Inspired by Math with Bad Drawings: “I’m not going to tell you what to call your cat’s mustache.”

Usually, I’m admiring Ben Orlin’s mathematics-oriented comic sketches for making his point-of-the-moment. Today, however, I was so tickled by a phrase therein (a quote from his wife) that I am re-blogging just to continue poking around in my fascination with these few words.

It’s right at the top of his post, and you needn’t follow any of the math to appreciate the sentence with which I’m enamored.* My interest is in the words and the absurd.

Math. Cats.

via A Mathematician Looks at a Cat — Math with Bad Drawings

Now, for the bit I love:

[Ben Orlin’s] WIFE: … I’m not going to tell you what to call your cat’s mustache.

I love this sentence: the absurdity of a cat’s mustache; the interplay between husband and wife when an argument can’t—or needn’t—be won. It’s perfect.

And all of it came nestled in the excelsior of math humor—a fascinating subject, frequently misunderstood, most especially by those who could benefit the most from plumbing its depths.

Excelsior - 1I’m in my weirdest, wordiest, quantitatively nerdiest happy place with this one.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to start repeating this to my family at moments they will find annoying. Previously, they had to suffer primarily through Christopher Durang quotes from The Nature & Purpose of the Universe.

If you’re curious, read more about this one act play on the playwright’s site. It is decidedly dark and wouldn’t be palatable to all audiences.

If someone refers to me as “she,” I quote the play and quip, “She is the cat’s mother. I am the Pope!”

Now, I can follow up with: “I’m not going to tell you what to call your cat’s mustache!”

Perhaps I only spout absurdist quotes about cats. Then again, cats might represent the ultimate expression of the absurd.

What is “the nature and purpose of the Universe,” really?

I think it has something to do with cats.

Batman lego fairy

*But we should talk later about finding your own personal entrée into a love of mathematics. Math is for everyone! And, no, that’s not a threat. It’s more like an invitation to join a cult.

3 thoughts on “Inspired by Math with Bad Drawings: “I’m not going to tell you what to call your cat’s mustache.”

  1. We have five cats (well, four and an interloper from Toronto, whilst my eldest daughter is with us), and personally, I’ve always kind of admired Erwin Schrödinger’s approach to feline management.

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