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An infinite pie

Unbounded on June 6, 2021.

Saint Norbert of Xanten died today, in a.d. 1134, and that makes this his name day in France. And that makes today my name day here in the United Spates. I decided to celebrate my middle-namesake and his day by baking myself an ∞-shaped pie. I had briefly considered making it a flobcumber one, but my most recent experience with those sullen, cumbersome vegetables made me second-guess that choice. I also thought to make my pie π-shaped (naturally!), but last week’s numbery night terrors had frightened me away from all things Archimedean for at least the remaining sixty-seven years of my Pnårpy life. I had however, dare I say it, developed a marked affinity for infinity within the past week, likely because ∞ had tried to terrorize me in that dream but failed when she couldn’t fit. Now, how to bake an infinite pie?

Much like Mayor Julian Rhoodie’s recently renewed mask mandate, which now only applied to ugly people, it seemed like a good idea at the time. So, into the kitchen I stepped, and to work I went.

Three short, stubby hours later, while I was occupying myself buzzing around my apiary, the oven timer went ding! and I ran back indoors, afliver with joy and murping with anticipation. My ∞-shaped pie was done baking! It was scrumptious, all-around delicious, and needless to say, infinite in size. Indeed it had come out perfectly, with not a single conflagration, deflagration, detonation, or even defenestration thwarting me. I was, needless to say—although I will say it, and say it with much gusto and glee—quite satisfied with the outcome. A magnificent ∞ pie I now had, and now upon this unending pastry I would proceed to nosh, all week long.

My gluttonous noshing would culminate this Sunday in a sixteen-hour feast in honor of my middle-namesake, Saint Norbert. Born in a.d. 1075 and dead on June 6, 1134, ol’ Norbert Gennep was a pretty formidable saint, as saints go: After an electrifying horsebuttock-riding experience that nearly killed him, he founded the Canons Regular of Prémontré, a religious order to which he devoted himself. He lived his life in a clay hut with forty male disciples and numerous goats. His order received official recognition from the Pope five years later. He spent the remaining nine years of his life teaching and preaching, survived numerous assassination attempts, and finally engaged the heretical preacher Tanchelm of Antwerp in a battle for control of Christendom. A furious mêlée, the two men fought in the streets of Flanders with fist and truncheon as an enormous crowd egged them on. The brawl ended with the death of Tanchelm when Norbert improvised an explosive device from an ostensory filled with gunpowder and communion wine. Christendom was made safe from heresy once again.

According to the Wikipedia article, this saint’s emblem—a monstrance of a cross and two beams—was chosen to honor this climactic battle.

Sipping champagne atop a mechanical bull, I contemplated my next move. Caterwauling over a pair of shoes sounded like one option, but I also briefly considered carefully watching my sausages curl as they cooked. I always wondered why they curled one way and not the other. What hidden asymmetry went into the manufacture of the curious little links to cause some to bend to the left, some to the right, and some not at all? Some even tried to stand up in the pan, which was truly disconcerting to observe. Was the pig intestine in which each sausage carefully enveloped not perfectly symmetrical? Where the lips and anuses that were mushed up by industrial machinery and extruded into each of those intestines not mushed up finely enough? Did the sausage factory not use a fine enough the-other-white slime to make their fine processed pork products? Perhaps it was time I finally got to the bottom of this mystery.

But I now had a dilemma to solve. Neither caterwauling nor sausage-watching would actually be of any help in finding a solution to this dilemma—the interminable pie flowing out of my oven of its own accord—but I wasn’t sure that I cared. In fact, nattering nabobs of negativity and all their naysaying aside, who wouldn’t want an infinite supply of pie bursting forth from their kitchen every minute of every day, at least for the next sixty-seven years? A constant, unceasing supply of pie rarely tops people’s lists of “Things I would never want to befall me.”

Even if that pie tasted like burnt shoe leather and well-worn socks, which is what mine did in fact taste like once it spent more than a few minutes exposed to oxygen.

So, I went back to the drawing board. Someone had abducted my sack of flour, and had started sending me muffins in the mail. And my cheese sat forlornly drying in the corner, all alone. But those problems were a distraction. Right now, my most pressing concern was that some nincompoop had left the door to my apiary ajar, and now all my killer bees, murder hornets, and genocide wasps were swarming into my house, bent on vengeance and destruction. But, I did not panic, for I had a secret weapon up my sleeve (alas, not my own exploding ostensory).

I sauntered back out to the apiary, opened the door connecting it to the aviary, and let nature take its course. Soon the apine threat was no more, and all I had to worry about was herding some very well-sated garefowl and mubbleducks back into their own enclosure.

Collective guilt collected itself behind me in an effort to schtumpfenblardge my grumnuttilies. I had not even known such a thing was possible in this day and age, but here we are. It is what it is. As some might say, A = A.

But I wouldn’t say such things, because I know A can be B sometimes, even when B is not A. A can also be equal to C, D, Φ, Φ′, or even Ŗ (if the Sneŗtman has his way), but when A = C and C = D and D = Φ, Ŗ = A×B = ½Ω2 + Årp but still A ≠ B. A < B and A > B and A ><> B (if the guppies have their way). Pnårpidean math is strange like that, especially when one has survived numbery night terrors followed by two storeys of one’s house inundated by unceasing, acrid pie.

The week was coming to a close, sunset at 9 a.m.  I wasn’t sure how that was possible, but stranger things had happened. I shuddered, looking in the direction of my kitchen. Stranger indeed—I still had no idea how my salt shaker had become embedded in the ceiling back there. I was reluctant to blame the gnomes—the trillions of wheedling, needling gnomes that used to dog my every step. I had made my peace with them in 2017 at the bottom of an alprazolam bottle, and they hadn’t harried me since. They were nice gnomes now. Nice, quiet, considerate gnomes, living in my baseboards and wainscoting and electrical inlets and outlets, never bothering me now, never wheedling nor needling me, never swinging from the rafters nor accreting along the door jambs, never, oh no—never. Nice gnomes.

But what other theories presented themselves? It just didn’t make any sense. Nothing else made any sense. It didn’t make any sense!

I had too much pie. And I still didn’t know if Scooby Doo was the greatest Dane.

Poit, poit, poit!!

Poit, poit, poit!!