“Who are you?”

Em seu livro The God Particle : If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question? (veja no GoogleBooks), Leon M. Lederman (Prêmio Nobel de Física em 1988), mais especificamente no inicio do Capítulo 9, conta uma história no mínimo hilária sobre o que aconteceu uma vez em um trem:

Several years ago, on Manhattan’s IRT subway, an elderly man sweating over an elementary calculus problem in his textbook turned in desperation to the stranger sitting next to him, asking if he knew any calculus. The stranger nodded yes, and proceeded to solve the man’s problem for him. Of course, it’s not every day that an old man studies calculus next to the Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist T. D. Lee on the subway.

I had a similar train experience, but with a different ending. I was sitting on a crowded commuter train out of Chicago when a nurse boarded, leading a group of patients from the local mental hospital. They arranged themselves around me as the nurse began counting: “One, two, three -” She looked at me. “Who are you?”

“I’m Leon Lederman”, I answered, “Nobel Prize winner and director of Fermilab.”

She pointed at me and sadly continued: “Yes, four, five, six…”