Petar Maymounkov

Recursive joy: True story

Sun, Jun 2, 2013

In high-school I had a friend, Kalin, who was very smart and meticulous, but also very easily agitated. I believe he is an air traffic control engineer now. I, on the other hand, was the source of most trouble that ever happened in the high-school. If something went wrong people would come to me, often without checking if I were to blame. Often they were right :)

Regardless, it seemed a good idea to teach them a lesson on being less presumptuous, and have some fun while at it. This is what I did:

One day, our art teacher asked the class to make paper models of various three-dimensional platonic bodies (cube, tetrahedron, octahedron, etc.). Three per person. Everyone finished their definitely-not-platonic renditions of cubes and things during the first half of the class.

In the intermission between the two halves, when most people — Kalin included — were away from their desks peeing somewhere, I went to Kalin's desk and took his bodies. His were the best in the class. As always.

I sat at my desk quietly (something which happens only on leap years) awaiting the moment of truth.

Kalin walked through the door two minutes after. He glanced at his desk. And, in a split second, he accomplished two things: He noticed his bodies were missing; He concluded I was the man he was after.

Instantaneously he stormed to my desk to find my neatly displayed bodies (not nearly as perfect as his) and I, staring at him in expectation. He proceeded to smash every one of my bodies with a rock hard fist of anger, while I observed the massacre of one hour of gluing and folding.

He looked at me with eyes filled with adrenaline. I didn't seem upset. He looked back at the flattened bodies of Platon and — in voice of defeat — said "Oh my god."

He saw his awesome polyhedra crushed inside mine.

This was a moment of joy.

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