Saturday, August 22, 2009

driving home from pear-picking

D (as torrential downpour begins): Sorry; I need to stop telling the story for a while so I can focus on driving.


A: No matter how many zeros you get, you still have nothing.
C: Of course. But if you put just one other number in front of all the zeros, you could have a huge number! Even one that goes on forever!
A: Like pi goes on forever.*

(At this point I get distracted; we’re crossing the Dolly Parton Thaddeus Kosciuszko Bridge and the rain is stopping; I ponder the surprising effect the Mohawk River has on weather patterns. When I tune back in, C is counting by twenty-billions.)

C: 420 billion, 440 billion…
S: Why are you doing that?
D: Because he’s showing off to A. Leave him alone.
S: But why twenty-billions?
C: Because it’s so fun! 580 billion, 600 billion…

When he reaches 900 billion, he starts interjecting the a cappella equivalent of guitar riffs between counts. And there is quite a grand finale at one trillion.


D: Um, did you want to hear the rest of the story now?

* Poor child; I can’t remember the last time we had to calm her angst about pi, but it seems that while she’s much braver about facing it, she’ll never forget.

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