A Statistically Impossible Stoplight and Other Mundane Mysteries

black traffic light
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There is a statstically impossible stoplight about three miles west of my house. The stoplight is an anamoly, a discontinuity in the spacetime continuum. In the 13 years that I have lived in the area, driving west toward the light, I have never approached it when it was green. It is always red when I approach it.

How is this possible? The law of averages should give me a better than 0% chance of approaching this light while it is still green instead of red. Even if the timing of the light gives preference to the traffic flowing north-south in a 2-to-1 ratio, then I should still approach it with it is green at least a third of the time.

And yet, as I drove toward it once again this morning to take a car for service, it was red. It is always red when I approach. No other light in the 34 years I have been driving has been as red as this one. I just don’t understand it.

Sometimes the light teases me. I see it in the distance, glowing green, and when I get close enough to think I might actually make it through, it turns yellow and I screech to a halt. I can never seem to get the timing right. The light always defeats me. You’d think that at least once I could make it through the light when it was green, but in 13 years it has not happened.

There is a sink in our master bath that takes a really long time for hot water to flow. I can put on the hot water, walk away, and a minute later, it will be tepid. Another minute and it will be warm. Give it one more minute and it is finally hot. I don’t understand it. When I wash dishes, the hot water in the kitchen seems to be instantaneous. There is a bathroom downstairs for which the hot water is also very quick. All of the showers in the house heat up quickly. It is just this one sink that takes its time. I can’t explain it.

It is annoying because it is the bathroom I use most frequently. In the summer I don’t mind so much, and will often luxuriate in the feeling of the ice cold water when I wash my hands. In the winter, it is almost unbearable. It hurts to wash my hands in water that cold. Sometimes, I will walk to the kitchen and wash my hands there because I know the water will be warm quickly.

Strange as it may seem, when I wake up in the middle of the night and look at the clock, chances are 10-to-1 that the clock will read 12:34 am. For some reason, I always seem to wake up at 12:34 am. I can’t explain it. It is an strange time to wake up given the coincidence of the time making up the first four of the counting numbers. I sometimes think that if I could see the seconds, they would read :56. Sometimes I will wake up and deliberately not look at the clock. I figure if I wait a minute or two before I look at the clock, it will be at leaste 12:35 when I finally break down and look. When I do this, the clock always seems to read: 12:34. It’s like I am stuck in some kind of time warp.

These are just of few of the mundane mysteries I deal with on a daily basis. Do you have any mundate mysteries that you can’t explain? Let me hear about them in the comments.

Written on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2022.

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