PHILADELPHIA—Listing off an extensive set of prerequisite conditions ranging from various aspects of his physical health to the volume of the ongoing construction project outside his apartment, local man Shane Lambert confirmed Thursday that 6,071 completely independent variables must be in perfect synchrony at any given moment for him to feel okay. “I’m feeling all right today,” said Lambert, who reportedly only attained such a state after the alignment of several thousand factors that included consuming neither too much nor too little coffee, someone turning up the office’s heat, his wireless internet running well, not suddenly remembering an argument from three weeks ago, his heartburn remaining dormant, the subway train running on time, not seeing any exuberant social media posts from his friends announcing significant personal accomplishments, the Philadelphia Flyers winning, a lack of any precipitation, no one noticing he nicked himself shaving, a sufficient but not excessive number of new emails in his inbox upon waking up and checking his phone, his neighbors watching TV at a reasonable volume, the deli still having the kind of bread he likes his sandwiches on by the time he arrived for lunch, and managing to slip silently past his coworker Elaine whenever he walked by her cubicle without being drawn into a long conversation. “I can’t complain.” At press time, the delicate equilibrium was shattered after Lambert went online to check his bank account’s balance.
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