Thursday, June 19, 2008

MPH

Imagine one afternoon you are driving home from work, and just as you approach your house, a car smashes into you. At first glance it really appears there was nothing you could do about it. You were on a narrow street that you had to traverse to get to your destination, and even though you might have seen the car coming, there was absolutely no way to avoid it. You’re not hurt badly, just a few cuts and scrapes, but your car is all smashed up. It costs you money to get it fixed.

So, you go and get it fixed, but one week later another car smashes into you. Again, you are not badly hurt and the only real damage is monetary, but you have insurance so it’s not going to break you.

Amazingly, the very next week it happens again. You become understandably annoyed. Even with the insurance, this is starting to become expensive and troublesome. It is also unpleasant, and despite your best attempts, you begin to feel unfairly targeted by misfortune. So, despite logic…you begin to drive a different route. It takes longer and is not the best way to get home. It reduces your efficiency, but because of this string of incidents, it feels like it may be prudent to change something to try to break the cycle.

A week or two passes with and things seem to have returned to normal. But then one day you’re cruising along, it’s a beautiful day…BAM! ANOTHER CAR SMASHES INTO YOU! You can hardly believe it, but what can you do? You got get it fixed. You decide that there is no reason to be less efficient by driving a different route if you are just going to get crashed into anyways. You lament your frustration to your friends. They too have been in crashes, and offer that it is merely coincidence…but nonetheless they refuse to let you ride in their car for fear that they will get smashed into merely because of your presence.

You consider stopping driving altogether. But when you analyze the situation you can find no real reason why you should get involved in more of these accidents than anyone else. Nevertheless, you and others notice the unusually high frequency of occurrence and are perplexed by it. You become frustrated and feel put upon. As you are driving along one morning on your way to work, now completely paranoid and frazzled, concentrating all your efforts on being defensive, you watch as another car driven by a coworker goes zooming by you with the radio blasting swerving across 5 lanes of traffic at 110 mph. At one point he actually goes into a spin but somehow recovers it and gets to work 10 minutes before you. Upon arriving at work, you learn that he just got the raise and promotion hat you had been trying for.

4 comments:

Chris / Chuck said...

Assuming that you aren't doing anything to make the accidents more likely, then you can't track the individual accidents as a string of linked events.

Did this actually happen to you?

steph-smith said...

Sounds like a poker analogy to me.

Sean said...

Maybe stop driving except for fun and only ocassionaly on safe streets. Or buy a piece of shit car that you don't mind getting wrecked up. Or stop playing so much poker and find other hobbies that don't involve so much frustration and disapointment. It worked for me and it can for you too. I can show you how in this simple step by step guide to hobby happiness. Send three easy payments of $39.95 to my address and you too can achieve the kind of hobby happiness that until now only the rich and beautiful have enjoyed.

pokerpogi said...

I just know that I really, really want a promotion hat.