June 27, 2007

The way things are

There are some truths. Things that just are the way they are, and no amount of desperate human optimism will change them. Allow me to demonstrate.
The guys showed up with the new stove. I went out front to meet them. Here is what I said:

Hi guys. Sorry it's so hot. Can I get you some water? No? Awesome, we'll just get this beast in, eh? Listen, the front entrance to the kitchen is only 66 cm.

Here is what they said:
Oh, )*&^%^&. This stove is like.....

76 cm. I know. It's going to be a bit of a problem. I think I'm going to have to ask you to come around the back where the garden door is 86 cm and the kitchen door is 72 cm. We'll still have a problem, but if we take off the knobs, the door and the drawer, to get down to less than 72 cm it should work.

72 cm? Oh. That's fine. That's really ok. We can do that.

No. It's not fine, and you can't do that. 72 is smaller than 76. It won't fit unless we take it apart.

No, no. We can get it in. 72 is only a little smaller.

Sure, but it's still smaller. Smaller is smaller. Always. Stoves aren't squishy, this really isn't variable. Allow me to show you figure A.


See how 10 is bigger than 9? See how there is no way that 10 can be made smaller than 9? We need to take it apart.

(I also reflected briefly on the wonders of the human ego that we think we can overcome truths if they are only small truths. It's incredible. Here are two full grown humans who think they can alter physical laws (10 is more than 9) because they are SMART. )

We'll try. You might be surprised at what is possible.

Me (inside my head)
Even though I am a generally optimistic person, I would be very surprised if 10 turned out to be less than 9. Off you go boys.

It came through the garden door.


and then they tried to make 10 less than 9.


As I suspected, ( I would direct you again to figure A.) this was not possible. This was, to the stove movers, a devastating truth.

They started brainstorming.

What if we moved your desk here so that we could put it in straight? If we could swing the back around....

Me :
10 is more than 9. It is more than 9 all the time. It is more than 9 at the top of the door, and it is more than 9 at the bottom of the door. 10 is more than 9 even if you swing the back around. We should take it apart.

Oh, I know. We'll tip it and go diagonally.

Let me show you figure B.


If an cube is 10 by 10, then if you take the diagonal, it is even more. It is 14 (roughly). That won't work. 14 is more than 9. Always.
We should take it apart. The only thing that is smaller than 9 is numbers less than 9, like maybe....8. If we take parts off the stove, it will be less than 9.

Let's try tipping it.


Them (Sweating and straining in the 43 (109F) heat) :
This won't work. I think maybe 10 and 14 are both more than 9. I think no matter what we do, 10 and 14 are more than 9. I think we might not be able to get it though here.

Really? That's a real shame. What could we do?

Them (Upon huge reflection and several checks with a measuring tape to make sure that the stove was still 10 and the door was still 9)
You know what? We should take it apart.

Good idea. This is why they pay you the big bucks, eh?


Posted by Stephanie at June 27, 2007 2:46 PM