Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Darin' To Brag

I am god. Well, not the god. A god. A god of guesstimating. Whatever elementary school teacher taught us (made up?) "guesstimating" would be proud of me tonight.

The scene: A corner window table at a diner. The players: Chan and I.

We'd just come back uptown from the Village Halloween Parade (pics to come), and Chan said, "there aren't enough people in costume up here."

I replied, "Eh, there's probably 20%."

I started to count. The rule I made was that I'd count only people who walked over the corner of the intersection right outside the diner's window. After a perfect 1 of five people passed in costume, Chan asked what the sample size would be. I told him we should get 50 people by the time our meals arrived. (Chan got his usual Western omelette, and I got a veggie burger.) That's what I love about New York. If I want to go to the convenience store, at any time of night, I cross the street to get there, and people are out and about. Even at 15:00 PM.

I kept the running tally.

"1 out of 9, but a dressed-up couple puts me ahead of my projected pace."

Chan's eyes lit up. My hypothetical couple appeared before his eyes behind me.

"7 for 30. I'm still gold."

The projection was looking perfect.

When we hit 9 costumes, 47 people had gone by. It was a lock. Gimme 3 non-'stumes and I've nailed it. The meals arrived. But I wasn't eating until that 50th person passed. An old dude, and two more nons, and I was the grand champion. 50 people. 10 costumes. 20 per cent.

Sam Killay said it best. I don't remember his exact quote, but it was something like, "I'm amazingly talented at things that will never make me rich or famous."

So I'm clearly a god. Chan knows he's the only one who can verify my story. He said he might actually come here and comment. We'll see. Needless to say, he didn't seem very impressed with my talents.

Yes, he did indeed, Mr. Talented Liprey, empirically proven his hypothesis, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent, which is, of course, also empirically proven based on the last 100 times we ate at that very same diner and Jere "guesstimated" the tip, with the outcome usually to the dismay of the server.
Lip my stocking, Chan.
A maybe Chan comment?? Tell him there are those of us who have waited literally years! He knows that....

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Location: Rhode Island, United States