Six Feet Under
Perfect Circles

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To Your Scattered Bodies Go

Okay, so for those of you who had more fun in high school than I did, here's a quick explanation of Schrödinger's cat theorem: You take an ordinary housecat, and you place it in a lead box. You also toss in a vial of highly lethal cyanide, which is controlled by a valve that operates based on the decay of a specific type of particle. If the particle (which has an even 50/50 chance of decaying) does break down, then the vial will open and the cat will die. If it doesn't, the cat will be fine. The issue is that as long as the box remains closed, no one knows whether the cat is alive or dead. Because certain unobserved subatomic particles are capable of being in multiple states at once, Schrödinger argued that until the lid is opened and an observation made, the cat is actually simultaneously both dead and alive. It's only the act of opening the box and our perception of the cat's status that forces it to choose one particular outcome.

Yeah. I know. But the guy did win a Nobel Prize for this, and besides, if you listen closely, you can totally hear Sars boxing up Hobey and Little Joe.

And while we're at it, here's some quick sample dialogue from Schrödinger's Hat:

Sarah: So this is what you scientists do for fun, huh? Playing Russian roulette with helpless kittens?
Jack: No, this is what physicists do for fun. I'm an organic chemist. We usually just grow pot.

See what I mean, Alan? We're a match made in heaven. Or maybe in a bong. If there's any difference, of course.

Anyway, Nate is obviously frustrated at finding himself trapped in a Star Trek episode with nary a buxom Orion female in sight, so he quickly beams himself downstairs to find his father. He runs back into his funeral, only this time the mourners have all been replaced by bald men in black suits. As the Rolling Stones' "Time Is On My Side" plays on the soundtrack, one of the baldies stops to smash a nearby clock with a sledge hammer. Now was that a nod to Einstein's special relativity, or merely an allusion to W.H. Auden? You be the judge. "I just need you to answer a few questions for me," says The Late Nate. "Do you believe that your consciousness affects the behavior of subatomic particles? Do you believe that particles move backward and forward in time and appear in all possible places at once?" "What the fuck do I care?" shouts Nate Jr. "Just tell me, am I dead? Yes or no?" The Late Nate pauses for a moment before answering. "Yes," he says. "And no." Hee! "Some places you're dead. Some places you're alive. Some places you never even existed. Possibly. Theoretically. Or who knows, this could just be the anesthesia talking." They've been standing in front of Nate's now-sealed coffin this entire time, and Dead Dad takes a step forward to encourage his possibly dead son to "open the box." Do you get it? Do you? Nate answers this challenge with a jaunty "fuck it," and turns to crack the coffin lid. Behind him, the baldies all pull on dark goggles and lean back in their seats in unison. Hmm. Was that a Prisoner reference, or merely a shout-out to the old Memorex commercials? You be the judge. Nate finally pries the coffin open, and a blinding light emerges as we fade to white. Now, if this were Raiders of the Lost Ark, the light would have killed all the unworthy. But sadly it's not, so instead we just get a reprise of the Ironically White Title Card of Death, which now features Nate's 2002 date of death fading away into nothingness. Uh…welcome, Nathaniel Samuel Fisher Jr. When you see what Lisa has in store for you, you might just wish that vial of cyanide had opened after all.

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Six Feet Under

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