Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Incident Pit

One of the things that as struck me as a very accurate observation of complex systems is the Indicident Pit.

I see things like this through work, were small problems are left unchecked to create larger ones, and generally don't find myself stuck in the situation very often - it's made me quite disciplined about getting the small things right.

All of that hard earned wisdom didn't help today though - Christina doesn't know about Incident Pits.

The setup:

  • You'll need a Chihuahua.
  • You'll need a Cat.
  • You'll need a significantly larger dog who understandably wants to understand the cat, but can't; as it keeps running away.
  • You'll need a fence that lets the Chihuahua through it
  • You'll need to neglect upkeep of the Chihuahua's dog school lessons
  • You might want to add a greyhound, even if all it does it sit back and watch
  • And you'll need the Hottest City in the World.
Prior setup:
Take the Chihuahua from your relative's home, add it to your own home/zoo during the peak of the heatwave, because it's "too hot".

Step One:
Take the cat, and put it in a room to keep it away from the circus of dogs invading its otherwise comfortable house.

Step Two:
For no apparent reason, retrieve the cat and attempt to place it outside, via the dog occupied territories

Step Three:
When you realise the animosity between the larger dog and the cat you are now holding aloft in your hands has reached a renewed vigour, change your approach. Particularly when the large dog walks outside, the very place you are trying to put said cat, making the placement of any cats in any outdoors environment infeasible.

Step Four:
While all of this has been going on, your partner, working diligently from home (ie: me) sees your distress and finally decides to assist - let's face it, there is no neat way you are getting out of this.

Step Five:
Instead of waiting, holding the cat safe but scared out of harms way for your partner to help, immediately try to visit the other end of the house and "post" the cat via the cat door and commence walking away from the scenario.

Step Six:
Right now you've got one dog on the Porch, the gates are open and so is the screen door.
At about this time, observe as the Chihuahua causally strolls through the open screen door, across the porch, lawn and subsequently through the front fence - which, handily, takes a human longer to run around. Don't worry, your partner is on it.

Step Seven:
Chase the tiny dog. The large dog is loose too and getting a bit excited, but it still on the property.
Yelling takes place for a while. The gate gets closed. Large dog is now at least in one place. Fetch dog treats and an ineffective clicker, which seems to just accelerate the Chihuahua.

Step Eight:
Chihuahua runs, and thinks What a fantastic game! I run, they follow me! This is great! I bet I can make it all the way into this huge industrial area! 

View Larger Map

A car is fetched, but your partner is still trailing the dog, diligently and most importantly barefoot. Over hot pavement. Broken glass. Snake infested ex industrial dumping grounds.

Step Nine:
Every time your partner gets the Chihuahua's attention, think you can do better and give it a something else to pay attention to, even if you are further away.

Step Ten:
Finally catch the Chihuahua, so in one and a half hours the relative can pick it up.

What's the result?

Your partner now is

  • Suffering second degree burns, blistering
  • Not able to walk comfortably
And the Chihuahua is now so tired from all of the adventure, it's deciding to sit in his lap in what can only be described as 'calculated taunting' and a masquerade of innocence.

But wait! What about the greyhound?
Didn't move an inch the whole time.

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