Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Night With 50¢

This odd thing happened to me a few months ago. There I was, 7:30am, coasting sleepily through my morning routine. When I was suddenly startled wide awake by a strange metallic plunking noise. Strange, but not unfamiliar. I was pretty sure I'd heard that noise before, for some reason Las Vegas came to mind. But definitely out-of-context.

I looked down to find a quarter between my feet. What the...? The noise I heard would certainly match the sound that a falling quarter would make upon hitting the floor of a porcelain lined, cast iron bathtub. I instinctively looked up toward the shower head. Nothing.

I looked back down. Yes, that was definitely a quarter and it definitely wasn't there a few seconds ago.

I looked up again. I don't know what I expected to see up there. Leprechauns hanging from the shower curtain rod? With a pot o' quarters? I peeked around the curtain. No, no leprechaun or any other species of mischievous imp. (JB was away on a trip.)

I was really hoping to see some explanation for this. Because the absence of shower leprechauns would force me to face the only other logical possibility: That I just made change with my ass.

I quickly finished rinsing and toweled off. I impatiently wiped a clear spot in the mirror fog to get a look at my backside. That's when I saw it... A circular indentation on the left side of my lower back, inside of which I could clearly make out the majestic (albeit historically inaccurate but whatever) profile of our nation's first president, General George Washington.

Eureka! I knew there had to be a rational, scientific explanation. It's simple Newtonian statics really...

The KAFL formula allows us to predict the approximate degree to which a small, solid object
will impinge itself into subcutaneous adipose deposits as a function of time and body mass.
When trapped between the normal force of my Sealy Posturpedic (N) pushing up, and the force of gravity (g) pulling my ass (M) down over a prolonged period of time (t), the coin (Q) embedded itself in my back fat (Fb).

(In certain specialized fields of science, engineering and celebrity rehab, this is known as the "Kirstie Alley Frito Lay Effect". And while it's most commonly applied to Cheetos, bottle caps and chicken bones, it's a simple matter to extend the equation to cover loose bed change.)

Even after my alarm clock went off, the quarter maintained static equilibrium due to the force of atmospheric pressure at sea level pushing on the "tails" side of the quarter (referred to by numismatists as the "fugly state side") acting in concert with the pulling force of my love-handle suction on the obverse. (Numismatists can't just say "heads".) And there it remained, imperceptibly adding to my net worth as I made coffee, fed the cats and checked my email.

There's simply no way of guessing with any degree of accuracy how long the quarter would have remained there if I hadn't dislodged it in the shower with that loofa on a stick.

This all made for an amusing anecdote at the time. Anyway – and this is weird – the same thing happened to me again this morning. Only this time two quarters fell out of my butt.

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