Monday, July 24, 2006

Mama Always Said Life Was an Awful Lot Like Mathman

Ah, yes. Back in my youth, I spent a lot of time watching edumacational t-vision. My fave-iest fave rave was Square One, and I often fantasized that someday Kate Monday and George Frankly (from Mathnet, duh) would need me to help them solve a crime and I would leap to their rescue and save the day, and both Kate and George would shower me with love and affection (much like Nelson).

But my other best from Square One was the creamy, dreamy Mathman. Or, rather, less creamy and dreamy and more anxiety-inducing and mildly terrifying.

To this day, when I find myself in a mild panic-type-of-situation, (such as attempting to leave my Times Square office building at night, trying on pants, or realizing I've walked seven blocks in the wrong direction in Brooklyn somewhere,) in my mindhead I chant "Mathman, mathman, mathman!"

Also, whenever I make a wrong decision or a mistake, I imagine a grumblygrumbly tornado named Mr. Glitch coming to eat me.

And then I get really freaked out and I simply must beat myself up over whatever mistake or wrong decision I've committed on the world. Better than being eaten by a grumpypants tornado named Mr. Glitch.

My friend Jim notes how odd it is that Mathman repeatedly chants his own name. I think it's a lot like that moment in "Batman Begins" when Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow is dosed by his own nerve gas and yells "SCARECROW!" instead of yelling "ME!" because you'd think that if everyone else gets dosed and yells "SCARECROW" then the Scarecrow himself wouldn't see himself and yell his own name -- UNLESS, of course, unless he is just like Mathman.

Which is, of course, entirely possible.

1 comment:

ian m mccarty said...

Yah! Square One! back when i was 6 years old and told people i wanted to be a mathamatician when i grew up (before i ever heard of the inhuman pain of calculus), Square One TV was my favest PBS jam. everything from Late Afternoon with David Numberman to all the game show parodies, and the classic Mathnet and Mathman, it was chock-a-block of stars!

i tried to get my co-workers excited enough about it to put in on our office blog (, but no one else was nerdy enough as i to find it fine fodder. fooey.

but bex always has my back!