Five-Minute π

by Zeke

Max's Log: Once when I was a kid I stared right at the sun. OW!

Jenna: Hey Max, do another one!
Cute kid. She thinks I'm a math genius.
Jenna: How much is three times... FOUR MILLION?
Max: Twelve million.
Jenna: Wow!
She's RIGHT, but these questions aren't exactly proving it.

The stock market is just numbers, so it can be predicted perfectly with math. And I've studied every part of math. Except chaos theory, that sounded boring.

Marcy Dawson: I'm a sketchy businesswoman who knows a little too much.
Landlady: I'm nosy and wouldn't approve of the stuff in your room.
Devi: I'm your very unavailable obvious crush.
Max: Have we got all the characters introduced now? I feel a headache coming o--
Lenny: Hi, I'm a friendly Jewish stereotype who won't shut up.
Max: Yep, there it is. Back later, I need to inject some drugs.

Max's Medical Log: Still no luck stopping the headaches. I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually. Medicine is basically math, right?

Sol: You're stressing yourself out, Max. You should take a vacation.
Max: Just because we're playing go doesn't mean you have to tell me to do it.
Sol: Why don't you ever look me in the eye when we talk?
Max: Sorry, Sol. Nothing personal, I've just learned not to look directly at you.

Sol is still haunted. He spent his whole career searching for the pattern behind pi. I haven't had the heart to tell him it's just circumference over diameter.

Lenny: Here, lemme show you some Hebrew numerology.
(Some Hebrew numerology later)
Max: Huh. Some of those were Fibonacci numbers... which gives me an idea! Gotta run!
Lenny: Wait! Aren't you gonna tell me what Fibonacci numbers are?
Max: Okay, but be warned, I'm way too distracted to fact-check this scene.

Spirals! Spirals are the missing ingredient. I just need to make Euclid's program a bit more spirally and then --
Euclid: *vomits out a 216-digit number*
I guess that's only fair. Spinning does that to me too.

Max: Okay, Euclid, let's see what caused the bug in your program.
An Ant in Euclid's Mainframe: *waves*
Max: ...You know what, Aronofsky? There's such a thing as being too cute.

Max: So Euclid spat out this long random number --
Sol: How long? HOW LONG??!??!?
Sol: Not that I'm interested or anything.
Max: Well, you shouldn't be. The stock picks that came with it were ridiculous. I mean, GameStop rising 1500 percent?

Max: Whoa!
Random Man: You okay?
Max: Yeah, I just get these weird visions sometimes. They're so surreal and visual that I doubt they could be meaningfully included in a textual parody of my life if someone felt like writing one.
Random Man: Well, real life's pretty weird these days too. Just look at this stock news. What even is a GameStop?

Marcy: Max! I've been trying to hunt you down.
Max: Yeah, I noticed the claw marks in my door. Leave me alone!
Marcy: But we could make so much money together! You'd be the brains, we'd be the owners of your brains...
Max: Tell Wolfram & Hart I said no and that's final!

Lenny: Hey buddy, why don't we go and --
Max: Yes! Get me out of here before she catches up. I swear I saw actual talons...
Lenny: Great! Hey Ephraim, one more for tying ourselves up in leather straps!
Max: ...
Lenny: Orthodox-Jewishly though.
Max: Lead with that next time.

Lenny: You know, we're looking for a pattern in the Torah.
Max: Really? Always seemed straightforward to me. First there's nothing, then God makes things, then --
Lenny: No, using that Hebrew stuff I showed you before. We don't know much, just that the pattern is 216 digits long.
Max: Wait, how long? Not that my friend is interested or anything.

Sol: Come on, Max, it's a coincidence! I was overreacting before. This 216 business is all superstitious nonsense and you should stay far away from it.
Max: Why?
Sol: Because 216 is 6 times 6 times 6. That has to be trouble.
Max: Well, we'll find out tomorrow if it's nonsense. Euclid had something to say about BlackBerry stock too.

Marcy: C'mon! C'moooon! Just give me five minutes!
Max: In this format, that's asking a lot.
Marcy: You know you're tempted! I saw you drool when I showed you the supercomputer chip we're offering!
Max: Yeah, okay, but that's another reason I can't agree. Who's to say I could stop at just one?

Max: A vision! I guess we're actually doing this one.
Brain on the Ground: *bulge*
Max: Gah! Is this... mine?
Brain on the Ground: *bulge*
Max: ...I think so, brain, but wouldn't we need to get licensed to train a kangaroo?

Max: Hey, I need to stain a microscope slide. Do you have any iodine?
Devi: I?
Max: I3K, ideally.
(ba-dum chh)
Devi: Is Jenna still playing with that stupid drum?

Max: This goop that was in Euclid... it's full of spirals! It's all spirals! Everything is infused with spirals! Even the galaxy is a spiral!
Max: Annnnd now I'm doomed. Thanks, Mr. Junjo Ito.

Lenny: (over the phone) So you'll help us? Great!
Max: But not for free! I want that chip!
Lenny: Huh?
Max: Oh, sorry. Got my phone calls crossed.

Max: But not for free! I want that chip!
Marcy: (over the phone) Pleasure doing business with you. Have some blood handy, that's what powers it.

I'm about to embark on the biggest experiment of my life. It's risky, but I know I'm up to it. After all... my name IS Max.

Max: ...Where am I? Why are all the characters looking down at me?
Devi: You blew a fuse, yelled a lot, smashed some things, and passed out.
Max: Hey... the number is in my head now! I know it all! That must've been some vision we skipped.
Landlady: You're evicted! In this building we do our calculations onscreen!

Max: You lied to me.
Sol: Why must you see everything in black and white?
Max: Because Aronofsky wanted to be artsy, that's why! You found the number before, didn't you?
Sol: I think it's what happens when a computer accidentally Gödel-numbers itself. And you say it's in your head now?
Max: That, or a song with really numerical lyrics. Four, zero, seven --
Sol: Out! Get out of here before you diagonalize us both!

Marcy: So listen... we might have gone through your trash, found part of the magic number, used it to make stock picks, and now everything is crashing please help.
Max: How could one investor crash the stock market? No, it's probably one of those Fisher King things where the world starts ending until my plotline resolves.
Marcy: Funny you should say that. We have two possible resolutions in mind...

Max: Lenny! Get me out of here!
Lenny: Great! Ephraim, one more for getting the stuffing beat out of him!
Max: ...Orthodo--
Lenny: No.

Rabbi Cohen: Max, the number in your head is what we have been seeking in secret: the true name of God.
Max: That explains why I'm feeling so transcendental. -- Hold up! There actually is a Jewish conspiracy?
Rabbi Cohen: Well, you know, we got tired of being falsely accused. And the accused part wasn't going to stop, sooooo...
Max: I can't give you the number. How about just the consonants? That's all you're allowed to write down anyway.
Rabbi Cohen: Perfect! This will finally lead us into the messianic age.
Max: Heh, won't it be a hoot if it turns out Jesus really was the messiah all along?
Rabbi Cohen: Knock it off. I can tell you're setting up a "looking directly at the Son" joke.

Sol's Niece: Sorry, Sol's gone. He had a second stroke.
Max: Oh no! I must have one-last-jobbed him.
Sol's Niece: He left this giant spiral on the go board. Any idea what it means?
Max: Aw, Sol... it's okay. I was just pretending to know the rules too.

Max's Brain: THROB
Max: Arrrrgh! No! Not when I'm so close!
Max's Brain: THROBBBB
Max: No choice... gonna die... must destroy math centre of brain...
Drill: (whirrrrr)
Max: Ugh, I never thought I'd have to get out my old math drill.

For a self-trepanation, that went shockingly well. The number is gone and I'm finally at peace.
Jenna: Max! Maaaax! Stop ignoring me!
I guess I'll have to change my name, though. Since I'm only average now.
Jenna: You're mean!
...Nah, too on-the-nose.


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This fiver was originally published on March 14, 2022.

DISCLAIMER: Can I find a pi-ish mechanism of making clear the above decalogy infringes nobody's copyright? (Wow, he did!)

All material © 2022, Zeke.