Contact Us    
Sort 137

PIQUE and the Universe.

by Dear Jon
May 7, 2002

Bookmark and Share

Sort 137_Dear Jon-PIQUE and the Universe. ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

Do you realize you did "Sort 135" twice? Shouldn't the second Sort 135 actually be sort 136? Will the next Sort be 136 or 137?

Counting the numbers

Dear Numbers,

That would be the Webmaster’s fault, since I don’t have time to look up which column I’m sorting. Now let’s see what parenthetical note he inserts to sabotage me.

[The Webmaster parenthetically notes: This oversight was corrected early on, and I take full responsibility for trusting Dear Jon to remember what sort he was on, as he apparently was just taking a stab when he submitted "Sort 135" as the title for his last column.]


Dear Jon,

I do have a Ph.D. in Rockology, so please stop referring to me as "Doctor" Spin!

Dr. Spin, Ph.D.

Dear Ph,

Bring it on, man! I can take both you and the Webmaster down with my eyes closed and one hand q3eoi baoi;wer bmauy . (Dear Readers: Sorry. I typed that last bit with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back.)

[The Webmaster intervenes: Dear Readers: The PO apologizes for this unwarranted spat between columnists, but for the record, Dear Jon started it. Though he begs to differ, Dear Jon does not own the concept of taking questions from readers. Future attempts at sabotage between these two will be censored (i.e., omitted).]


Dear Jon,

How come road maps are almost impossible to fold up the right way after unfolding them?

Weary traveler

Dear Ary,

There are a number of imponderables that cannot be explained by current scientific models. There is the Map Folding Mystery. There is also the Product Packing Mystery, in which, when you find out your new inkjet printer is missing a ribbon, it is impossible to pack it back into the box and return it to the vendor.

Since these imponderables are common-place, it is obvious that current scientific models for understanding the universe are inadequate. It is time for Dear Jon to propose a new model for understanding reality. I call it the Physical Inconvenience Quotient of Universal Entropy, or PIQUE.

According to the theory of PIQUE, the time-space continuum bends itself relative to the Stress Waves generated by your brain when the future you desire becomes less likely and the future you dread becomes more likely. As the future you dread becomes more likely, your stress waves manipulate matter to provide you with additional obstacles and inconveniences to make the future you desire even less possible.

Suppose that a male person J needs to travel 10 city miles to a location in order to meet an appointment that will enrich him greatly. Suppose J plans to allow 45 minutes to travel those 10 miles. Suppose that J is held up from leaving because an irate vendor is demanding a commitment to pay outstanding bills. Instead of 45 minutes, J now has only half an hour.

The anticipated future AF has now shifted so that the Desired Future DF is less likely than it had been and the Dreaded Future DR is more likely than it was. Even if the Desired Future still has a higher probability, the diminishment of that probability has produced an entropic reaction called a Stress Wave SW.

SW radiates out from J, and the fundamental forces of the universe respond. J unfolds the map to double-check his route. He cannot get the map folded up properly. He curses as time ticks away. He gives up and stuffs the chaotic wad back into the glove compartment, which he knows will upset Mrs. J. who demands a tidy glove compartment.

Because he is specifically in a hurry, he ends up behind a city bus in one lane, shifts to pass and ends up behind a Buick with Alabama plates driven by an elderly in town to visit their nephew and they have never been off the interstate in a town larger than 10,000 people in their whole life. Because he is specifically in a hurry, the lights synchronize to turn red at every intersection, even at half-streets where lights normally turn red about once every half-hour, but when they do, it is for at least five minutes.

Each obstacle presents a diminished value to DF, a corresponding increase to DR, and an entropic reaction in SW. As SW increases in frequency, so do the obstacles. J arrives at the appointment twenty minutes late, thus starting the new relationship on the wrong foot and putting his financial future in peril.

Compare that to J and Mrs. J’s visit to Mrs. J’s parents in the suburbs for dinner. J could not care in the least when he arrives. No stress waves originate. All lights are green. All the traffic is in the other direction. They arrive 20 minutes early.

I am convinced that PIQUE is a fundamental law that governs our universe. PIQUE prevents us from folding maps properly.

Post a Comment

Send Us Your Opinion
(Comments are moderated.)
Your Name:*

Your E-Mail Address:*
(Confidential. Will not be published.)


Note: In order to control automated spam submissions, URLs are no longer permitted in this form.

Please type the letters you see above.


Bookmark and Share

Dear Jon Letters: Tips for Dating and Mating
Temporarily Unavailable
Published July 21, 2008

Our advice humorist turns his attention and trademark wit to affairs of the heart in his first and very affordable book (only $8.95!).

More Information
RSS Feed for Dear Jon: RSS Feed for Dear Jon
Sign up to receive an e-mail notice when new articles by this author are published. Your address remains confidential, and you may cancel at any time. A confirmation email will be sent.

Your e-mail address:
Sort 137
po Books
Now Available!

Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.

A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.

More Information.

More by Dear Jon
Sort 433: Going on Sabbatical
Miss Me? Let me know!
by Dear Jon, 6/15/10
Sort 432: Jokes and Horse Names
and other Random One Liners
by Dear Jon, 6/8/10
Sort 431: Piggy Tossing
and the new touring show: "Lord of the Flies."
by Dear Jon, 6/1/10
Sort 430: Forwarding Fear
Spam with a side of mashed logic
by Dear Jon, 5/25/10
Sort 429, Mixing Oil and Water
is like mixing politics and humor. All you get is a sticky mess and a lot of upset environmentalists.
by Dear Jon, 5/18/10
Sort 428: Handling the Truth
And other lessons for cable channels
by Dear Jon, 5/11/10
Sort 427: Dear Jon Knew When to Shut Up
by Dear Jon, 5/4/10
» Complete List (462)

RSS Feed for Dear Jon: RSS Feed for Dear Jon

Recently Published
View Article Nor Easter Alert
A troubling forecast for a nation in need of God
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 3/16/18
A Tribute to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
Looking back to where it all began PLUS; There Goes the Neighborhood
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 3/9/18
A Prayer for the Washington State Legislature
Remembering Billy Graham's example
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 3/2/18
A Sentry of the Past Century
Remembering Billy Graham; PLUS, Cross Words
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 2/23/18
Another St. Valentine's Day Massacre
When will the craziness stop?
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 2/16/18
Speaking of the Winter Olympics
A prayer for our athletes and our world
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 2/9/18
A Call for Respect
Lessons from the State of the Union
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 2/2/18

Get the Partial Observer's
'recently published' headlines via RSS.

RSS Feed for Recently Published PO Articles    What is RSS?

Reproduction of original material from The Partial Observer without written permission is strictly prohibited.
The opinions expressed by site contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the editors.
Copyright ©2000-2018 partialobserver.com. All rights reserved.
Home · Site Map · Top