Sun, 08 Jul 2001
Dear Mister W.,
Which came first: Pi or pie?
I think there's a manuscript in the Wonderful Labs Librarium Hellene that answers just that query. Ah yes, here it is...
XANTHIPPE TAKES THE CAKE
-a Socrates the Greek Adventure-
by PLATO, award-winning author of "The Republic" and "Aristotle for Assholes"
XANTHIPPE: Socrates, my heavy-browed husband, what is it that troubles you?
SOCRATES: Like you care.
XAN: My indifference to your philosophic musing does not indicate that my love for you is any less.
SOC: "Indifference..."!? "Get a job!" "Are you still staring off into space?" "Why don't you get a real job, run for Senate?" That's all I hear from you. That's not indifference, that's abject contempt. You wouldn't know a decent argument if it bit you in the ass.
XAN: "Decent argument"? Is that what they are calling it these days?
SOC: What's that supposed to mean?
XAN: It means that Heraclitus doesn't go drinking with the boys every afternoon and come home with olive oil all over his toga!
SOC: He's a hack.
XAN: At least he's published.
SOC: Oh, here we go!
<here a fragment of the dialogue has been lost>
XAN: Truly you are wise, my husband.
SOC: Don't be sarcastic. Anyway, they're all coming over and I don't want to hear anything out of you.
XAN: But you still want me to make that filled pastry dish, I suppose.
SOC: Alcibiades likes it. And Pythagorus said he'd be bringing a couple friends from the bath house.
SOC: What? What's that look for?
<another fragment has been lost at this point>
XAN: But you still haven't divided the circle equally, fig-brain.
SOC: Will you be quiet? I'm working here... Mathematics is not learned, but rather remembered, for if I draw this triangle on the ground, can you not apprehend that the...
XAN: Blah, blah, blah. Is this why Democritus always does our taxes?
SOC: Wait! The Goddess Sophia, Wisdom herself, has granted me another insight: You should shut your face before you get it shut for you.
XAN: Look, just divide the circumference by the diameter and then you'll get a ratio to discover the area and apply to each slice, even if the numbers are odd.
XAN: Ancient Egyptian secret, honey. Got it out of the same scroll I got the pastry recipe.
SOC: So they discovered this marvelous ratio for catering purposes?
XAN: You try giving a million Jewish slaves their tea break. It's #16 in the Good Pyramid-Keeping series.
SOC: #16...Pi. Boy, that was a long way around the barn for such a lousy pun.
XAN: You said it. Your boy Plato better lay off the sauce.
SOC: He's not "my boy."
IT'S NOT TV. IT'S WONDERFUL.
Mister Wonderful Recommends: taking a classical philosophy course. You'll find this one funnier if you have. Promise. Alternatively, check out http://www.rufuswainwright.com for some foppishly styled piano songstering from a lovely man who should be crowned king of the Canadians.