Saturday, March 09, 2013

Come On, People! Get Those Equivalents Right!


[This is a repeat. I probably shouldn't have told you that. The folks who will recognize it don't need to be told that information, and the folks who won't recognize it don't need to be told that information, either. So, I've told the truth for no good reason whatsoever. Ugh. I need a drink.]




        (L to R: Glen "Big Baby" Davis of the Orlando Magic, a Buick)



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 = 10 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.)

34 comments:

Buck Pennington said...

But, since a Buick isn't sporting equipment - unless you're a horny teenager, and you count the back seat -

Umm... I DO. Or, I DID. My first car was a 1950 Buick coupe, with a nameplate on the driver's side door that said "Body style: Riviera." I won me some money with that nameplate... as in me saying "I have a Riviera." "NO you don't" was ALWAYS the answer followed by "Wanna bet?" on my part. I filled up the tank more than a few times with that... five bucks went a long way back in '63.

Major comment digression.

Hilary said...

Can't and wouldn't argue with your logic. Thanks for the laughs.

Julie said...

LOL ...

Babs said...

OH YUCK, the last sentence did me in.

You were on a writers roll there, wow ...I'll bet a dollar to a donut???

The Geezers said...

You got that right. Our local news guy seems to take delight in finding wierd scales by which to measure hail. "Lima beans" was used once. Then "black-eyed peas."

Lowandslow said...

Excellent post. I only wish you'd taken things further and addressed the "Deader' than a doornail" analogy. ;)

S

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

If Nascar was a sport, Buicks would... Aaaah, fuggedabotit!


o/t - sorry for taking up so much space.

joeh said...

Even worse is "bug up your butt"

I think I made a similar comment about football fields and rain forests in book 1, so mediocre minds also think alike. Oh screw it, make that GREAT minds!

Oh and did I mention that this post is absolutly friggin brilliant? No?

THis post is absolultly friggin brilliant!!

messymimi said...

A fun few minutes; with a kitten in one hand and the formula in the other, what else could i do but read?

Ami said...

oh Lookit! You got a spammer!! I wonder how 'big' he is?

This whole post cracked me up, you're a genius. Or I need to get out more.

lime said...

i have a friend who actually had a bug take up residence in her ear when she was pregnant. it was quite bizarre as it lived there for some time annoying her but she was unable to determine what the problem was until a doctor fished it out.

and if i say hail the size of either big baby davis' ass or a buick i'd be sure it was the end of the world.

Jackie said...

I don't drink...and I need a drink now.

OldAFSarge said...

You may count that as ten minutes of my life wasted. I found the time to be well spent. Well, except perhaps for the constant references to Big Baby's butt. I mean c'mon, the man's not even with the Celtics anymore! Other than that, this was time well-spent. But then again, what do I know? I'm just commenting to take up space on the Internet that you can't then turn around and use yourself. I would say that between Buck and I, we use up three football fields worth of Internet every day. With posts the size of downtown Providence. YMMV

Barbara Shallue said...

You can repeat that one all you want and I still won't consider the time taken to read it as wasted!

Suldog said...

Ami - Sorry to make your reply look half incoherent, but I removed the spammer. I'm sick to death of them, and I am on a mission to make sure none of them ever survive more than a couple of minutes here.

Juli said...

You know... as soon as I read that the hail would be the size of pennies, I thought "THAT is not how you measure hail."

Now... on to more important stuff... we got about two beer cans high of snow this week, which is of course, how long it take you shovel the sh!t vs how much you need to drink so your back stops hurting, how bout you?

Suldog said...

Juli - Oh, yeah. About a foot where we live, a bit further south over 20 inches where My Mom and Stepfather are. The only really good thing about being unemployed is that I don't have to sweat digging out my 60-foot (no, that's not a typo) driveway. I can just sit around in my jammies and wait for it to melt in a week.

Kat said...

Hehe! I love this. Thank you for the chuckles.
And I'm very glad you were so truthful otherwise I would be awaiting weather reports for all of Massachusetts about the massive amount of MARBLE sized hail they received.

Mariann Simms said...

My son kept getting mad at me for telling people that I had a lump on my forehead the size of a kumquat. He told me no one uses kumquats as a size and I should have used the word, grape, instead. So, naturally, I kept using the word kumquat.

Shrinky said...

Last week I told my builder the bedroom he's constructing is only big enough to sleep a half-grown Hobbit in - does that count? So love your sense of the ridiculous, and most of what you state is perfectly true, of course - in a kind of warped and convoluted way (grin). I think I missed this post the first time round, great to see you're as sharp as ever you were!

Juli said...

We weren't supposed to get any. Some of my co-workers got 2 feet and they only live 20 minutes northwest. *sigh* I also have a driveway about that size. During the storm of 05, where in we got almost 28 inches, I parked in the garage and had to shovel the entire thing myself (WAY before Tony and I were married)The kids were only 5 and 3. I remember looking through the window and saying "So help me GAWD if you two don't stop fighting I'm gonna get you a shovel."

The neighbors thought I was nuts. Still do. :)

Michelle H. said...

You know, I don't think I have ever used equivalents when describing things. But The Overlord's doctor (neurologist) likes to ask if The Overlord has any more birthmarks larger than the size of a pencil eraser, or a quarter. I prefer if people just said half-an-inch or an inch or a certain number of feet, although feet come in so many different shapes and sizes that they are hard to relate to measurement. and I imagine stink lines and flies buzzing around the smelly ones.

Shammickite said...

Using "football field" as a unit of measure always confuses me.... does that refer to American football (AFL), or perhaps the Canadian version (CFL), or Aussie rules football..... or possibly the British equivalent, which you laughingly call soccer, but as all British people know is the one and only REAL football. Now have I confused you enough? And BTW, Stompin' Tom Connors dad was a Sullivan!

Craig said...

Football fields can be very descriptive units of distance, as when a race car going 200 mph is translated into 'a football field per second!'.

I've heard of grape-sized hail. Which is roughly the same diameter as a penny, but, you know, spherical instead of flat, so it seems more apt as applied to hail. Except that grapes that fall out of the sky just kinda 'splat' on the roof of your car, whereas hail of that size might dent it.

And I'm sorry, but 'kumquat' makes me think of something else entirely. . .

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip, said...

12 oz. or 16 oz. beer cans?

Suldog said...

Shammickite - Wow. You know, I usually do think of the problems of foreign translation of the idiotic things I write, but that one never even occurred to me. Thanks for making me feel hideously jingoistic!

Jenny Woolf said...

My problem with this is that I can't think of anything that is the same size as hailstones, except... hailstones.

Char said...

Very entertaining post! It gave me a laugh...the size of a Buick's ass! Thanks.

Lil said...

You can repeat this one every week and I'd be happy. It's hilarious.

Daryl said...

still one of my favs .

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

Perfect explanation. With one exception. Athletes are measured in buildings, not vehicles. Therefore, Big Baby Davis is as big as a house. Shaq, the size of a barn.

Murr Brewster said...

I've made that very observation myself, when writing about the wonder that is the Fibroid Tumor--a thing that you've never heard of until your gynecologist casually drops the information that you're harboring a squadron of them, and a thing that 25% of women purportedly have--that they are graded on the Universal Citrus Fruit Scale until they get really obstreperous, when the scale flops over into sports equipment.

sandyland said...

hmmmmn

Quirkyloon said...

Uhm, hail-sized buicks? That's called an asteroid! Not to be confused with hemorrhoids. heh heh. Oh wait. Maybe it's a meteorite.

So confusing!