A Ridiculously Short History of Time
The Big Bang
The Big Bang is a very popular theory among physicists not only for its scientific merits, but also for the amount of sexual innuendo that can be made regarding it's name. This great primordial explosion supposedly brought everything in the universe into being, although why exactly it did this remains slightly ambiguous. There was belief that the universe was created as a front for the Mafia, although the scientists who developed this theory have mysteriously disappeared.

The "Not-Quite-so-Big-as-the-Big" Bang
Shortly after the Big Bang, at approximately 10-57 seconds, some constituents of the early universe became disgruntled with the way things were going and decided to hold their own universe. The result was the "Not-Quite-so-Big-as-the-Big" Bang. The outcome was disappointing. The new bang accomplished very little, and the two-party system of physics failed miserably since a joint decision between the two partisans could never be reached. This bipartisan idea was basically abandoned throughout the universe and eventually faded from science. Remnants can still be seen in american politics.

That Period When Everything was Still REALLY Hot
During this phase of the history of the universe things were immensely hot, vaguely resembling New Jersey in summertime. Because of the heat, tempers were short and crime rates soared. Free quarks began roaming in gangs of two and three, and consequently matter formed. Shortly following the formation of matter was the formation of what physicist George Smoot has positively identified as the oldest object in the universe: Dick Clark. A few picoseconds after his formation, he hatched the idea for "Celebrity Bloopers and Practical Jokes" and decide that he needed a bumbling sidekick that could make him (or anyone else) look good. Thus, Ed McMahon was created.

Things are Still Very Hot
Everything was still abominably hot at this point in the development of the universe. The cosmos was a very uncomfortable place to live, and it be made regarding it's name. This great primordial ewas obvious that something needed to be done about the heat. This brings us to...

The Great Galactic Air Conditioning
The universe finally decided that it was time to install air conditioning to control the incredibly hot and uncomfortable temperatures that existed. Things cooled slowly at first, as the universe was trying to save money on its electric bills. This was the time when Things Cool Slightly But Not Much. Things cooled faster later, when the universe got fed up with the heat and cranked the air conditioning up all the way. (Author's Note: The current ambient temperature of the universe is now 3 degrees Kelvin and consequently energy is not as free-roaming as it used to be. This is an example of what happens when climate control goes awry.)

Johnny Carson Still Makes Jokes about How Hot it is
Johnny Carson, considered by many to be the most powerful being in existence, has been known to make jokes abut the weather, particularly the heat. At the beginning of the Great Galactic Air Conditioning, things hadn't cooled too much, and this became an easy target for many of Johnny's one-liners. Not having much of an audience, save for basic subatomic particles, Johnny was forced to rely heavily on Ed McMahon for laughter. Some things are always constant in the universe. (Author's note: Since the first edition, Jay Leno has replaced Johnny Carson as host of the Tonight Show. It is unknown what effect Leno will have upon the fabric of the continuum.)

Bosons Acquire Mass
As the universe slowly cooled, intermediate vector bosons decided that it was nicer to stay in a comfortable air conditioned universe that to go out outside and exercise. Bosons then became first the "lazy bum" particles, then the "fat slob" particles, and finally the "weak" particles. Because of their lack of exercise bosons began to gain mass, unlike their energetic spouses the photons. Electromagnetic particles everywhere gave ultimatums: "Either you bosons lose some weight and quit being such pathetic lazy bums, or electromagnetism and the weak force will file for divorce!" There was a quick scramble throughout the universe for cans of the newly-formed Slim-Fast*diet shakes and several particles became severely anorexic. This mad scramble to lose mass was just the beginning of:

The Great Boson Diet
With bosons scrambling about desperately trying to lose weight, the universe was a very turbulent place. The big problem was figuring out just how to to go about losing mass and just how many calories a boson could burn without endangering his health. Many tried crash diets, but only ended up gaining it all back. Several gave up entirely and went on to curse Oprah Winfrey forever as "fat particles." Still others collected around Marlon Brando. The final blow came when random particles adhered into the first snack foods. While very primitive, these proto-Twinkies, quasi-DingDongs and meta-Fritos made the Great Boson Diet an abject failure. Electromagnetism and the weak force eventually divorced, and unification was not to be seen again. Luckily there was no custody battle and the divorce was not too messy. The forces still remain friends and can occasionally be seen flirting in Switzerland and Illinois.

The Universe Moves On
Things proceeded in a somewhat normal manner for a while. There were no more turbulent particle relationships, outside of the normal fission and fusion that goes on everyday. Stars were born and died, great nebulae spread out into the cosmos, planets formed, life evolved, and eventually the Bell telephone system broke up. Only a few great occurences happened in the later stages of the universe. One very important event was the release of the album Voulez Vous by the swedish disco band ABBA. Containing such disco classics as "Take a Chance on Me" and "Voulez Vous" it revolutionized the way the rest of the world looked at scandinavian music and lent musical legitimacy to the disco sound.

How the Universe Will End
Most theorists subscribe to one of two beliefs about the end of the universe. Some believe that the universe will either spread out into complete entropy. Others think that the universe will collapse upon itself and start over in a process termed "The Great Cosmic Nervous Breakdown", perhaps joining a more stable profession afterwards, such as accounting. As to what will herald this end, philosophers, scientists, and theologians have disagreed for ages. Some believe the gods will walk the Earth, others that the stars will all vanish, and still others believe the Earth will stop turning. However, a majority now believe that the end will be heralded by the Milwaukee Brewers winning the world series. The end of the universe is truly a long way away...