Barry Smith: Irrelativity |

Barry Smith: Irrelativity

Barry SmithThe Aspen TimesAspen CO, Colorado
Jordan Curet The Aspen Times
ALL | The Aspen Times

The frequently asked questions (FAQ) feature is very handy when you’re using online tech support, but what about for life in general? I mean, a lot of the same questions are asked over and over and over again. If only there were some sort of Universal FAQ. If onlyTHE IRRELATIVITY UNIVERSAL FAQQ: Hey, whats up?A: Not a whole lot.Q: How ya doin?A: Cant complain.Q: Do you know how fast you were going?A: Well, my speedometer read 83 miles per hour. But if you take into account that the Earth rotates in an easterly direction at approximately 1000 miles per hour, and I was traveling west, I guess you could say that I was going about 917 mph. This figure is an estimate, of course, and would need to be adjusted based on our current latitude. Ill happily do those calculations if you give me just a few minutes. Oh! And this is without factoring in the speed of the Earths revolution around the sun. Then you have our galaxy moving through space at unimaginable speeds. The whole concept of speed gets pretty relative pretty quickly. That said, let me do a quick bit of research on my iPhone. You probably want to turn your patrol car off while you wait. Pollution, you knowQ: Hows it going?A: Not bad, not bad.Q: Whos next?A: I think this lady was.Q: What up?A: If you mean whats up? then please refer to the earlier FAQ entry. However, if you have intentionally left out the apostrophe and the s from the word what, then I suppose the answer needs to be amended to either hangin, chillaxin or kickin it.Q: Why me? Why now?A: Because you deserve it, and because it was bound to happen sooner or later, and now is as good a time as any. May as well get it over with.Q: Nice day, huh?A: Beautiful. I hear theres a front moving in, though.Q: Do I need this shit?A: Clearly on some cosmic level you do. Otherwise it wouldnt be upon you. This shit is the Universes way of moving you forward. You are evolving. Yes, its painful, inconvenient at best, but its clearly what you need. Youll understand in time.Q: Can I have the last four digits of your social security number?A: You can, but first therell be an awkward pause while I fish around in my brain in an attempt to untangle it from all the other numbers I have floating around in there. Itll be even more awkward if were having this interaction in person rather than over the phone, as youll have to watch me squinch up my face and mutter a bunch of digits out loud, occasionally shaking my head violently as if erasing an etch-a-sketch. Honestly, you may as well ask me to recite the alphabet without singing it. OK I think Ive got it – its 867-5309.Q: Are you doing 2-for-1s today?A: No, thats only on Tuesdays.Q: Whats the point?A: The point is that there is no point. You and you alone get to determine your own point. Others – culture, religion, family, realtors – will attempt to foist a point upon you, but ultimately you get to choose your own point. So, in a way, the question should be, What point am I choosing?Q: Hey, you! Is that your dog!?A: Nope. Never seen that dog before.Q: What point am I choosing?A: What the hell kind of question is that? Certainly not a frequently asked one. Next.Q: You have got to be kidding!A: Thats not a question, thats a statement.Q: What the #%$@!?A: Dude, calm down. Seriously.Q: Can I start you folks off with drinks?A: Jeez, I thought youd never frequently ask.

Barry Smiths column appears Mondays in The Aspen Times. Visit his web page at

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