Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Hero, Zero

Life seems to be pretty much a zero-sum game. Obviously, in the grand scheme, you’re born, and you die. That’s about as zero-summy as you can get. But even on a smaller scale, there often seems to be a “good thing happening/bad thing happening” coupling that occurs outside the likelihood predicted by chance (referred to within the scientific community as the “2-GL phenomenon” for the oft-encountered “get-laid-get-lice” co-occurrence).

Lest my karmaphilic readers become all up in arms about how bad things happen because of bad deeds perpetrated, let me state that I’m referring to NKEs (Non Karmic Events). I don’t really have a stance on karma, though I sort of hope it’s a myth, as I’ve done far more bad than good in this world, particularly as of late, and I’m due for a karmic ass-whoopin’ any time now if it’s not. If you deny the existence of NKEs, well, you can just head back over to

As an example, I recently bought a new sled, and had to get the proper Q-Clips for the roof racks. (For those of you who own box vans, and therefore transport bikes/skis/rotting corpses of dead hookers inside your vehicles, Q-Clips are a car-specific attachment for the Yakima Q-Tower rack system.) The Yakima rack system is not cheap, and a set of 4 Q-Clips is generally about $70. As it turns out, the Q-Clips for a 1992 Suzuki Sidekick are no longer made (this may or may not be a karmic event). Without them, I would be looking at the Yakima “Landing Pad” system, which would be upwards of $300. (I don’t know the cost of a Thule system, as Thule racks are for squares … the only other acceptable rack system is a set of 40-year-old Barrecrafters.)

Though it's clearly a bit late to make a long story short, I fortuitously found what must be the last 4 appropriate Q-Clips in existence on eBay, and was able to purchase them for a mere $30. At least that was the financial cost … as anyone even remotely familiar with 2-GL would predict, something bad was bound to happen. Sure enough, with days of receiving the goods, the People Of Walmart website was blocked at work. A high price to pay, to be sure ... go take a look, if you don't work for some oppressive government agency. I think if I had a chance to change things, I’d even buy a set of Thules.

A zero-sum game indeed. As the Beatles so eloquently put it in an early draft of their final verse:

And in the end,
The racks with which you carry the boards on which you ski …
Are equal* to
The number of white-trash fat people in tiger striped lycra pants you see …

* It has long been theorized that by "equal," Lennon meant "perfectly and inversely correlated." George Harrison's influence is responsible for the far more karmic and infinitely more gag-inducing version that made the album.


prom queen said...

I showed you the way to that website. Give a girl some credit!

N*88 said...

Wait, I have a Thule rack and I'm pretty sure you've made fun of me for it.

Anonymous said...

Little bro, what are you talking about! BUYING pre-made car racks? Have you forgotten about the wooden ones you used to make? I (and everyone else in the Deer Valley Ski resort) will never forget the prototype ski rack you designed and built: the 12 foot boards extending sideways off the car top could have held a dozen skis. But the reason I remember it so vividly is that everytime I got out of your car, I slammed my eye into the end of it. A Tony classic. Tim