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DFS. See them. Know them. Fear them.

The British company DFS (which stands for Dontya Feel Stupid (after the eternal price slashing policy that makes the couch advertised more than the one you bought)) is a large chain of furniture stores in the U.K. The odd thing about this otherwise negligible institution is that it appears to break the laws of physics. The shops are almost advertised by a Northerner reciting poems while images of rich people with cheap sofas flash past.

At nearly every major seasonal event in the Western calendar, they seem to hold a sale. "A constant, continual sale?", I hear you ask, "But surely that breaks the laws of thermodynamics?" You, being the genius that you are, are of course, correct. It does break the laws of thermodynamics. Nothing in the universe can be perpetual, but somehow the sale never seems to end. Such is DFS's utter contempt for the concept of entropy, that it managed to cause a minor schism amongst the modern scientific community, the history of which I shall now relate.

edit The DFS Sale Eternity Theorum - A Brief History

Sometime in the mid-1980's, with most scientists resting on their laurels in the cosy, pink, fuzzy belief that they finally had the universe all worked out, DFS opened it doors for the first time in the rather unremarkable town of Milton Keynes. Of course, naturally, they had a sale on. Not that the scientists were at all excited about this, well apart from the ones looking for cheap furniture in the Milton Keynes area anyway, but alas, I digress. It was only when the chain began to grow and the sales had now been on for several years that anyone was showing any great concern.

It was on the fateful day of August 12th, 1987 that during an otherwise dull and tedious Oxford University Alumni Reunion that chartered accountant Betty Swallocks began to chat to world-famous quantum physicist Hugh Janus over champagne and canapes. The conversation, though with it being so many years ago, I have trouble recalling it, I feel went very much like this:-

Betty - Greetings Hugh, long time no see.

Hugh - Indeed, yes it is.

Betty - Did you read my paper? It is most engaging, if I say so myself.

Hugh - No, I am afraid I haven't. What pray, was the subject?

Betty - A most vexing problem concerning a chain of furniture stores called DFS. You see the problem my friend, perhaps I should have mentioned this earlier, is that they have a perpetual sale on.

Hugh - How shocking! A constant sale? Surely, that is not possible?

Betty - I wish that it were so my old friend, but alas not. Myself and my accountancy colleagues cannot see how they make a profit.

Hugh - An even more perplexing quandary has just revealed itself to me. If the sale is indeed eternal, which I predict it could well be, then it plays havoc with the laws of God's universe!

Betty - I apologise for vexing you so my friend! Worry not about it! I feel this champagne is making me quite the buffoon!

Hugh - And I likewise. I shall put this problem from my mind. Could I so bold as interest you in joining me in the lavatories to, as the peasants so crudely say, "play the pink oboe?"

Betty - Why, indeed yes you can! I hope that it shall be most diverting for the two of us!

I could at this point reader, continue to recall this sordid exchange, but I fear that it is too sinful for these hallowed pages.

Later that day, Hugh retreated to his laboratory to carry out some calculations. By predicting the growth curve of DFS, he able to prove that the company could continue to grow, even if they always gave interest free credit and allowed their customers to pay nothing for a year. Subsequently, this resulted in most of the fundamental laws of science being either potentially false, difficult to prove or downright shakey.

Shocked and stunned, Hugh immediately published a paper called "Perpetual Motion:- On The Bizarre Business Practices Of The Furniture Retail Trade". In this work, Janus maintained that a new "post-Theorist science" would have to be founded. This meant that the majority of post-Newtonian science was educated guesswork at best and outright lies at worst and he instead proposed a more radical, pragmatic approach to mathematics, physics and the cosmos in general.


Not the "Sofa Of Infinity", but perhaps a close approximation

The paper went into international circulation through a number of scientific journals and caused uproar in the scientific community (it was also published as a best-selling book called "The Infinite Sofa" and made the writer a pretty penny, but I have no time to discuss that here).

Many of the scientists who read this conclusive proof that all modern science was now indeed highly flawed were outraged. Many simply refused to believe Janus and spent many years (and an awful lot of money, dear reader) blindly trying to disprove The DFS Sale Eternity Theorum (as it was now named). In the early 1990's, most of the scientists had given up doing even this and instead bombarded Janus with a barrage of hate-mail, death-threats and (highly immature if you ask me, although, of course, you did not) obscene prank calls.

However, in the end, even these stopped after Janus renounced science and fled to Mt. Athos, Greece to become and Orthodox monk (where, I am reliably told, he is now an icon restorer and in his spare time grows prize-winning marrows). Ironically however, this act served only to inspire his detractors, who decided to pretend that the paper had never been published and carry on as normal despite overwhelming evidence. As far as I can recall, a spokesman at the time said:-

Spokesman - "Fuck it. If it works for the Creationists, it's good enough for us".

Quite shocking, is it not?

edit The Theorum - How Has It Affected Society?

As is inevitable of these sort of things, much like Marmite, people either really, really agreed with the Theorum or they really, really didn't. Both groups were equally unlikeable. The first of these groups, the anti-Theorists, I have already mentioned. The other group, the pro-Theorists, have not already been mentioned, so it's about time I did.


All over a sofa, eh...?

Whilst the majority of the world is still very much under the influence of anti-Theorists, resulting in the widespread belief in "normal science", some more radical and admittedly, more politically unstable parts of the world have pro-Theorists as major social and political figures. Typically, this means that the media and the education system are littered with pro-theorist propaganda, leading to criticisms of "brain-washing", particularly in the young. Perhaps the most famous case of this occurred in 2004 in a school in Braindead, The Undead People's Socialist Republic, where the many pro-Theorist parents on the board of school governors vetoed the mainly anti-Theorist teaching staff and thus prevented their children from being exposed to any material or arguments against the DFS Sale Eternity Theorum whilst attending school. Most of the teaching staff that were not relieved of their posts were forced to flee the country.

Mostly though, these cases are isolated and majority pro-Theorism occurs only in a minority of countries. However, many are currently concerned by the link between pro-theorism and religious fundamentalism (i.e. Fundamentalist Christianity) and/or controversial political ideologies (i.e. Undead Socialism). With many of these groups having links to the media, industry and the military, even in majority anti-Theorist countries, it is clear that pro-Theorism could pose a serious physical and ideological threat to peace-loving nations around the globe.

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