In the Same Place Twice

It’s not true about lightning never striking the same place twice. Most people know that, but the thing is, it’s not supposed to strike the same place twice, and it didn’t used to, which is why the saying.

The guy who’s responsible for lightning strikes was quite young still when he got the job and he was concerned with making a good impression, so he was very careful to make sure that lightning never struck the same place twice. He recorded the exact location of each lightning strike, and before allowing a new bolt of lightning to be released he cross-referenced its end point with his records.

Obviously as the list got longer it became harder and more time consuming for the guy to cross-reference each new strike, so that by the late Crustacean Period the number of lightning strikes was reduced to between four and six strikes per year worldwide.

A committee was assembled to look into the matter, and they contemplated permitting lightning to strike in the same location more than once, but instead they hired extra staff so that lightning strikes could be processed more quickly, and officially lightning is still not supposed to strike in the same place twice.

You can see how from the late Crustacean Period until about the 1980s things would’ve been hard for the department, but the speed with which computers can calculate these things could surely permit a robust program of lightning strikes without any overlap.

That’s true, and there’s even a computer logging system in place. The thing is that the guy in charge just doesn’t give a shit anymore. It’s true that back when he got the job he was on the young side for it, but it’s been several million years and he’s still doing it. He started to find the work dull around the time the dinosaurs disappeared, and he put in for promotion thousands of times over the years, but this other guy, who was six millennia younger than our guy and happened to have become the boss of the guy in charge of lightning strikes, had it in for our guy.

By the end of the last ice age, the guy figured he was stuck for good. So now he full on doesn’t give a shit. He shows up late for work and he leaves early and he targets whatever he feels like, but he’s been doing the job for so long now that nobody dares to challenge him, and besides, the position’s unionized, so they’d never get him out anyway. Which is why, after Jesse made some disparaging comments about our guy and said that in this day and age a monkey could ensure the integrity of lightning strikes, he got struck seven times in forty-six seconds.

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