Monday, 17 May 2010

Mothers Day Bistromathematics

One thing that a lot of comedians and actors do well is to take a normal everyday occurrence and point out how totally ridiculous it is.

Douglas Adams in “Life the Universe and Everything” creates a spaceship that runs by the advanced mathematics that occurs in restaurants, including arguing over the bill.

“The third and most mysterious piece of non-absoluteness of all lies in the relationship between the number of items on the bill, the cost of each item, the number of people at the table, and what they are prepared to pay for.” (Page 342)

“… They had had the bill, had argued convincingly about who had had the cannelloni and how many bottles of wine they had had, and … had thereby successfully manoeuvred the ship … into orbit round a strange planet.” (Page 379)

Whilst having a Mothers Day Diner at a lovely Indian restaurant I was laughing at the absurdity of the bill, and realising how beautifully Douglas Adams had got it right.

This ‘light bulb’ moment struck me so late in life, because usually when eating out the bill is picked up entirely by one person, and we take turns to do so – except for in the case of parents and some friends who will remain nameless (I’m looking at you Aidan) who seem to pay more often then they should.

Onion Bahji
Aloo Goobi
Dahl Mahkani
Mushroom Mutter
Pumpkin Masala
Matter Paneer
2 Garlic Naan
2 Plain Naan
2 Large Rice
3 Coffees
2 Mango Lassi
3 Lemonades

Seven People.
Food cost: $121.00

$100 from Lynne, argued down to $50, left early and $15 will be returned. Money to pay for Lynne and Gran

$40 from George to pay for George and Anne, argued down to $20.

$50 from Andrew to pay for Anne and Andrew (I had three drinks.)

$20 from Karyn to pay for Karyn and Gran

David did not pay anything or say anything.

Total: $125

(Page numbers are from my “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – A trilogy in four parts” book, so if you subtract 308 from the above page numbers you should get roughly the page number for “Life, the Universe and Everything”)

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