Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Smack-down and Story Problems

I was going to post an entry I wrote about the terrorist bastards who bombed normal, everyday, unarmed people in London, but I re-read the entry and it’s too angry to post. I can’t let you see my too-angry side. Instead, I’ll suppress the rage in a very healthy manner and pretend like I’m only mildly angry over it.

Oh, and the entry was also very funny, in case you were wondering. Angry and funny. I particularly liked the part where I mentioned that I’d like to smack-down the terrorists with an enormous brick inside an even more enormous glove, in the manner of Bugs Bunny vs. Daffy Duck in classic Looney Tunes cartoons. This is not to make light of a serious situation, because I’m very upset about the terrorist cowards and they deserve to be punished and humiliated. The brick-in-glove idea is a really good idea. I would really, truly do it, given the chance.

Not to brush aside the gravity of what’s going on in the world, but I need to talk about something light-hearted. I could tell you about the mundane details of my life, they’re always good for a laugh. For example, I’ve been taking care of my aunt’s dogs while she spends the week in Lake Powell. She asked me to do it and I couldn’t say no because s
he’s a little sweetheart. Anyway, I said I would.

She has two dogs. But one of the dogs, the Chihuahua, had babies last Thursday. Five of them. And one of my cousins is going through a divorce so she just moved back in with my aunt. She brought with her three dogs. So really, I agreed to take care of 10 dogs. I didn’t understand the complicated mathematics of this at the time of agreement. But it's so complicated I could write an entertaining brain-teaser with it for an IQ test. It would read something like this:

Linda has 2 dogs, Pebbles and Tilla. Tilla just had 7 puppies. Nicole agrees to take care of Linda’s dogs while Linda spends the week on a houseboat in Lake Powell. Jesse is Linda’s daughter and lives with Linda. Jesse has 3 dogs. Jesse also goes to Lake Powell with Linda because it’s a family reunion. By default, Nicole takes care of Jesse’s dogs too. Before Linda leaves for Lake Powell, 2 of Tilla’s puppies die. How many dogs is Nicole taking care of?

And to make it more difficult, I could turn it into a really long story problem revolving around the amount of time required each day to take care of these dogs. Like this:

Each morning and evening, Nicole has to let Tilla out so she can pretend to go pee. While Tilla is pretending to take care of business, Nicole has to clean up the presents Tilla left in the living room (Tilla can’t take care of business on demand and Nicole refuses to spend the night in the house with Tilla). All of this takes about 5 minutes. Then Nicole has to let Pebbles and Little Pup off the back porch to take care of any business they didn’t already take care of on the porch. Little Pup’s mom, Big Pup, appears out of nowhere every day and runs around with Little Pup (Nicole doesn't know the names of these dogs). While Little Pup and Big Pup are tackling each other, Nicole refills the water and dog food dishes on the porch. Then she rounds up all three of the pups and herds them back onto the porch. They don’t want to go, so it takes about 8 minutes. Then Nicole checks to make sure the 5 puppies are still alive and refills Tilla’s water and food. Together, this takes 1 minute. When that's all through, Nicole must feed deaf old Molly who's out in a dog run in the far corner of the backyard. This takes about 3 minutes in the morning. In the evening, it takes 5 minutes because she lets Molly out to walk around a bit.

How many extra minutes does Nicole have to calculate into her morning? How many minutes does Nicole have to figure into her evening before she can eat dinner in good conscience?

That’s the longest, most confusing and most poorly written story problem I’ve ever seen. But, it’s the most entertaining on the grounds that it’s autobiographical. I have to get up about 15 or 20 minutes* earlier than I normally would in order to take care of the dogs. And it’s not that I mind serving my aunt. I love her, she’s been a second mom to me and I’d do almost anything she asked me to do. I guess it’s just that I don’t really love dogs and I got more than I bargained for, if you could call it a bargain.

I mean, I love dogs in an I-love-all-animals sense. But I’d never have a dog of my own—unless, of course, I was living alone in the city and I wanted some protection and security. They’re too much work. I’m a cat person. So either you love me or you hate me. You know? Because most people are either a cat person or a dog person and since cats and dogs don’t get along, cat people and dog people don’t get along. That’s a joke, of course. Sometimes cats and dogs get along, so cat people and dog people sometimes get along.

Anyway, Stoker has been helping me out with the animals and that makes everything easier. It’s great, having someone there to share the good times and the crap times, like when you have to clean up dog crap. Not to be crude, but then cleaning up dog crap is crude business, isn’t it?

*In case you fell asleep instead of reading and solving the story problem.


Notyetfamousartist said...

and Stoker said you can't tell jokes. HAHA
the little math word problem you wrote is quite funny.
as is the fact that you actually answered it for people like me, who didn't bother to add it up...

Stoker said...

Don't get me wrong. Writing funny stuff is different than telling jokes. Nikki is a very talented writer. She isn't much of a joke-teller.

She will verify the accuracy of the dialogue in this post for you.

Aries327 said...

It's true. I suck at telling jokes. Outloud, that is. With my voice. I think it's the pressure. The only joke I'm even remotely good at telling is the one about the two muffins in the oven, and even then I've messed it up before.

When I read Stoker's post about the joke I told, I laughed so hard. He did an excellent job of recounting the story, and getting it damn near perfect. It's a good thing he didn't marry me on the premise that "Nikki can tell a good joke better than anyone."

Anonymous said...

Deararies327: I loved the insight on the whole "dog lover vs. cat lover" idea. We are a prime example: you, a cat person, and me a dog person, and we get along great!

It reminds me of the observation we made on how the Indigo Girls like singing about dogs...(smile)