Thursday, September 14, 2006

Spam Story

Imagine a graph. The X axis displays age (in years), the Y axis quantifies an individual's interest, displayed as a percentage, in the size of things.

At age one your interest in the size of things is limited to between one and two percent. You only really care about who is going to change your nappy and where your next meal is coming from. As you get older your interest in the size of things duly increases. By the time you're thirty you'll be about 43% interested. How far is it to Coventry and if a bag of shopping weighs ten pounds, and if the average weekly cost of a family's shopping is fifty pounds.

The optimum interest level of any one person in the size of things cannot exceed 50%, otherwise the individual concerned would care more about the size of things than they didn't care about the size of things (the result of which is a size-related-fixated death). Maximum interest in the size of things is achieved at the age of 45, thereafter begins the descent into a non-size-fixated old age. Interest in the size of things decreases towards the individual's childhood levels until, at the age of 90, interest in the size of things is the same as the day you were born. And you're left wondering who is going to change your nappy and where is your next meal coming from?

This graph is depicted by the equation Y = 100(cosX sinX)

Something that I've always found hard to come to terms with is infinity. It's like the biggest thing you could possibly imagine but unimaginably bigger. I think it's the boundlessness and immeasureableness of infinity that leaves me stumped. I can't picture it.

Tell me something is as high as a cow, tell me it's as big as a mouse, tell me it's as small as a car. These are things that have a size to them. I'm a man. I know how high or big or small things are. But tell me that something is infinite and I'll either reach for the aspirin or just tut. It's no coincidence that infinite and irritate both start with an 'I' and end in 'TE'.

But I do have a fascination with the size of things. I'm about 38% interested.

When you're small more things are big. The classic example of this is Wagon Wheels. They used to be massive. You'd be hard pushed to finish them in one sitting. Now I'm older, Wagon Wheels are small, they don't block out the sun like they used to (and I'm sure they always used to have jam in them). A mile used to be a long way. There was no concept of the distance that light travels in a year. Anything more than a mile away was just miles away. As you get older things are far too specific.

Of course, not everything changes. There are things, laws, which will never change. Like being able to eat two school dinner spam fritters in one sitting. Of all the most bizarre and wondrous properties that the universe has (all those discovered, as yet undiscovered, and, if there is such a word, undiscoverable) the fact that it is, no matter how hungry you think you are, impossible to eat two school dinner spam fritters one after the other must be the most grotesque.

Some people say that in an infinite universe, anything is possible. They risk being lynched by an Anadin crazed mob, but they still say it. I would maintain that eating two school dinner spam fritters one after the other is the only thing that actually is impossible.

If you had an infinite number of monkeys and an infinite number of typewriters... are you saying that Shakespeare was a monkey?

Outside now.

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