Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Schrödinger's U-turn

Me and the beau were driving on the highway from our town to the next over the other day. I was watching the scenery and we passed a few of those U-turns they have through the median that are really only used by clocking coppers and occasionally emergency vehicles. At every U-turn there was the (No U-Turn) sign.

This sort of irritates me, because especially on that stretch of highway (it's even worse farther on), if you miss your exit you are literally driving for miles and miles before you can turn around. I can even think of at least one exit that says "No Re-entry Eastbound" so if you miss your exit, and take the next exit, you still can't turn around.

My solution, of course, was that a number of the no U-turn's could actually be places where, oh, I dunno, you can turn around! When bargaining, aim high, so I said every other one should be OK for turning around.

The beau of course reminded me that U-turns through the median onto a highway could be quite dangerous (duh, thanks, I know). And if you're on the highway, you might not be able to see someone making the U-turn... meanwhile you're going 65mph... etc.

So I suggested there could be some sort of sign for these types of U-turns. I thought about it for a moment. Obviously the words can't be too long, because you're going 65mph and don't have time to read the frikkin' Analects so it has to be quick!

Our conversation went something like:

"Okay, I know what to call it!"


"Viable U-turn Ahead" and here's where I beam with self-satisfied glee because this is a perfect answer.

"You can't use viable."

"What? Why not?"

"Wh... what does viable even mean? I don't even know what it means. The laws of this country aren't made for any other reason then to protect dumb people. People don't know what viable means. If you use that, no one is going to know, and there'll be just as many accidents anyway."

(And out of all that I of course took...) "You don't know what viable means?"

"I... okay, maybe. It means potential, right?"

So we had a long discussion on the what the exact difference between "potential" and "viable" is. I argue that "potential" refers more to an unknown quantity ie: He has a lot of potential. Whereas "viable" refers more to a YES/NO statement, there either being (in use) or being (not in use) of a U-turn ahead. Either way, watch out.

I drummed up a mental tally of some of my coworkers... and decided OK, maybe "viable" WOULD be a bad choice...

So with an equally satisfied air of triumph, I declared, "Schrödinger's U-turn!"

He made some unintelligible exclamatory remarks...

"Do you know what Schrödinger said?" I asked, somewhat exasperated.


So I gave him a crash course in layman's terms of THAT experiment. While agreeing it was interesting, he burst my bubble with:

"If they don't know what viable means, they probably won't know who Schrödinger is."


That is probably true.

But I don't like being defeated twice, so I sulked.

"I don't care," I said. "We'll put it in the traffic manual and they have to learn it or NO LICENSE. I hereby declare Schrödinger's U-turn to be in effect."

So there.

1 comment:

  1. HAHA. You're right about U-Turns though. I absolutely hate driving on the highway because of the constant threat of missing your exit. There is little worse than the feeling of accidentally being 50 miles away from where you're supposed to be.

    I particularly find it irritating when huge semi's are driving so close to each other that you can't SEE the exit signs.

    I must spread the word about Schrodinger's U-Turn though. Sounds good to me. LOL.