Friday, December 08, 2006

The Math Says it All

The Short Version:
Fire + Loincloths = Hilarity

The Longer Version:
Two men dressed only in white loincloths shiver as the night’s dusting of rain gives their trembling skin an iridescent sheen. They stand side by side, arms folded across their chests and necks craning to watch the black-clad man behind them. This man is a good 25 yards away, at the point where both their loincloths end.

Yes. These men are wearing loincloths that stretch 25 yards behind them.

At a pre-determined signal, the man in black brandishes two flaming torches and touches each loincloth on the ground simultaneously. A good soak in some sort of flammable liquid is the only feasible explanation for the white cloth’s embrace of the fire so readily in such a wet environment.

The scantily clad men freeze as twin lines of flame race toward them at a startling pace, leaving nothing but black dust in their wake as they hungrily devour the fabric… fabric that was once connected to their waist.

I imagine it’s kind of like being tied to a pile of explosives and watching the burning fuse creep ever closer to your impending doom.

Still they wait.

And wait.

Why do they wait, unblinking eyes glued to the greedy element coming to greet them?

Apparently, it’s a contest… to see who will allow the fire to come the closest to burning the only piece of clothing adorning them… and quite possibly some flesh along with it.

Finally, one contestant can no longer take the pressure. He bolts forward like a startled buck, running as fast as he can towards the steaming pool of water set 50 yards in front of him. A half-second later, his opponent follows at full-speed.

Sparks fly from the loincloths that flutter behind them as the fires continue their relentless pursuit, undeterred by the sudden rush of wind.

Their waists begin to glow like embers as the flames reach their goal… and are almost immediately quenched after some desperate pool-side belly flops.

Up they come, gasping for air… ending with the characteristic abruptness that marks Japanese television, and we’re carried off into the night by yet another eating show.

Math has its uses.

lawyers are not welcome here

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