The James & Madalena Meter

The James & Madalena Meter

Some explanation must be presented regarding the James & Madalena Meter. It was devised one evening when a series of unlikely events took place. The first was of course my decision to part from their entertaining company to partake in what I assumed would be an even more amusing evening. Madalena turned to me and asked what on earth could drag me from their presence. It was at this moment I suggested to her that I should devise some type of indicator or scale to weigh the array of social functions using J & M as a basis against which all else would be judged.

Now, the obvious tool used most commonly by such giants as R. Parker, and J. Laube is the 100 point scale. For equally obvious reasons I discounted this immediately feeling too constrained by the absoluteness of this system. If an event of such magnitude merited a ..perfect.. 100, who is to say that there would never be, down the road, an event or person of even greater intensity that might merit a ..102.. or even ..103..? And at the single digit end of this system, who is to say that ..0.. is the absolute pittance of social functionality? Could not some unforeseen event, some comedy of errors, merit a ..-7..?

We racked our brains for hours, oblivious to the Bill Evans tunes James hammered out on his Baldwin in the lounging facilities at Hotel Andalusia. While Madalena suggested a grade card of sorts, I suggested using a system more in line with that which Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz proposed in his 1684 mathematical paper which appeared in the journal Acta Eruditorum.

And while his paper involved differential calculus, as opposed to integral calculus (which he actually did not commit to paper until 1686), I proposed to simplify his rather mind boggling (at the time) equation of slope = change in y divided by change in x = rise divided by run, by eliminating the slope altogether, replacing it with a social parabola and a harmonizing secant line. This way, as our point ..or social event- moves along the parabola, the associated secant line is rotated toward a close approximation of the tangent line herein revealing that which had troubled myself and Madalena for the past few hours: what was actually paramount.

Of course to make an accurate calculation once must have access to a highly powerful computer and while I do travel with a dual core processor laptop with 4 gigs of memory, most evenings out on the town I tend to leave the 9 pound paperweight at home. With this in mind I decided to oversimplify by using a sliding scale from 3 to 115.

Measuring all previous evenings out in the company of James and Madalena I arrived at their benchmark on this scale: 99. So in order to abstain from their company an event or person must arrive at or exceed 99. Now one must keep in mind that 99 is an average of sorts. On many occasions these two gems of human existence flat-line at 115. It is at this point where it may seem impossible to be introduced to anyone or anything of interest. But thankfully the 3-115 (pronounced ..three-one-fifteen..) scale is a fluid one and it is quite possible, however unlikely, that while J&M are at the high point on this scale, an event or person might merit a 119. Thus, the scale would have to be ..and happily I might add- redrawn.

Now conditions can be met wherein a person or event might average a 99. It is in these unusual circumstances that the following may be applied:

If during the first 26 hours this person or event reaches approximately two-thirds of the way to the James and Madalena benchmark, an additional 22 hour probation period is granted. If however after 48 hours an average less than 99 is obtained then, with regret, I listen carefully as Madalena tells me ..I told you so.., and I return to the lounge in Hotel Andalusia where James is still playing variations of Evans on his grand.

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