My wife had a nightmare last week. It wasn’t the one she has each December that it is Christmas and she has forgotten to buy presents for the kids. She still has a few months to worry about that one.
In this dream, my side of the family runs a restaurant. That is enough to scare anyone, because I come from the hog-rendering belt, where everything is fried beyond recognition and immersed in gravy. That was great when I was growing up, because it gave a houseful of kids the strength to get up and face another day of farm work. Today, though, it is just a commercial for the Moore Obesity Clinic.
Wait, the nightmare worsens. My family, it seems, has asked my wife to cook!
JoAn doesn’t like to cook. She denies being able to cook and would subsist on mustard toast if I weren’t in the house at suppertime.
The thing is, her protestations are like those of Olive Oyl, the cartoon character who screams bloody murder and begs for Popeye’s help, all the while demolishing Bluto with her kicks and punches. What I’m trying to say is, JoAn is a great cook. She just doesn’t acknowledge her skill.
The only reason she cooks at all is for me, to keep mass on my bones.
So far, she’s done a great job, reversing my weight loss and actually adding a few pounds in the process.
Along the way, she has learned to make gravy. Gravy with cube steak. Gravy with chicken. Gravy with pork chops.
Now, gravy is not the most healthful thing to eat, but she doesn’t make it every night, and gravy has opened our menu up to all sorts of things I didn’t eat before. Well, not since leaving the farm, anyway.
As I praise her cooking, I look at the calendar and see that it is Pi Day, the name given each year to March 14. That’s because the day can be written as 3-14, and 3.14 is the basic way to denote the mathematical constant of pi.
This ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter can go on forever: 3.1415926535 and much more. Pi also can be written as a fraction, 22/7, and for that reason, each July 22 (7-22) is known as Pi Approximation Day.
Pi comes to us from many cultures and after thousands of years, so it isn’t some space-age mumbo jumbo. The ratio is vital in a lot of fields – though not mine, thank goodness – and if it eases you through your day, it’s worth celebrating.
People who find no use for pi might get more comfort from what eases them through today instead of last Friday: March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re green at math, maybe you’re better at today’s festivities. Or perhaps you will be green when you wake up on March 18.
All this talk of pi reminds me that my wife hasn’t taken up baking lately, and I wonder whether I can goad her into baking me a pie. A pie with gravy. Green gravy?
Just like pi, the possibilities of pie are endless.