Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ramblings of an undercover statistician

1. 436,401 people are saying "Working hard? Or hardly working?" and laughing at their ingenuity right now.

2. 16 people in Hyderabad city alone have bought the car sticker of a puppy peering from under a curtain in a hope that their car will be unique.

3. 1.31% of the world population will wonder if they are good kissers in the next 24 hours.

4. 1,259 people (with messy hands) are wondering how to turn on the futuristic looking tap in front of them right now.

5. Before this work day is over 149 people would have said "Oh..the email must be traveling to you right now..." and snicker to themselves.

6. 1,234,402 men are wondering right this moment, if size matters.

7. 19 women discovered that it does.

8. 2 people are trying to hard to remember your name.

9. 1 person is trying to remember your face.

10. 948 males took a peek at a cleavage this second and hoped nobody noticed.

11. 345 people noticed.

12. 456,932 people are re-reading their favourite part of their favourite book right now.

13. I am wondering, now, right this moment, if anyone is going to read this.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Q1 Racing

Last weekend, I had to go to the railway reservation counter to cancel a ticket. It's been ages since I went to one what with online tickets and all... In fact, I realized that its been quite sometime since I even stood in a queue. I do all my bill payments and ticket purchases online, and in places which require a queue, I shamelessly ask my fiancee to use the 'ladies Q'. Anyway, here I was standing in the queue of about 20, shuffling our feet every 30 odd seconds in a desperate attempt to make ourselves think we are moving forward. It gave me a chance to play what I call 'Q1 Racing'. Here is how it works.

Step 1: Pick a Q, Any Q

Unfortunately, Q1 requires that there be at least 2 queues in parallel, 3 would be ideal. If there are three Qs then pick the center one (I don't care if you feel the one on the left is moving faster. It's not...trust me). If there are only two Qs then you can pick any of them.

Next pick your competition. One person from each of the other Qs. Ideally you would want to pick one guy who is slightly ahead of you from one Q, and a guy who is in the same spot as you from the other. It would help if you selected sinister looking people who you hate just looking at. Fortunately every queue in the world is supplied with at least one.

Step 2: The set-up

Pretend you are in your own fancy sports car, racing car, bike, or even on a horse if thats your fancy. You are in the arena, surrounded by 100,000 fans shouting their lungs out cheering for you.

Set up the commentary box. "Ladies and gentlemen, we have the race of your lifetime here...Blah Blah". You know what am talking about. Revv up your engine (or giddy up your horse) and GO! You might want to make loud engine noises to create the appropriate effect, but this sort of behaviour (I learnt) is frowned upon.

Step 3: The Race
Over the next few minutes you will partake in a heady, adrenaline pumping race. Your heart will sink, when the sleazeball from the right lane overtakes you. (Try not to show him the finger though..) You heart will thump when you pull ahead of your apponents after a disaster stuck your lane (the lady in your counter goes to the loo). You will experience an exhilaration which would put orgasms to shame when you screech past to the finish line...the crowd goes wild and you lift the Ticket and show it to the wild fans and photographers...

Aah.. I hope that was my last race. I want to retire on a high note.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Ass seen on TV

I watch a fair amount of television. Perhaps not as much as the average Indian housewife. Recent statistics reveal she spends what amounts to twice the lifespan of the average Mongolian Kangaroo Flea* everyday watching soaps named by dyslexic sadhu's from the seventeen and hafth century.

As for me, my TV watching time is equally divided between watching the news ( CNBC, IBN and NDTV) and sitcoms (Friends, Seinfeld, Simpson's and Teleshopping). Teleshopping????? You read that right. I am a huge fan of tele-shopping programs and have been...for years now. What's not to like??? No. I have never nor intend to actually order any of the things shown on TV. As I mentioned earlier, for me, the teleshopping programs are a kind of sitcom. As far as I am concerned, a sitcom for me has to follow these rules:

  1. It has to be short - My attention span maxes out at 30 minutes.

  2. They should not be serialized. I should be able to watch the episodes in any particular order and missing one should not be a big deal.

  3. It should be about happy people with fun lives.

  4. Any problems that the characters have should be resolved within that day's episode. (Refer rule #2)

  5. It should be funny.

Now tell me if teleshopping infomercials break any of the above rules.

They stick to the 30 minute format. The characters are realistic and rarely have last names or interesting unrealistic professions (Bob - A Teacher, Gina - Home maker, Tony - Green Grocer, etc.) At the beginning of the program they have a problem. Bob and Gina want to throw a party but their salads are so horrendously boring. If only modern science could come up with a solution for this heinous shortcoming to modern urban living. Their good friend Dave (apparantly a superstar in the home shopping sphere who also goes by the name Kevin sometimes, for tax purposes I assume) pops in, wearing the sweater Bob Newhart died in (Hez dead right?) and Drew Carrey's nerdy glasses. He laughs pitifully at them because they still use... get this... knives to cut their vegetables. And out of his left pocket he pops out the VegeRotomater, an ingenious device developed by NASA scientists to help Sunita Williams cut bhendi and pyaz in the space station. He pops in the VegeRotomater into the end of a cucumber, turns the handle...and... the cucumber is cut in the shape of a ballerina standing on tip-toe and wearing a pink tutu. And would you believe it, this thing is on sale.... right now...as you are reading this. Call the nice folks at the call center and they will throw in a cookie cutter, disposable panties, seat covers for a 1980 Ambasaddor Mark II and a pink tutu. And all this for just one third of what you are supposed to think all this should cost. Mr. and Mrs..... uh...Bob and Gina are thrilled. They have their party, which serves only salads, there is the Michaelangelo's David (stop thinking about the cucumber, pervert.), Eiffel Tower, Mount Fuji, and indeed whatever else you can think of. Its almost 30 minutes since it started, so the nice folks remind us yet again on how we can go about enriching our lives with their offering and we come to the end.

What's not to like? And the twin cherries on the icing?

The commercial breaks contain no actual commercials, only more of the sitcom. Imagine if during breaks on Seinfeld, they showed his stand-up routines.

You would more likely see the dubbed version of these english 'infomercials' on TV. Unlike Hollywood movies, I find that the dubbed versions here are actually better than the english originals. Watch Kevin excitedly tell us how the apple is 'seeti jaise saaf' ... that's 'clean as a whistle' to you.

You tell me. What's not to like?

* The Mongolian Kangaroo Flea is a very sorry creature. It is an anomaly of nature and perhaps stands testimony to the fact that Darwin's theory was in fact written by him early Monday morning after a weekend beeriest, and handed over to his professor for a B Grade. This wretched little creature is found in the upper reaches of Mongolia and feeds on Kangaroo blood. The embryo (or larvae - scientists are still arguing) survive for the first 6 hours of their existence by sucking on moisture and gloom (found in abundance) from the thin air and spends the remainder (about 8 more hours) wondering how long it might have to wait for a kangaroo to show up. The Ulan Batol Flea Circus is your best bet to watch these fasinating creatures.