FURTHERMORE AND THE NOBLE SCIENCE OF GEOMETRY
The fact that I scraped through geometry during my sophomore year in high school with a grade that still makes me blush has in no way affected my appreciation of our noble science.
Indeed, I make use of it everyday, in one form or another. For example, I know that a straight line is the shortest route between two jokes, and triangles of any kind are to be avoided, etc.
I admire geometry. Especially the teacher who gave me a barely passing grade as long as I promised never to engage in any career that even remotely made use of higher mathematics. I’ve worked hard to honor that promise and believe that I have done so successfully.
It wasn’t until I began discussing a wide variety of esoteric issues the other night with Furthermore, my raven friend, that my solid geometric foundation was rocked.
Furthermore, by the way, is cousin to my pet raven, Nevermore. Furthermore had the good fortune to be trapped one night in an old lodge building and before anyone realized he was there, he was an Entered Apprentice. There remained nothing to do but continue the process. His memory work is, as you would expect, flawless, and he has hopes of arriving in the East one day. Stranger things have happened.
Anyway, Furthermore actually has the nerve to suggest that geometry, that ancient and honorable science, is hopelessly inadequate to meet the needs of our high-speed, high tech society. Trust the bird to mess things up, right?
“Our world has exploded in terms of knowledge, doubling and redoubling in a matter of half a decade, vastly outpacing the growth of learning in centuries past,” he lectured me, flapping in a lazy circle about the altar. “Geometry needs to change, become a bit more flexible, expand its range of terms and measurements, you know what I mean?”
Of course, I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. Sort of like being back in geometry class at Omaha Benson High School (we were the Fighting Benson Bunnies. True. Another story for another time.)
Furthermore, sensing my sudden loss of comprehension, put forth these as possibilities for consideration:
Here’s a new unit of measure designed to measure female beauty. The unit is called the "milli-helen," and is defined as the amount of beauty required to launch one ship.
One honkosecond. This is the shortest measurement of time known to man. It is the time between the traffic light turning green and the profane behind you leaning on his horn.
The ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi
2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University Hospital = 1 I.V. League
2000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won Ton
1 millionth of a mouthwash = 1 microscope
Speed of a tortoise breaking the sound barrier = Mach turtle
Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour =knot-furlong
365.25 days of drinking low-calorie beer because it's less filling = 1 lite year
16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling
1/2 large intestine = 1 semicolon
1000 aches = 1 megahertz
Weight an evangelist carries with G-d = 1 billigram
Basic unit of laryngitis = 1 hoarsepower
Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement = 1 bananosecond
1/2 bath = 1 demijohn
453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake
By now, I was thoroughly and completely confused. Fortunately, it was a straight line from my chair to the bar and, just as fortunately, the mixing proportions for the perfect martini had not changed. For your information, you take the ice-cold gin and put in carefully in the trunk of your car. Then you drive through a neighborhood where they used to sell vermouth. Return home. Decant gin. Add olive or onion to suit taste. Consume. Repeat as necessary.
Gosh! I just love math!