Tuesday, 14 March is National Pie (Pi) Day

A Day to be Desserted
Opus:20160314 Nbr:1 short story

Alex slowly opened his eyes. He had learned it was safer than allowing the eyes to pop open wide. If the room was brightly lit, the sudden opening of the eyes could produce a little bit of a shock. Fortunately, the day was a bit overcast, the windows faced west, and the lights in the room were turned off. That made the room pleasantly lit if just a bit on the dusky side. It made things rather nice as he arose and got dressed for the day.

About the time he was finishing up Cassie came by to see if he wanted to go down to breakfast. Alex wasn’t sure he wanted to have anything they had to offer in the dining room, but he couldn’t bring himself to turn down Cassie’s invitation. Even though she was a caregiver there and had others to look after, she did manage to spend some time with Alex each morning over breakfast. With an offer like that how could Alex refuse?

Over the few months since Cassie had started working there, she and Alex had become close friends. It had started the night he told her about an accident he had been involved in one weekend. Alex had been able to keep the young lady riding with him from being injured in any way, but the events that weekend brought his relationship with that lady to an end. It was at that point that Alex had decided the day to day responsibilities of maintaining a life on one’s own was more than Alex was willing to continue putting up with. So he simply moved into the assisted living facility that was now his home. There was absolutely no reason why he had to be
there. He just chose to be there because he was tired of putting up with doing things on his own.

It was a few months after that when Cassie started working at the home. One night when she didn’t have much to do she asked Alex why he lived there, so he told her. It was that night that Cassie and Alex had begun their friendship. They were careful, of course, not to let it interfere with Cassie’s employment at the facility, but they still kept their friendship as close as they could. Both knew it would never be more than a friendship, but it was filling a great need in both their lives.

Cassie had been able to convince Alex to buy a laptop computer that she was then able to connect to the free resident Wi-Fi network at the home. As a result, Cassie was able to show Alex how he could connect to people around the world through a few social networking sites on the Internet. Alex was extremely careful in what and how much he shared with others via his computer like that, but he did have fun developing connections with people all around the world. It was a nice way to keep from getting bored as he continued living there.

After breakfast, Alex went back to his room just long enough to get his computer, and then he went to the lounge area of the home. There he took a comfortable seat, turned on his laptop, and began looking at various web sites on the Internet. As he looked at his favorite sites, he noticed that folks from all over were doing things they normally would not do simply because the date happened to be 14 March, 2016. At first Alex didn’t understand it, but as he continued looking at things, it soon became clear why the people were behaving as they were.

Almost everyone he contacted via the computer had made a special effort that day to either go out and eat some pie, purchase some pie to take home to eat later, or to go to the effort to bake a pie to eat. Some seemed to just be doing what was easiest to get some pie to enjoy. Others were making an effort not to get just any pie, but to get some type pie that was unique. Some even used special plates that had mathematical symbols and numbers emblazoned on the plates. It was interesting to see the extent some went to just to make that day a truly special day of the year.

On one of Alex’s trips to the necessary room off the lobby he saw Cassie, and asked her if she had her piece of pie yet. She just gave him a peculiar look. It was clear that she hadn’t had time to realize what was going on. Before she could ask about it, Cassie got called by one of the other residents she was responsible for that day, and had to rush off to lend assistance.

Roughly an hour before lunch Alex went to the kitchen and asked if they were going to serve pie for dessert. The person in charge of the menu said that there wasn’t any pie planned for lunch. The head person did say they were thinking of a pie dessert for dinner. Alex strongly suggested that they have the pie for dinner. He implied that it was more important than any of them realized. That afternoon, as the head person contemplated what Alex had suggested, it was decided that there would be pie for desert that night for dinner. When Alex found out, he was overjoyed.

That afternoon Alex was able to contact a friend who lived in the upper northwest of America. He had carefully measured the distance around the base of his igloo and divided it by the diameter of the igloo in commemoration of the day. Alex spent a while exchanging E-mails with his friend.

Another person, living in “The Peach State”, the state of Georgia in the USA, went out and got a peach off one of the trees growing outside her house. She carefully measured how big around it was, and divided that by the diameter of the peach. She did it because of what day it was. She was overjoyed when Alex took the time to exchange responses with her on her blog site.

The final thing that Alex did before dinner was exchange posts on a social networking site with a teacher he knew. One of her students had brought her an apple that day. She carefully measured how big around the apple was, and what the diameter of the apple was. She then had her students divide the distance around the apple by its diameter. The students got a thrill out of the result because of what day it was. The teacher thanked Alex for taking the time to share in the significance of what was going on.

Dinner was a great time for Alex. What made it extra special for him was having the slice of pie for dessert. Cassie, rather than going home when her shift was over, stopped by Alex’s room after dinner so they could have some time just talking. It was during that time that Alex shared about how special the day had been for him.

Cassie asked, “Why did the guy in the Northwest get such a thrill out of dividing the distance around his igloo by its diameter?”

Alex responded, “He wanted to enjoy having an Eskimo Pi.”

Cassie just groaned.

Alex shared about the young lady in the state of Georgia. “She had a great time measuring the distance around a peach, and then dividing it by the diameter of the peach.”

Cassie knew she would regret it, but she had to ask, “What was so great about that?”

Alex said, “She came up with a nice Peach Pi.”

When Alex shared about the teacher who had her students divide the distance around an apple by its diameter, she said, “Don’t tell me. She wanted her students to share in a nice Apple Pi.”

Alex just grinned.

“What is the big deal with people calculating the value of Pi? … And why did you ask me earlier today if I had enjoyed a slice of pie? What does that have to do with anything?”

Alex asked if she knew what day it was.

Cassie said, “It is the 14th of March.”

Alex took out a note card and wrote the month and day out numerically. He then asked Cassie to read the card.

“It says 3 14,” she said.

“Did you just say 3 1 4?” Alex asked.

“Well, … Yes, but what is so special about that?” she asked.

Alex responded, “Isn’t 3.14 the value of Pi to two decimal places?”

Cassie said, “Yes …” Suddenly Cassie picked up a pillow from the love seat and threw it at Alex. She now understood that 14 March was Pi (Pie) Day. That is why so many people were making sure they ate a slice of Pie, and went to the effort of calculating Pi in such a variety ways. “Okay,” she said, “but what about the funny plates you were telling me about?”

Alex replied, “Some had the Pi symbol on them in various forms, and others had long expansions of the value for Pi circling around the plate. They were all Pi (Pie) Plates.”

“I should have known,” Cassie said with a grimace.

After talking for a while longer, Cassie said good bye and went home for the night, and Alex went to bed. After such an interesting day he felt he could use the extra sleep.

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