Friday night in the big city, and where am I? Beside my lovely, girthful wife and watching NUMB3RS, a show that wants very desperately to glamorize applied mathematics as a crimefighting tool. It's so unbelievably bad, it's wonderful. Lots of awkward expository dialogue aimed at the lowest common denominator (ha), and Rob Morrow thinking he can bury Joel Fleischman by acting all bad-ass and growing cheesy sideburns.
Then there's the title. If they had to beat us over the head with the leitmotif and spell "numbers" with a number, they could have at least called it NUM8ERS. Because NUMB3RS looks like "numb-three-ers" and makes the show's creators look like charmingly dyslexic six-year-olds.
Basically, it's a CSI knockoff for math geeks, and I wanted to like it, because math makes me happy. All it wants to do is simplify. You measure the sides of a few million right triangles, plow through trial and error, and when the tumblers align and the lock slides open, you've got a formula that saves everyone else the trouble. And you shout "Eureka!", because you know your name will be beaten into every teenage brain on the face of the planet.
This is my goal, because one day I will solve the Morning Evacuation Conundrum.
Every morning, after Robert wanders into our bed at around 6:30, he whispers "Daddy, I have to pee" in my ear. (Please note where that quotation mark is placed; he does not want to pee in anyone's ear. I don't think.) From there, however, any of the following can occur:
- Robert has to pee first, and I have to stand and wait right behind him;
- Robert has to pee first, and I have to wait in the hallway with the door closed;
- Robert has to pee first, and I have to stay in bed until he returns;
- Robert and I have to pee at the same time, with the added permutations of whether we cross the streams, and whether I must stand to his left or his right;
- Robert prods me with all of his limbs until I agree to pee first.
The randomness is maddening, but that's only part of the problem. If Robert has a preset idea of how the urination schedule is to unfold, and it doesn't unfold that way, he gets agitated and tends to grab for things that should not be grabbed for in that special grabby way. No one should have to deal with that at six-fucking-thirty.
I've had enough of this chaos. I need to know, so I can prepare. I need to synthesize the variables (Is the date a prime number? What was the starch content of last night's dinner?), throw in the Golden Ratio and a constant or two, and uncover the elusive pattern. One day, more three-year-olds will wake up happy, and fewer dads will suffer pre-dawn nut punches, and the world will be a better place, despite the overwhelming preponderance of insipid crap on T3L3V1510N.