Monday, June 17, 2024

The Pizza Matrix Thwarted


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The Pizza Matrix Thwarted. We have all been faced with, and stumped by, the eternal question when hosting a gathering: how many pizzas to order?

Until last night, I had thought the complex equation drafted by my good mate (and mathematical genius) BA in the mid 90s that he dubbed “The Pizza Matrix” covered all situations. For those unfortunates who don’t know the details, I shall go through the equation now. Concentrate.

P = Number of pizzas required

n = Number of people at party

P = n-1

This brilliant equation had held me in good stead for years and (for those astute enough to have noticed) stopped me from ordering “pizza for one” — a very sad situation to be in, which is to be avoided at all costs.

Last night, however, we celebrated St Joan’s Day in Girona, and had a couple of people over. I’m not sure what St Joan did, but I assume it had something to do with blowing stuff up. That’s certainly what the celebration is all about! It’s an equivalent of the UK’s Guy Fawkes Night, where you go down to your local incendiaryaria, get as many of the biggest, coolest, blowy-uppiest looking firecrackers as your budget can justify, and then get your mates around and set them off.

Pizza Matrix
The couple that blows stuff up together sticks together.

Tyler was surprised at how little the Aussies in the group knew about fireworks, and I had to explain to him that we’ve not been able to buy them for individual use for about 25yrs, so understandably we’re a little out of the loop. He asked why, and I just pointed at the cluster of Australians who were already trying to work out how to make the crackers we had blow up more ridiculously dangerously with physio tape, spit and know-how. Enough said.

Obviously it was a cracking (boom tish) night. I’m still touch typing, and thus have all ten fingers, as did all of my guests upon departure. The only flaw is that today I have a huge pile of untouched pizza in the fridge. “HAH! That’s a flaw?” I can imagine the bloke readers scoff — indeed there is nothing better than pizza from the fridge — but when you’re talking enough to still be eating it in August, it begs the question of what went wrong with the Matrix?

My theory is that the Matrix is exclusive of pro cyclists. A couple of the guys have this little race called the Tour de France starting in nine days, and those who didn’t wanted to make sure that they were in super shape for their next race. Lame excuses or what? Thus most of the blokes at the party only had one or two slices. Whitey and I tried valiantly to cover for not only the girls not eating their share, but also 80% of the boys, but it was beyond us. Heroic, but insufficient. Somewhat like the Socceroos last night against Serbia.

Clearly, like other advanced areas of physics and mathematics, there is not yet a Unified Theory that brings every eventuality under the one umbrella. I look forward to hearing how BA will overcome this hole in his erstwhile robust theory.