Tuesday, 24 August 2010


Some years ago the late, great Douglas Adams wrote briefly in Life, The Universe And Everything about the science of Bistromatics - or the appliance of maths and its relationship to booking a table in a restaurant.

I would like to apply this science to give you a brief overview of last Saturday evening

Actual = (Invite/Confirmed) - the amount of people who initially said they would love to come (in this instance the answer being 8)

Actual = (Invite/APologies) - the amount of people who said that only the very opening of the gates of Hell would stop them from attending and the subsequently pull out due to an ingrowing toenail or similar feeble excuse (in this case 5)

Time x (Promised/Actual) - the degree of time by which a promised lift fails to arrive, thus rendering one of your guests very late indeed (in this case 30 mins)

Arranged/(Time x Actual) - the variation in time between the agreed arrival (for instance 7:30pm) and the time people actually arrive. NB: it is a little known fact that Newton's Twelfth Law of Physics states that the agreed time of arrival is the one time that it is impossible for anyone to actually arrive at (not true, but tempting)

Hunger x (Plate-size - Diet) - the variance between what you say you will eat, what you want to eat, what you eventually DO eat and what you tell Weightwatchers you ate at the next meeting. Don't forget that no matter how full you are there is always room for a dessert thanks to the special Dessert Hatch in your stomach that a) allows extra room for puddings and b) stops you from absorbing nasty calories (see Newton's Twelfth Law of Pysics above)

Facial Expression - (Acting Skills/Actual Surprise Level) - degree to which one has to feign ignorance of sudden revelation or news that one has, in fact, heard on Facebook, Twitter and seen scrawled on the toilet walls

Waiters x (Table size x Boredom level) - the amount of times that waiters will come and ask you if everything is ok before you have actually had time to taste the food. This is complicated by SN level (Staff Newness), SK level (Staff Keenness) and sometimes by the restaurant being so full that no-one knows who has checked on whom (also known as Confusion Syndrome)

Bill / 4 x(Actual/Percieved) +Tip - the inevitable lengthy conversation where you go through the bill with a pencil and each come up with a different answer (it is usually traditional for one member of the party to suggest that you all "put in ten pounds each" when it is clear that they had twenty pounds worth of food to themselves)

Depression x Work x(Colleagues x Boring Job Level) - sudden realisation that your current work colleagues aren't half as much fun as your old ones were

Gym x ((Percieved Weight Gain/Self Image)/(Energy/Committment)) - the amount of time it will take to burn off the additional calories as opposed to the amount of time you are prepared to put in


Jessica Maybury said...

wowwww complicated. But great.

The Bug said...

Love this! We have friends we meet out for some meal or other every Christmas & it's JUST this complicated LOL.

OK, I have to post the hunger calculation on my WW board (ironically, I was just posting on there already this morning about a large amount of chocolate I THREW IN THE TRASH).

Argent said...

Gotta love the works night out (no you don't!). People are very different outside of work. Add in the complicating factor of alcohol and quite often you get an ete-opening look at your co-workers.
You should add in something about unit of booze consumed in the bill calc bits - as a variable it has a huge influence!

BUG! You did WHAT!!!????

The Bug said...

I had bought a big bag of peanut M&Ms, plain M&Ms & chocolate covered raisins & mixed them all together. I was hoping I could just portion them out over about 2 weeks, but today I ate so much that I felt sick. I decided that that was REALLY dumb & just dumped what was left. I know - I should have found someone to give it all to, but it was a spur of the moment, save-the-bug's-hips kind of thing LOL.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Jessica - maths always is complicated :)

Bug - whole wars have started over the division of a restaurant bill

Argent - the maths was too difficult to encorporate alcohol consumption

Bug - chocolate is too tempting

the watercats said...

I know the answer! and i know you know the answer, lol!
great wriiting!

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

yay - watercats, nice to see you to see you nice :)

Raven said...

Wonderful. I especially resonated with the one person (usually - always? - the one who spent the most) who comes up with the 'why don't we just divide the cost and all pay..."

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Raven - i went out with a group of friends once who insisted on going to a pizza place even though i can't eat pizza. I was scandalized when one suggested at the evening we split the bill four ways even though i'd had nothing to eat other than a bit of crappy salad