Friday, March 27, 2009

Have Wait's Laws Been Refuted?

We have previously introduced and discussed Wait's Law and Wait's Second Law in this space. Namely:

(1) Everything in adult life costs $500.
(2) $800 is the new $500.

Today, however, a striking challenge to Wait's Law and Second Law arose, shaking my confidence in an orderly universe. Specifically, the Silver Zloty's car battery required replacement. Even opting for the Sears Die-Hard with the longer warranty, the invoice came to only $131 including tax, a far cry from the theoretically incontrovertible parameters previously set forth.

As with Rutherford's gold foil experiment, we cannot merely discard observations that seem inconsistent with existing theory. We investigate further.

Reviewing: it's true that today's charges fell short of the mark, and that the damage to the household treasury was, if not minimal, moderate. It's also true that this modest expenditure was voluntary, in part, as the battery had recharged itself adequately during the drive to the store since its earlier failure during the day. Does this fact account for the apparent exception?

(Aside: Is there a better unclaimed name for a rock band than The Cold Cranking Amps? Answer: No.)

Then it happened. The service technician uttered those magic words: "Mr. Wait, can I show you something?"

He points out the loose engine mounts. Price to replace: $800. The guy at Sears spotted them, for Pete's sake. Clearly Wait's Laws hold; confidence in their universality is restored once again. Naturally, I declined to have the work done this time, as before. Who has $800 just lying around?

Which leads us immediately to Wait's Third Law:

(3) If you think Wait's First and Second Laws don't apply: buddy, just you wait!

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