Chopek and Apchik Have Lunch

Inspired by the “Chopek and Apchik” sketches of the great Hanoch Levin which, unfortunately, seem to only be available in Hebrew.


[at the restaurant]

CHOPEK: A meal and a drink? In this economy?!

APCHIK: What about this economy?

CHOPEK: The macroeconomic indicators are inflationary. Inflation is indicated, macroeconomically. Appetizer and entrée and a beverage — it will take you a while to finish all of it. By the time the check arrives the currency could have devalued such that you won’t have enough to pay for the meal.

APCHIK: How will the restaurant find out about this devaluation?

CHOPEK: Perhaps a macroeconomist will take a seat at the bar and start indicating. Perhaps the news will break on TV. Perhaps they’ve got a smart register.

APCHIK: Is that an internet of things thing?

CHOPEK: Yes, the smart register is connected to a smart sensor on the wrist of the president of the central bank. It updates inflation in real time.

We live in an age of big data: data is inflating and information goes brrrrr, especially if it’s inflation data. Such things cannot stay hidden for long. Hedge fund traders erect microwave towers to gain a millisecond edge in asking for the check before the currency drops. But guys like us can’t beat the market. That’s why I keep my savings in a diversified blockchain and I only order gazpacho — a meal and a drink all at once.

APCHIK: Eating cold soup — Spaniards are perverts.

CHOPEK: How so?

APCHIK: The Spanish man is so overcome with lust at watching his woman cook that he must make love to her right there on the kitchen table. By the time they are done with their numerous acts of perversion the soup has gone cold. The Spanish women have learned not to bother to make the soup hot to start with, it just delays the inevitable.

CHOPEK: Are you saying that eating soup hot makes a man last longer?

APCHIK: I’m saying you are subjecting yourself to cold soup for no good reason, having failed to make love to a Spanish mamacita or to anyone else for that matter.

CHOPEK: You’re right. The waitress is coming towards us, I’ll ask her to heat the soup up to pre-lovemaking levels.

[…]

APCHIK: The waitress has walked past our table and is receding in the distance, sans your soup.

CHOPEK: I was thinking…

APCHIK: Whether you should ask her to heat up the soup or invite her to experience the magical touch of the famous gigolo El Caracol, a persona you began conjuring in your imagination the moment I mentioned the perverted sexual habits of the Spaniards?

CHOPEK: You know me well, old friend.

APCHIK: But you lost your nerve.

CHOPEK: I may have, it isn’t certain.

APCHIK: What isn’t certain?

CHOPEK: What the waitress’ rating is. Coming towards us I only saw her face, which I rate a 4/5.

APCHIK: But you didn’t observe her behind.

CHOPEK: Indeed. If her behind is merely a 2/5 our attendant would rate a 6/10, and making love to a 6 is a diminished proposition compared to eating a bowl of hot soup. Especially considering the macroeconomic instability of food prices etc.

APCHIK: I notice that you haven’t touched your soup, while I am almost done with my meal.

CHOPEK: If her behind rates 3 or 4, our stewardess is plum right in El Caracol zone.

APCHIK: And if a 5?

CHOPEK: Then she would score a full 9/10 on the attractiveness scale. When I think about flirting with a 9 or a 10 I lose my nerve, so given the possibility that our hostess is a 9 there is a possibility that I in truth lost my nerve, as you suggested.

APCHIK: I saw her ass when she walked past our table, it’s a 4. She’s coming back now. I’ll flag her to stop.

CHOPEK: Wait, are you scoring a 4 using a uniform or normally distributed rating system? Some men score women by deciles, with 10% falling in each integer rating out of 10, adjusted for location and seasonality. But others see female beauty on a Gaussian curve with most ladies clustered at 5 and 6 and only a few at the tails. Thus one man’s 4 could be another’s 3 or 5, depending on the presumed underlying distribution.

The French hoped to standardize the female attractiveness scale at the 1795 congress of the Académie des sciences at which the standard units of the metric system were set. The academy proposed to enshrine portraits of 10 women to mark the universal scale, along with the metre-long rod and the platinum cylinder that defined the kilogram, but ultimately demurred.

WAITRESS: During the congress news arrived that Napoleon Bonaparte had broken his engagement to Bernardine Eugénie Désirée Clary and proposed to Joséphine de Beauharnais. The council decided it was too risky politically to set either women as a perfect 10 until the general was safely wed.

CHOPEK: Indeed.

WAITRESS: Do you gentlemen need anything?

CHOPEK: I just wanted to ask… with regards to the soup… are there any macroeconomic updates I should be aware of?

WAITRESS: The currency index has strengthened 0.03% against a reference basket of commodities since you ordered your meal on strong employment data.

[waitress departs, Chopek looks longingly at her 4/5 behind as she walks away]

CHOPEK: I can’t help but feel a pang of regret.

APCHIK: At missing a singular chance to connect romantically with an 8/10 who shares your interest in the revolutionary period of French history, a liaison which promised intellectual enrichment along with carnal pleasures thus allowing you reprieve from the shame you feel over your pursuit of women as you seek to reconcile your base desires with the cultured identity you cling to in desperate pursuit of social approval?

CHOPEK: That, and the soup too.

5 thoughts on “Chopek and Apchik Have Lunch

  1. Rating scale per uniform population distribution krew over here. Ends up looking very much like a Gaussian distribution. Got to factor in location as well – 40% of American women are obese, so any non-obese women is pretty much automatically a 5.

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    1. Neither of those systems ever seemed to make much sense to me. I mean, they’re mathematically rigorous and all, but the 1-10 scale is not something that ought to be nailed down precisely
      – it’s a gut measurement, as much as anything.

      The obvious one IMO is linear in attractiveness A 10 and a 6 should, combined, be as desirable as two 8s. (You can extend this to things like “A 10 should be as desirable as two 5s”, but that does get a bit more complex, and can produce numbers that differ wildly from other assessments even if you’d rank them similarly. For a first cut, keep numbers the same, and you’ll get rankings fairly similar to the norm.)

      Yes, I know that this is a very strange comment to make after saying that it shouldn’t be nailed down precisely.

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      1. That’s an absurd idea for standardization, I’m honestly astounded that anyone would think this, let alone post about it anywhere. The idea that a person of a given level of attractiveness is somehow equal to combinations of people of lower attractiveness is just… insane? For starters, most people probably have some cutoff, where they would not be willing to sleep with a person below a certain ranking. Having 10 ugly people trying to have sex with me is an objectively bad experience that doesn’t “approximate” having sex with one beautiful one. Adding more unnatractive people does not make for better sex.

        Consider the laughability of putting yourself in this system: “My buddy and I are both solid 6’s, so if we team up we’ll be a 12 and no one will be able to resist us!” Have you considered that maybe a 10 doesn’t want a 6, no matter how many of you there are?

        And when you put multiple people together, they don’t somehow merge into an average of each other — and this isn’t just about attractiveness. Haven’t you ever spent time with a group of fun, interesting people, only to have it spoiled by the inclusion of one person who you couldn’t stand?

        Also: I’m not at all opposed to polyamory, or having sex with multiple people at once, but you have to consider that when most people are judging attractiveness, they’re considering each person in isolation. They are comparing a single individual to the “field” of others, and judging them against them. Adding people together and averaging them just isn’t relevant to the process of ranking someone’s attractiveness.

        Quality and Quantity don’t have some guaranteed conversion factor. Many bad things don’t add up to one good thing; they are just different measurements on two separate scales. This isn’t a market, where you can add up the value of all your bad experiences with unattractive people and go the the store and trade them in for one great experience with someone beautiful. There aren’t any trade-ins or refunds; you’re just left with exactly what you got.

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