14 Nov. 2006
SETI League
PriUPS Project

Aide Plucoire

Amongst the tragedies that befall us, this wasn't a great one.  I forgot my lunch.  This was not a Honeymooner's "the farmers will suffer" event.  I had prepared my PLUCO with my accustomed insouciance, placing a few broccoloids in juxtaposition with some lefts-over and adding almost enough butter.  Because I wasn't leaving the house right then, I put the PLUCO in the refrigerator and went about my business.  When I left for work, my alleged mind was elsewhere, and I forgot my PLUCO.

Happens to us all, right?  If you've never forgotten your lunch, it's because your lunch has been  attached to the doorknob or is otherwise in your path as you leave.  Which brings me to the point of this blogitem.  I, too, put my PLUCO on the floor in front of the door if I prepare it immediately before my intended departure time.  I only return it to the refrigerator if I anticipate a temporal gap between preparation and departurization, which gap is then responsible for my subsequent forgetfulness.  What can be done?

  • I can accept the fact that I will occasionally find myself lunch-free.  Consuming it later and subsisting on chocolate in the interim is not unduly arduous.

  • I can either prepare the PLUCO immediately before leaving, an occasional inconvenience, or place it in front of the door regardless of its anticipated dwell time, an invitation to colorful enhancements of the food when finally consumed.

  • I can come up with an electronic solution to the problem.

If you don't know which of these I would choose, feel free to revisit the story of how I was invested with my third pen. 

An Electronic PLUCO Reminder

Sadly, this electronic solution is likely to exist already, preventing me from giving free reign to compulsive ideaphoria.  Its key is simultaneity.  While the very notion is denied by relativists, in this case the few nanoseconds or microseconds involved are no impediment.  The problem is the time delay between the refrigeration of the lefts-over and the time of their removal.  The PLUCO can be forgotten because there is no observable token of its existence in the departure path.  The solution, therefore, is to find a nonperishable substitute for the PLUCO itself that will remind one that it awaits in the 'fridge. 

Much too simple, as I said.  I have no doubt that I can purchase a little radio-controlled something (for nearly nothing) that will flash a light at point B when a button is pressed at point A.  Put the light on the door at eye level and attach the button to the side of the refrigerator.  Press the button when the PLUCO goes into the refrigerator, turn off the light on your way out the door, remembering to thank it for the reminder.

I know this invention isn't up to my usual standards.  If the device didn't already exist, perhaps I could embellish the refrigerator end with a chromatography apparatus to analyze the food and transmit it to the door-reminder, which would send me Morse Code reminding me what yummy victuals I would have in store if I heed its message.

Richard Factor

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