

Probability of Getting a Date: One in a Million
AnonymousMy name is Variance. My parents called me Variance, because
they said I was far from the average in terms of other babies. I had
always been your typical girl: very into girly things like makeup and
boys. I was very independent, and didn't depend on my friends or family
too much, nor vice versa. I liked to keep to myself most of the time.
But, I never had much luck with the boys. I was just entering my senior
year of high school when I entered the biggest dilemma of my life: I was
in love with two boys, Poisson and Gaussian. I thought love was mutually
exclusive, and you couldn't love more than one person at once, but boy
was I wrong. And boy were these boys so different from each other.
Gaussian was the normal average "hot" guy that every girl was into. I
don't know, I'd say that 50% of the guys in our class were hotter than
him, but then there were about 50% of guys that weren't as hot as him. I
don't know why I was into him, really. He was just so normal, but in
many ways perfect. If I had to describe him, I'd say he was
continuously predictable. He never had any gaps in his personality or
character. Just the all around, allAmerican guywho everyone in the
class knew. Though I think he was Greek or something, I have no idea
where the name Gaussian came from. But then there was Poisson. Poisson
was the rare gem, one in a million if you will. Poisson was most
definitely French or Italiansome form of romantic bliss. Not every
girl was into him, but I saw something different in him.
To my horror, both Gaussian and Poisson were in my first period
statistics class at 7:20 a.m. Even worseI sat in the median between
them so I couldn't avoid them when I felt shy and looked awful in the
morning. But, to make the best of the situation, I flirted with both and
discovered they both flirted back and competed. Even more interesting
was Poisson sometimes tried to approximate Gaussian in telling jokes at
the same rate.
Lo and behold when Homecoming came around, I was shocked to find out
they both asked me to the dance. I decided to interview them at the same
time, to see who was better suited:
Variance: So Gaussian, I'd like to analyze your qualitative traits.
Tell me how many girls do you like to date at one time?
Gaussian: I'd say I'm pretty polychotomous, Variance. My norm is to date
more than two girls at once. So, if that's ok with you, I'd love to
approximate the area under your curve...
Variance: Ok! Gaussian thank you for that. Now, Poisson what about you?
Poisson: Mademoiselle, I'm much more binary or dichotomous in nature.
Two girls is fine with me at one time, and no more.
Variance: Thank you boys. And now onto some more quantitative questions.
Gaussian, what is your weight and height?
Gaussian: I am definitely 175 lbs plus or minus one standard deviation.
But, the last time I weighed myself was a couple months ago at the gym.
I'm about 5'11.
Variance: Poisson?
Poisson: I'm probably 180 lbs, or so I'd like to think. I usually like
to be discrete about my weight and height, because I feel like there are
gaps in my values from week to week.
Gaussian: Pssssst. That's one biased estimate. You look like you're
about 190, in my opinion.
Poisson: Look Gaussian, I think your explanatory behavior is affecting
my responses. If you make any more snide comments, you won't want to see
my outcome measures against you.
Gaussian: Touché
Variance: Ok boys, bring it down. I'm definitely feeling positively
skewed towards one of you now, that is, I'm associating more negative
values in my head towards one of you. If you work with me, I can make
that negatively skewed for both of you.
Poisson: Oh, Variance, on a scale of 1 to 2, you are a 2.718 in my
books.
Gaussian: (Cough cough), Suck up. Look Variance, I'm not really giving
you a good sample of who I am right now. I wouldn't try to make any
inferences about who I am from this interview. I can promise you that
I'll establish parameters at the dance and won't deviate.
Poisson: Lady Variance, I can assure you. My MODEus operandi is 2
handholds, 2 kisses, 2 dances, and 2 twirls. I am a gentleman, and in
the rare event there are 3 kisses, that's not so bad, right?
Gaussian: Psssh. The probability he acts like a gentleman is close to
zero. Probability I act like a gentleman? 97% for you, Variance3
deviations from how I act on average with other girls.
Variance: Thank you for your responses boys. I appreciate your
honesty. I have made my decision, and chosen to go with a friend of mine
named Bernoulli. It was a tough decision, but he's single and very
straightforward in his responses. He only has one controlling parameter,
and that's that he'll ensure me a successful date.
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