26. The Metric System Doesn’t Care About Your Entitlement
So this was a few years ago when me and my wife (both Mancunian) were doing a mini world tour as part of our honeymoon. We were in Iceland and had been really disappointed to find out that the blue lagoon is manmade and is basically just a large outdoor swimming pool of water runoff from the geothermal plant.
So after some light googling we found a place about an hour and a half drive from Reykjavik called the Secret Lagoon. The place is amazing and exactly what I expected from a natural hot spring, basically a large pond pouring with steam, a river running next to it also pouring with steam, and then a load of smaller bubbling pools of water and mini geysers that would blast water into the air every 10 minutes or so.
The place is on somebody’s land and they’ve built changing rooms and a shower area and charge about £12 to get in. Between the pond and the river there is a roped-off area of small, deep pools that has a sign saying “Warning, water is over 90 degrees.
Do not enter at your own risk,” which is probably a bad translation of no entry, we accept no liability. Anyway me and my wife were leaning against the side of the pond closest to this and notice a guy wander up, read the sign then step over the rope.
As he’s walking up to one of the small pools the lifeguard is running over and shouting, “Stop stop, you can’t go in there,” then American accent replies: “Whatever buddy, I can do whatever I want”.
By this time the lifeguard has reached him and tries to explain to him that the water is “between 90 and 110 degrees” and that he walked right past a do not enter sign, to which the American responds: “No, it says enter at my own risk, so I am, and it’s not very risky, it’s hotter than 90 degrees in Nevada every day”.
This utterly perplexes the lifeguard, who has absolutely no idea what the heck the American is talking about. So I shout over “Oi mate, it’s Celsius not Fahrenheit”. Now the American looks confused and says, “I don’t know what that is, I’m going in”.
For reference, 90-110c is 194-230f. Then follows about five more minutes of arguing between the American and the lifeguard before the American obviously thinks forget this. He takes the two steps further to the pool and goes to put his foot in.
Fortunately for him but unfortunately for Darwinism, he only manages to dip a toe before screaming in pain and hopping back to the changing room in a huff. Lifeguard sighs and goes back to his chair. What an idiot.