Geometry, Practical Uses Thereof

So, to follow up my long and whiny post from a few days back, I am still quite vexingly sick and enjoying the freedoms that come with; that is to say the freedom to lie in bed most of the day and feel very sorry about myself while my wife brings me hot cocoa.

On Tuesday, however, we had run out of hot cocoa mix and I decided that I was feeling well enough to wear pants and go to the grocery store.

I probably shouldn’t be allowed to go to the grocery store unsupervised while feeling sorry about myself, because one of the things that wound up in the cart despite not being on any list was an entire frozen cake, something which couldn’t even be justified as “for sharing” because, well, it’s coconut and I am the coconut fan in the house.


Surprisingly, for a cake from the frozen section, it’s pretty good.  Even more surprisingly, I find that the “serves 8” label on the thing is actually accurate; it’s smallish but rich enough that once you’ve had an small slice you are actually pretty well-caked.  Not that it’s going to serve 8, mind you, but it will serve one over, let’s call it 6 to 8 sessions.  I have up to 5 days to do this, it says right on the box.

Because sometimes one wants a second piece of cake and can justify it; see also the whole feeling sorry for self thing.  I’m not sure where I’m going with the bizarre switching between first and third person here, but it’s not like I have anyone grading these posts.

To distract, momentarily, from the fact that I am currently involved in eating an entire cake (over several days, I must be very clear on this point), I would like to draw your attention to a smallish detail on the box flap.


I had a good few hours of feeling very smug about the silliness of this diagram, because as muddled as my brain is right now, at least I can cut a cake all by myself, right?  Who could this possibly be for?

Then I had a terrible thought.

I work in a pretty technical field.  I can be a little insufferable about the stuff I do at work, because being a little insufferable is a defensive mechanism to cover up the fact that, really, it’s technical support – technical support for some pretty complicated stuff, I tell myself, but really it’s only a slightly evolved version of the job I had when I was 17.

We write plenty of documents for customers on how to use our stuff, and they’re not really FOR the customers.  They’re for us, so we stop needing to tell people how to set up firewall rules for the umpteenth time, because that way lies madness.

This diagram… it’s not for the guy buying a cake he intends to eat all by himself and just wants to portion out, it’s not even for the person who is hosting seven friends and wants to make sure that everyone gets an equal piece of cake.

(although, if you’re hosting seven friends and buying a coconut cake, you’re probably a terrible person unless you ask if everyone’s OK with coconut first.  Or this may be a way for you to buy a cake “for everyone” and wind up with some extra slices for yourself.  Not judging.  Pretty clever really.  Got off track.  Sorry.)

…where was I?  Oh, yes, this diagram isn’t for you.

This diagram is for the poor guy or gal at Pepperidge Farm Cake Support, the guy or gal who has to answer the ringing phone and walk someone through the cake cutting process (and probably an emergency thaw session as well).  When they get that call, they’ve got to have something they can point the customer to and say “look, just like on the box.”

And then presumably THEY get to go home and despair about a world in which someone needs help with cutting a square into eight pieces.  I don’t get to do that.

I haven’t earned that right.


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