Saturday, May 26, 2012

"That's Not Fair!"

You know the classic problem when you give each kid a piece of cake, or a cookie, or whatever, and they scrutinize to see who got the bigger piece?  My brother and I drove my mother crazy with that, to the point that I think I remember the wooden spoon being deployed.

Every now and again my husband will lean down to carefully pour our glasses of wine to make sure we get the same amount, and I will invariably remark "we're spouses, dear, not siblings."

You'd think I would have gotten out of that whole mess by having only one child, or at least, only one who eats solid food.  So what kind of Bad Mommy actually encourages it?  Friday night is family pizza and movie night, and we make our own pizza by using the breadmaker to make the dough, then patting it out on a cookie sheet.  Many Friday night dinner conversations revolve around how to cut a rectangular pizza into three equal pieces, where the amount of crust each person gets is also fair.

Normally we cut it into six squarish pieces, but that leaves four corners and two edges. That's clearly not fair, because someone gets two corners.  The previous solution of cutting the crusts off the short ends and making them into six breadsticks was rejected as lacking a certain elegance.  Today at lunch (which was relatively non-combative sandwiches), we finally hashed out a solution we were all happy with.  It turned out to require only a tape measure, grade eight math, and a large helping of pigheadedness.

From then until the end of the meal we got to debate how to mark the pizza for ease of cutting... my son favoured burning it right onto the cookie sheet, while I think my husband was leaning towards marking the pizza while raw with cilantro.  Sometimes making something fair can be deeply satisfying.

P.S.  If you really need to know the solution, for our 12" by 18" cookie sheet the solution is laid out in the picture.  All cuts originate from the centre of the pizza.  The cut represented by the pen ends 6" up from the nearest corner.  Rotate to the left and make the cut represented by the first pencil 8" along that side; then the final cut is just 2" short of its nearest corner.  Each person gets 72 sq. in. of pizza and 20 in. of crust.

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