Monday, March 10, 2014

How to think like me: Ordering ice cream for a party


Over the years, many people have asked me, "How the hell did you decide that?", "What made you do that?", and other similar questions.  I recently drew from these questions the obvious conclusion: Many people would like to think the way I do.

To help out those folks, I'm launching with his post a new series: How to think like me.  With luck, these little blog entries will help a broad range of people learn to think the way I do and to become as happy and analytical as I am.

A public service indeed.

Each post will pose a question, some possible answers, and then explain the correct one--which is, of course, the one I chose.

We'll begin with a fun decision that I had to confront recently: How to order the right amount of ice cream for a party.

I'm holding a party Friday.  Twenty-two folks will attend it.  I'm holding another, smaller event Saturday, and a dozen or so folks will attend it.  For the Friday event, we will also have two pies and two cakes.  I decided to add a "best of the best" ice cream tasting to each party, with ice cream from Salt and Straw, Jeni's, The Parlour, and even Ben & Jerry's (Chocolate Therapy).  The plan is to offer a selection of chocolates, vanillas, and a few other (just a few; I never like to go overboard) flavors. 

The question is, how many pints do you order?  Is it

  1. A scoop of ice cream should be a quarter of a cup, and a pint is two cups, so I'll get 8 scoops per pint. With 22 people one night and 12 the next, that's 34 scoops, or 34/8 = 4+ pints, so call it 5 pints.
  2. That math is all well and good, but I have 2 pies and 2 cakes, so 4 pints should be plenty.
  3. Oh, come on, no one eats a measly quarter of a cup of ice cream. Even a small scoop is half a cup, so I better go for 10 pints.  
  4. What if everyone wants to try every flavor?  What if they're all starving for ice cream?  Plus, what about all those cool chocolates and vanillas?  I'd better order two pints of each flavor to be safe.  Wait.  What's that?  There are 12 interesting flavors.  So be it; it's not like I chose this. 24 pints isn't really all that much. I mean, we have two whole nights, right?

A is clearly not the answer, because no one can survive on that small an amount of ice cream.

B is obviously the product of dementia.  Four pints for all those people?  Insanity.

C is at least hearing whispers of the voice of reason, but it's ignoring the crucial tasting desire of so many partygoers.

Which brings us to D, the only rational thought process and the only rational choice, which, of course, is the way I thought and the choice I made. 

See how easy it is to learn to think like me?


4 comments:

Scott Luihn said...

If your in the Wake Foerst area you need to sample ice cream from Lumpy's. He makes all the flavors with local products and if your lucky he will have the burbon-bacon flavor.....

Mark said...

I look forward to trying that ice cream one of these days.

Griffin Barber said...

Cover the whole party in ice cream from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Mark said...

I like your thinking, Griffin!

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