Sun, 08 Jul 2001

Dear Mister W.,

Which came first: Pi or pie?

Diametrically,

Strawberry Shortcake

_________________

Dear Orthogonapple,

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.

XAN: Uh-huh.

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.

SOC: What?

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."

XAN: Whatever.

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.

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