass whence you issued. And that’s what truly scares me: an ass with 120 protons, farting its deadly message into our cosmos from beyond space and time.