When I was a precocious kid i.e. annoying like I am now, but in a cuter and more excusable kind of way, our family went on a road trip through Sweden. I was reading the road signs as a way of passing time. This in retrospect helped prepare me for a brilliant career in scientific research, but I digress… The thing that puzzled me was that all the way through Sweden there were street signs indicating the direction to a town called “Center”. I figured that either “Center” was a very influential town in Sweden like Washington, D.C. or Hollywood, California, or we were driving in circles, not an unlikely hypothesis either given the designated driver/navigator team (my parents). I discarded the idea of Sweden having the topology of a 4D hypercube as being too weird. No need to mail me the answer, I found out later, okay?

But one thing still puzzles me. Sometimes I hear these 30 second advertising in the radio where some upbeat guy/chipper girl explains how “everybody likes to eat out at Olive Garden” or “everybody wants to go shopping at Macy’s” or “everybody deserves a vacation in Table Rock, Wyoming” (population 82) which I’m sure they do.

However, I can not for the love of Table Rock, Wyoming figure out who this “everybody” persona is. I never hear that “everybody deserves to retire before they are 40”, “everybody wants to start a ROTH IRA at Scottrade“, or “everybody needs to save 50% of their income”. Maybe these things are hard to say in a chipper voice? Hmm .. “Yo, everybody needs to save 50% of their income so they can retire before they’re 40, yay!”. I’ve been practicing! It CAN be quite hard, but I’m sure I’ll get it 🙂

Originally posted 2007-12-10 15:54:00.