Thursday, July 03, 2008

Come ON, People! Get Those Equivalents Right!

(L to R: Glen "Big Baby" Davis, a Buick)

MY WIFE just heard a weather report which stated that we could be in for hail the size of pennies.

(Yeah, I know. In July. That's not what I came here to bitch about, though, so let me start again.)

MY WIFE just heard a weather report stating that we could be in for hail the size of pennies. I'm sorry, but that's just wrong. Hailstones do not come in the size of monetary units.

Think about it. Hailstones are generally spherical. You can't say that they're the size of flat metal objects, circular though they may be. If you do, you'll have a confused populace trying to differentiate between hailstones the size of pennies and hailstones the size of dimes, and dimes are smaller than pennies, but they're worth ten times as much, so while people are standing around outside trying to make sense out of what you've told them, they're already full of holes and laying on the pavement, their life's blood flowing in rivers towards the sewer. And a fine kettle of fish that would be. And don't even get me started on kettles of fish. The only more disgusting idiom is the ever-gross "put a bug in someone's ear." Yuck!

Be that as it may - and it damn well is, so get used to it - the correct equivalents for hailstones use sporting equipment. Golf balls, baseballs, softballs, basketballs. That's the scale. Anything below the size of a golf ball is just hail. Anything above the size of a basketball is just ridiculous.

(I personally believe that the end of the world will include hailstones the size of Buicks. But, since a Buick isn't sporting equipment - unless you're a horny teenager, and you count the back seat - I would never actually describe them that way. I'd say, "Hailstones the size of Big Baby Davis, if Big Baby Davis had wheels and a chrome-plated ass.")

Well, that should take care of the hailstones. While we're at it, though, we may as well get the rest of it straight.

If you've got a tumor - and I hope you don't - the equivalent measurement is a piece of fruit. It can be the size of a grape, an orange, a grapefruit, a cantaloupe, or a watermelon. If your tumor is larger than a watermelon, you could say that it's the size of Big Baby Davis's ass, but nobody will believe you.

"Football Fields" is a valid equivalent measure, but not for hailstones, tumors, or Big Baby Davis's ass, although that's a close one. It has to be for something that is the size of one football field, or at least two football fields. You can't say that something is the size of one-and-one-quarter football fields. If you do, people will say that your brain is the size of a kumquat. They will be wrong, of course. Small brains come in the size of tiny vegetables, i.e., peabrain (although "birdbrain" is acceptable, but only because everyone knows that birds are peabrains, unless the bird in question is Larry, in which case we're talking basketballs again, so Big Baby Davis again.)

Football fields are particularly good for measuring cruise ships, by the way. If you were to fill a big room with brochures for cruise ships, and then swing a cat by it's tail, you'd almost assuredly hit an advertisement with "football field" in the text, if that's your idea of fun. Apparently, you can also use them to measure destruction. Go here, if you want to be depressed. Of course, if you think rain forests suck, it will make you giddy.

(I don't trust that math. Six football fields a minute? That would be 360 football fields an hour, and 8,640 football fields each day, which translates to 3,153,600 football fields a year. That would be more than 141 billion square feet. Do you know anybody with square feet? Of course not, so there you go. Pseudo-science!)

Finally, one blog post by Suldog = Ten minutes of your life you'll never get back. I don't think anybody will dispute that. Maybe Big Baby Davis, but he has an ass the size of a Buick.

Soon, with more better stuff (the equivalent of which has yet to be officially determined, but I'm thinking a hungry ferret in your underwear would be a good approximation.)


Anonymous said...

How was hail measured before the invention of golf balls? (George Carlin)

Michelle H. said...

"One blog post by Suldog = Ten minutes of your life you will never get back?"

I think the better equivalent would be a missed foulshot you wished to have a retry at?

Shrinky said...

You would have to go and mention ferrets, wouldn't you (shudder), now I'm reliving the trauma of having had one one hanging by a tooth from me.

Ferret sized hailstones; oh Lord, now here come the nightmares..

Anonymous said...

Brains also come in "walnut" size, particularly when discussing prehistoric fauna.

Suldog said...

Re: walnuts

Yes, indeed, I had forgotten that there are "nut" equivalents for brains. "Peanutbrain" is also good.

SandraRee said...

How about "no bigger than a minute"...we say that about newborn babies. We're from the south, what can I say?

Happy 4th Sul, hope you and your family have a safe and good one! Hugs

Hilary said...

So.. let me get this straight. You're saying that size really does matter?

Have a great 4th of July, Sully! :)

Jeni said...

Why not measure hail by peas, then maybe walnuts, move up from there to maybe marbles, then golf balls -or perhaps, back along the food thing, those tiny eggs of bubble gum or the bigger ones -jawbreakers, etc. Just a thought!

Buck said...

Football fields are also the metric of choice for aircraft carriers, which should never be mistaken for cruise ships. Or so I'm told.

Have a great Independence Day weekend, Jim!

Kevin Smith said...

Am I the only one here who wants my ten minutes back?

Dude...where's my ten minutes?

Have a great 4th.

John-Michael said...

I'm sitting here laughing without the slightest idea why! If I had to explain the reason for my hilarity to anyone, I would be at a total loss to for any rational (now THERE's a concept for this place!) explanation. But I like it!!

You are, by far, the BEST, My SulDog Friend. Love Ya ...

Melinda said...

how about "let me pick your brain for a minute"

david mcmahon said...

Ice this morning in Melbourne - and rain and snow this week!!

Rebecca said...

Suldog! Ferrets in ones underwear just leads one to think about those awful hamster stories!!!

Cath said...

Jim - your rabbiting is pure genius. Of course, there are hailstones the size of marbles too, and as for brains, well, in our family we talk about THE brain cell, which is shared between us, depending on whose need is the greatest. Eg if #1 at college, he gets it. If I have to hold a conversation with a sane person I get it. #2 rarely gets the brain cell because he can already talk, read, count and sing. That's enough for anyone.

As for football fields, well, what size is a football field? Is that rugby football? American football? (I use the term "foot" i that one loosely ha ha ha) or Australian Rules football? Or the proper (soccer) football?

All pitches different sizes. Very confusing. Best stay away from sporting analogies.

Great post Jim. Briliant.

Janet said...

Just when I thought I knew where we were going we went somewhere else. There was a lot of tripping in this post, my dear Sul. Some of the most enjoyable ten minutes I've experienced lately (on the computer anyway). Ok, I need to go away now.

indicaspecies said...

I'm here from David's.

Senti questa..
Posts such as these make me feel..

Ah, every morn' is the dawn of a new error, and it's so nice to be penny wise and pound foolish especially when it comes to the measurement of hailstones..hahaha.. ten minutes well spent!

- celine