The Hanoying Towers Pancake Breakfast

Subject: LLeP - of pancakes, wisdom, and Hanoi
Date: 10/22/03 4:37 PM
From: Elizabeth Pfeiffer,
To: Monte, Shelby, Heidi, Shanon, Ciam

So who would have thought I would ever be grateful to the Towers of Hanoi? (which is just one more in a long list of things that I know far too much about) Or that they would have a profound influence (gad I had to type that word a lot (early attempts being infuelnc, inflecne, and infleunce)) on the clever preparation of a breajfasty snack (I am leaving the j there so that no one will think that I was making up the "influence" misspellings). But there it is - from computer science wankerism to deft pancake savoir faire. Life is amazing!

It hearkens back to the article I read.. oh... a couple of hours ago, about memory and age and exercise. Now, I have no intention to address the exercise part of the article, other than to conclude ahead of time that my article will lead to the conclusion that exercise leads to non-exercise. The memory and age thing is my theme. The article said that age increases memory, which you may note flies in the face of all accepted wisdom, humor, and experience. But, you see, it was a trick answer (the flipside of the trick question), which concept in itself has an exalted history in fairy tales - the dreaded "hosed wish". Example: the genie appears in the morning to grant your wish. Being muzzy headed, and not realizing the world changing opportunity presenting itself, you ask (the question part) for perfect pancakes. Flash! There is the tray on your bed, and there they are the most perfect pancakes ever created. But of course you can't eat them, because if a bite were taken out of them they would no longer be perfect, right? Thus you are hosed by the trick answer.

In the article under discussion, the trick answer is "intelligent memory", which is some techno jargon for "you learn from experience." We are not talking "hey, did I shampoo already?" memory, but the memory of "hmm, last time I touched that coil on the stove when it was orange like that it really really hurt". The article actually ends with the mind numbingly brilliant conclusion that you get wiser as you get older, sort of reminiscent of another scintillating bit of research I read, which lead the scintillating researchers to the conclude that when one spouse is depressed and unhappy, it tends to affect the other spouse. ! . What can you say to such ingenious and ground breaking reasoning?.

Well, I seem to have augmentated my intelligent memory in correlation with my chronological accumulation, precisely as predicted by the article. How so? I had made one pancake and it was languishing on my plate awaiting company. But as I was preparing to place the second yummilicious carb-bomb on the plate I noticed that the second pancake was considerably larger in diameter than the first. So of course I couldn't put it on top of the first one. Larger pancake on top violates all aesthetic rules of stacking. And I have no intention of delving into the rules themselves because that would draw me into an embarrassing discussion of the Libra part of my chart, and here at the LLeP we do try to keep the focus on the Gemini Moon.

So the large pancake had to go underneath the small pancake. But what a pain in the spatula to accomplish. Until the Towers of Hanoi program surfaced murkily from some neglected and grimy part of my brain. Now this program was highly popular in college for a little while, as a measure of computer chutzpah. There are rings of various sizes stacked on a pole all willy nilly (shudder). There is another empty pole. The computer (poor thing) is supposed to get the rings all arranged in size order, largest on the bottom, and the only way it can do it is by moving rings from one pole to the other. I mean really, the things that people set computers to do. No wonder they take revenge in so many Sci Fi movies! I eagerly await the movie which starts with a scene of lots of people in a room, forced by computer overlords to move rings from one peg to another, or try to find how many ways you can get from Duluth to Tucson.

But somehow all that stacking and shifting informed my present existence in a positive way. Because suddenly I put the small pancake back into the frying pan, on top of the large pancake, then put the resulting stack onto my plate. And suddenly my breakfast became more than a guilty treat, it became a feast in celebration of my wisdom. Once in a while I still have to check if the shampoo bottle is wet to figure out if I already shampooed, but I am a kick ass genius at pancakes!

And now I am going to punt the exercise crap, because Buffy is on, and Willow is going to wreak havoc after which I will cease to watch the show because they broke it with guns.

Okay, commercial. so... Who are the super wise people in the world? Gurus and yogis and such, right? What do they do? Nothing! So we must conclude that the ultimate wisdom leads to the understanding that doing shit is too much trouble. And since (according to the article) exercise improves intelligent memory, then sufficient exercise will lead one to wise up and stop doing stuff. Pretty lame, eh? Sorry,

love love love,

PS Important Late Addendum! My last paragraph is now echoed (and thus vindicated, naturally) by the Onion kid who got enough gumption from his karate classes to quit them.