Lowest Common Denominator: on munching squares

It’s good to learn something every day. For example, I used to think that this column was about math. Turns out it’s not. My first draft about the nuances of adding and subtracting fractions was harshly rejected. 

And I always thought garlic sauce was just for those who want their pizza to be extra greasy. But then I saw Jeremy, clearly in an unstable emotional state, skip the pizza step entirely and use the garlic sauce container as a shot glass.

I hate rectangular pizza. It’s the worst. You know the ones that, instead of a normal, reasonable, circular pizza, are just a sheet? And then they’re cut up into thin, flaky rectangles? You know that pizza? How do you even eat that? Maybe the edge pieces are okay, but once you get into the middle, there’s no crust! What are you supposed to hold on to?

And then, even if you’re lucky enough to get a piece with crust—which, let’s be honest, you won’t be—there’s no way to eat it. Slices of circular pizzas have points, so you can ease your way into it with no big commitments. With square ones, you just have to jam a wall of pizza into your mouth. And if you’re thinking, “You could just start with the corners,” I’ve got some news for you. A corner is a 90° angle. Nice try — that’d be like eating a whole quarter of a round pizza at a time, that 90° angle. 

The only thing worse than pizza, as far as square food goes, is square brownies. We get those too, on production nights. The reason they’re worse is that they come in nine parts — nine parts! That means, if you want to share it evenly, you can only split it with three people or nine people. Otherwise, you have to give some people more brownie than others, and you don’t have time for those kind of politics, do you?

Back to production night—the same one where Jeremy was telling me how to write my column. We had a square brownie. The inevitable problem came up. Four of our writers wanted to share it, so they asked Jeremy what to do. He suggested they just cut it up in a way that four people can have the same amount of pieces. 

But these were just middle schoolers, so they didn’t know how to divide nine parts evenly four ways. Jeremy had it figured out (nine thirty-sixths) until three more writers came over and said they wanted some as well, but one wasn’t that hungry and only wanted half of what everyone else was getting. By then, the math became too complicated.

At this point, I bet he wished he had an article about how to add and subtract fractions. But no one ever listens to me.