When we were driving home from church Sunday, there was a traffic jam on a divided residential road bordered by apartments. Looking ahead, we could see a truck with a flat bed trailer had pulled out on the street and stopped, sticking out over the two lanes of traffic nearly to the curb on the other side of the street. We waited, not very patiently because patience isn’t one of our many virtues, and grumbled a bit. Finally the driver turned. Slowly, slowly, he headed down the street followed by the trailer. Immediately, the truck pulled over to the right side of the road followed by a car–also driving very slowly–with blinkers on and another car with blinkers on, all going very, very slowly.
The procession confused us until George pulled around into the left lane and passed the last two vehicles. The flatbed of the truck was filled with furniture which came up the the two-feet rails of the bed. Obviously, someone in the caravan was moving. The movers had placed a bookcase on the top of the flat load of furniture. It lay above the rails and was not tied down in any way. Then I saw him. A man tottered on the narrow back edge of the flatbed with nothing to hold onto because the rails were too low. His mission was to keep the bookcase from sliding out.
When we watch America’s Funniest Home Videos–much of which is men doing manly stuff that ends up with great crashes and probably greater pain–I ask my husband, “Don’t they even think of the law of physics?” Obviously they don’t, especially the one about an object in motion staying in motion.
ELEMENTARY PROBLEM OF PHYSICS: What happens if one stands on the back edge of a flatbed balancing a six-shelf bookcase which is not tied down and the truck stops. Answer: the bookcase will slide backward, hit one, throw one off the back of the flatbed, and land on top of one.
Have you seen a stupid act you’d like to share? Love to hear them.