Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Happy Pi Day by Andy Scheer

For the mathematically observant, Pi Day is this coming Thursday. I suspect you're already prepared to celebrate at 1:59.

If you're scratching your head, you're likely not the kind of person who appreciates the humor in The Big Bang Theory. Those people know that March 14 is the day to observe the calendar's nod on 3.14 to the mathematical symbol Pi, which designates the ratio of a circle's diameter to its circumference. (See. http://www.piday.org.)

Back in 1988, Larry Shaw, a physicist at the San Francisco Exploratorium, came up with the idea of a celebration on March 14. The original event featured people marching around one of the museum's circular spaces, then eating fruit pies.

I hope writers appreciate the pun connection. If not, maybe you'll appreciate an excuse to enjoy some pie, enhanced by the aura of intellectualism.

I might well have missed this year's Pi Day, but yesterday at supper my wife reminded me. I decided it would be a great excuse to invite my son and daughter-in-law (both computer nerds) for a meal. I suggested we have pizza, followed by a dessert pie.

Which suggests several characterization opportunities for contemporary novelists:
  • Which if any of your characters would be aware of Pi Day?
  • How would they respond to the idea?
  • What kind of pizza would they prefer? (Having worked in Chicago for nearly 20 years, I know the question of the best pizzeria is far more contentious than any question of religion or politics.)
  • What kind of pie would they like for dessert? If there could be only one choice, would they demand their favorite or suggest a compromise?
As for me and my house, we'll likely have home-made deep dish with marinara sauce and pepperoni and extra cheese. My wife has already baked a chocolate chip pie. I'm hoping the second one might be mincemeat, but that would be pushing my luck. I think there's a can of pumpkin in the pantry.


Davalyn Spencer said...

Thanks for the ideas. I wonder if pi-neapple would work?

Audrey said...

Thanks for this fun post Andy. I hope there are many wonderful slices from the pie of life in your future.

Linda Glaz said...

Great! post, Andy. I'd love pi day, but since I slept through most of Trig, (only audited the class, knew the grade would kill me) I'll have Southern pecan with weak coffee. You did give me a wonderful idea of what to do with a character, however. Thanks for the thought-provoking post!