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December 3, 2007

Pi Are Square, and the Kids are Hungry!


Won’t somebody think of the children?


Why certainly, somebody must think of the children, especially when they are clawing at your legs, eyes puffy with tears, wondering why you haven’t given them something to eat in, like, 10 minutes.


The question is how to trick the children, once they are wailing and howling for something to eat, into eating something that will quiet them while at the same time introducing to their systems something akin to nutrition.


It starts with a tortilla.


Lay your tortilla out. Ponder the geometry of a circle. How much space does that tortilla take up? Square the radius and then multiply that by Pi. If you were to speak this equation to air, it would be this:


Pi are square.


Somewhere, a voice cries out: No, pi are round! Cakes are square!


Following comes a short drum roll signifying a punchline. You have just fallen prey to one of the great math gags of all time, something that is said to have caused Archimedes to shake his fist in rage with alarming frequency. You have also further blurred the already threadbare line between math and food.


Consider this a warning.


Apply to the tortilla a coating of peanut butter. How thick will depend on the availability of milk to help unstick tongues from roofs of the mouth. There is an equation that provides an answer, but that would suck the fun out of eating, and everything else in a quarter-mile radius. There is an equation for that, too.


On top of this goes another layer, this one of honey. A word of warning, since you are applying this food to children. Honey is mostly sugar, and the more you use, the more activity you will stimulate. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Perhaps it should be described in terms of evenly spread smear rather than a layer.


Across this, sprinkle raisins, just enough to make it look like the peanut butter and honey is what might otherwise be described as “dotted” with them. An equation exists for this, too, but we left mathematics and its food-related prankery behind us.


Leave a strip a couple inches wide on one of the rounded edges.


Roll the tortilla from the edge opposite that bereft of raisins. Roll tightly, for you have the stuff to make a nice fit. If you are compelled by exhaustion to take a breather, you will notice that the peanut butter and honey keeps the tortilla from unraveling.


Once you have finished, you have what looks like a little off-white log. Your children are still sniffling, and look anemic from lack of energy. This is not a form they will easily recognize as edible.


Take a sharp knife and slice it into two-inch sections. Perhaps make a sound of a chainsaw while you are cutting, and tell them you are giving them pieces of birch tree to eat.


Feed the children, all the while remembering the prank you were made victim. List math as your blood enemy until your dying day.


© 2007 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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