Hi, gang. It's your old buddy Caps here. It's been a while since I wrote an article of any type, so I was trying to come up with something to discuss. It came to me when I came across a piece I wrote for my math class back in (I believe) the 11th grade.
We were told to take a mathematic principle and create a short story based around it. I'd been writing for a while, so I figured that this would be right up my alley. Math class was tough for me, but my teacher gave me a good grade with this piece.
This was written back when I was 17 years old, so some of my references are a bit off ("The Breakfast Club" reference for one, since I hadn't seen the whole thing yet), so I apologize for that. I also made a mistake, referring to Tiffany's organization as the N.S.T.A in one sentence and the N.T.S.A the next. Finally, the math could be a little off. It always was a weak point for me in school. Feel free to grab some graph paper and try out my ideas yourself.
I hadn't picked a time-frame for this article, but based on the pop-culture references, let's say that it was performed in 1989.
There are 3 characters. The characters are Rick, John and Tiffany Weathers. I'm trying to think of who could fill out these roles, all of which are characters in their early-to-mid-30s.
I wrote Rick as sort of a tough guy, nice one minute and a jerk the next. For the sake of imagination, let's say that Rick is played by Bill Paxton.
The next character, John, is acting as a sort of mediator. While he gets annoyed easily, he's pretty much a nice guy and just trying to keep the peace. I think that Judge Reinhold could be a good fit for this role.
Finally, there's Tiff. She's intelligent, but gets flustered easily. She also looks good, much like somebody with the name Tiff would. I'm thinking of Michelle Pfeiffer for this role.
Here we go.
"You Learn Something New Every Day"
A Short Math Play by John Kilduff
We fade in on 2 men and a woman in their earl-to-mid-30s. The men, whose names are Rick and John, are sitting on a couch, drinking beer, eating potato chips and telling jokes while watching football. The woman, whose name is Tiff, is trying to complete a test to become a math teacher.
John: Hey, Cowboys, you bite!
Rick: My, aren't we passionate about our games? Say, do you want to hear a joke?
John: Yeah, why not?
Rick: Okay. This joke comes from the movie "The Breakfast Club".
A naked lady walks into a bar with a dog under one arm and a sausage under the other...
Tiff: Shut up, you degenerates. Can't you see that I'm trying to complete this exam? (Rick walks over and glances at the test).
Rick: I don't see what you're worried about. You've practically aced the damn thing, so would you stop complaining?
Tiff: Shut up! At least I'm going to amount to something, unlike some people I can think of.
Rick: You want me to slap the taste out of your mouth? (John comes running over)
John: What in the name of Duff McKagan is going on here?
Rick, cool the jets. I think you've been watching too much pro wrestling.
Rick: Okay, I'm sorry.
Tiff: I'm sorry, too. I'm just very stressed about this one part of the test.
Rick: What part is that?
Tiff: It is coordinate geometry.
It has bugged me ever since high school. I've attempted to kill myself several times because I couldn't do it.
John: Could you be serious, Tiff?
Tiff: I'm sorry. It is just that this has always been difficult for me, you know.
Rick: Indeed, I do. Look, I'll tell you what I'll do. I was the best mathematician in my 11th grade class...
Tiff: (Laughing) You? That's BS! I was talking to Mr. Viola, your 11th grade math teacher, over cappucinos, and he was still complaining about you. He said, and I quote..."That little brat had a major attitude problem. Besides that, he also tossed his marijuana and Night Train whiskey into my desk a few days before he graduated.
I was kicked out of school forever and all thanks to that snot-nosed punk, Rick. By the way, ask him how he's doing and give him my best wishes". Unquote.
Rick: (In a trance) Ah, yes! Those were the good old days. (Snapping out of it) Okay, so I wasn't exactly Johnny Pocket-Protector. That doesn't mean I can't help you.
Tiff: Okay, then do so. I haven't got that much time.
Rick: It goes a little something like this. John, you pay attention, too!
John: Do I have to? There's a minute left in the game! (Rick glares at him) Alright. Okay, I'm on my way!
(John and Rick sit down next to Tiff. Rick takes out some graphing paper).
Rick: Part of the process is taken care of for you right here. The paper is lined horizontally and vertically. To drive to the destination...
John: Whatever that means!
Rick: Shut up! Anyway, I'll draw 2 lines, like so. (Rick draws a horizontal line and a vertical line. He then draws a dot). Look at it this way. The dot that I've made...Let's say that's you. Okay, you're lying in bed, dreaming that it is just you and Mel Gibson on a deserted island.
It is a wonderful dream, and just when you get to the good part-Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink-Your alarm clock wakes you up. The dream is over and you're rather sad, so you stand up and start moping around the house. When you were lying down, you were horizontal. When you stand up, you're vertical. Everything at the top is positive, while everything under the horizontal line is negative. That gives you your Y value. You thought it was over that quickly, eh? You're wrong, because you still have to put down your X value. Okay, you've fallen out of bed in your angry stupor. You fall on your right and end up below bed level. Your X is positive while your Y is negative. Let's switch it around. You have now fallen out of bed on your right side. You've fallen on the sharp ends of a book you were reading the night before.
You've doubled your pain, so you've doubled your negatives. After writhing in pain for a few minutes, you get up on your right. That makes it a double positive, because you're up and you've gotten your pain out...Hopefully. Another scenario is that you get up on your left. You're up...That's a positive. You forget the door is closed....That's a negative X because you walked into it.
Tiff: Yes, I've got it!
Rick: Alright. Good for you. Plot these numbers as I say them: 3, 3, -1, -8, 8, -2, -8. Okay, you draw your lines to connect your points. Look what you have here...It is a triangle. See, that's how you graph.
Tiff: Alright, I can do it. Pass me the graph paper and thanks for you help.
(Fade out, then fade in on the same room, about a month later).
John: Bill, bill, letter from the Sisters of Perpetual Abstinence, bill, bill, a letter for Tiff...
(Tiff runs into the room in a bathrobe)
Tiff: A letter for me?
John: Yes, from the N.S.T.A.
(Tiff opens the letter in excitement)
Tiff: Dear Tiffany Weathers...Hello. We just wanted to drop you a note saying that you are now a qualified and certified math teacher. We wish you luck in all future endeavors. Congratulations on becoming a teacher. Sincerely, the N.T.S.A. (Stops reading, pauses, then yells) YES! This is awesome! Rick, come in!
Rick: (Walking in and talking while brushing his teeth) What is it?
(Tiff runs over and kisses him)
Tiff: I'm a teacher, or I will be, rather. Either way, I thank you. Tonight, I'm taking us all out for dinner! Does Finnegan's sound good?
John: Yes! I can't wait to have their buffalo wings!
(As the characters go to their rooms to change, the lights turn off)
FADE TO BLACK
Like I said, it was the 11th grade, but even then, I was writing about 80s culture in my own unique way. I only wish I could've remembered coordinate geometry better.
Thanks for reading!