a really fascinating thing happened. you know how there are only so many jokes, only so many basic stories that can be told? it's amazing to find how they reoccur, and how the same algorithm can be funny when instantiated one way and tragic the other.
last night, it was hilarious. vicky, our new house mate was being ceremoniously inaugrated into the house by jess, by virute of having her height drawn on the wall in pencil. when she took off her platform sandals, she was the third shortest person on the wall after rachel and ultimately asami (japanese girl from across the road). jess said, "well, you're the tallest of these three," and we all laughed, because what a daft thing to say, 'you're the tallest of this subsection the shortest people.' (interestingly, she did belong to a group of girls significantly shorter than the mass of our guests). this is true of anyone.
today, it upset me. upon finding the pass list, sharon wood pointed out my name and said 'you're there.' i got a third. i was a little disappointed, but it was what i realistically expected. after a little more food and drink and jazz (all free), i called my mum and told her my result. she said, "are you serious?" she said she was disappointed, which hurt somewhat. but what was the result saying? 'you're the least intelligent of this arbitary subsection of the country's most intelligent people.' it's exactly the same story as last night but with the names changed.
in fact, they're both recursive tautologies of the form 'you are the most extreme bound of a set that is defined as having your value as the restricting bound', and to express it in any form is redundant. so why is it funny? and why is it sad? because we're human. the universe is the ultimate tautolgy, but that doesn't mean it's not an interesting equation.