|I'm no civil engineer, but I'm sure there's a simpler way to do this|
(photo by Rohit Mattoo)
Noun. Late 19th century.
A complicated system; a complex.
The Rube Goldberg is a common trope in movies and a particular favourite of supervillains. After all, why kill the hero with a bullet to the head when one can utilise a vat of sharks, numerous cogs and pulleys, a candle burning through a rope, a mouse dangling over an elephant's head, sneezing powder, a bowling ball on a set of tracks and a small Jaffa Cake? Sure, you need a degree in engineering to put it all together, and the logistics of keeping all the animals is a nightmare (not to mention having to get the final machine signed off by someone from Animal Welfare so you can run the 'No Animals Were Harmed in the Killing of this Hero' disclaimer), but it's so much more suspenseful, exciting, and downright villainous! A bullet to the head? Bah! The Rube Goldberg complexus is the only way to go.
|Professor Butts and the Self-Operating Napkin|
The complexus, however, does not just exist in the realm of the supervillain. Having recently had to apply to four different government departments to get one one measly tax form ... for the government ... I rather think the whole system of taxation in Ireland is a cunningly contrived complexus, if not a full-blown Rube Goldberg operation. And yes, one even has to endure the cackling glee of villainous bureaucrats as they knowingly befuddle you with talk of first getting your P120, but only after having filed the DM-4(b) with PAYE for payments under Section 2 for the relevant quarter. I think I'd rather get the sharks ...
Finally, let me mention the infamous Magic Roundabout of Swindon, a fiendishly intricate junction that I had the pleasure of traversing during my driving test at 17. And no, I'm pretty sure I didn't do it right - but thankfully the driving instructor looked as nonplussed as me, and probably couldn't tell if I'd done it right either. I passed, but I hereby pronounce the Magic Roundabout to be an insurance-inflatingly crass complexus.
The next time you're faced with the criminally complex, the cunningly convoluted, or the cryptically circuitous, shout 'Complexus!' with Lavignesque exasperation. Confucius said that life is really rather simple, but it's only on our insistence that it becomes complicated. So let us simple-minded folk fight back and reclaim simplicity from the simpletons.
|Approaching the dreaded Magic Roundabout ...|
(photo by Dick Bauch)
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(no complex clauses please)