THE PI OF MAGGIE (five-minute version)
By Dwayne Yancey
Copyright 2003; all rights reserved.
(A tattoo parlor. Maggie is laying on her stomach while the tattoo artist tattooes something on her back. Her friend, Amy, is sitting or standing, showing off her new tattoo.)
AMY: So what do you think?
MAGGIE: Of what?
AMY: My new tattoo. Its the square root symbol.
MAGGIE: Oh, yeah. Its ow nice.
AMY: You dont think Ill have to explain it to too may people when we get back from spring break, do you?
MAGGIE: Oh, I dont know. Ow!
FI mean, everybody in the math department will get it. Did I tell you I was taking advanced trigonometry next quarter?
AMY: I am. Oh, and you know who else is?
MAGGIE: Who? Ouch!
AMY: Jeremy! You know that guy from our quantum physics class? The tall one?
MAGGIE: Uh-huh. Ouch!
AMY: I heard he had E = mc squared tatttooed on him. Daphne told me that. She wouldnt tell me where, though, but knowing Daphne, you know what that means ó
TATTOO ARTIST: Now the next little bit is going to sting a little, so please hold still for me, OK?
MAGGIE: OK, Im trying.
AMY: So hows yours coming, Maggie?
MAGGIE: It seems to be taking a long time.
AMY: Your first one always feel like its taking forever.
MAGGIE: I guess.
AMY: I know when I had my first one done ó you know those cool little multiplication and division symbols Ive got on my ó
MAGGIE: Are you going to be done soon?
TATTOO ARTIST: Patience, please. I pride myself on my detail work.
AMY: Ill vouch for that. Look at how nice he did the angle on the square root? Its got the little crook on it and everything.
MAGGIE: Nice ow!
TATTOO ARTIST: Please hold still.
AMY: So what are you thinking about doing for your thesis in history of mathematics? I was thinking of doing something on Euclidian geometry, but then I thought, no, everybody does that, so maybe I ought to do something on Pythagoras, or Archimedes
TATTOO ARTIST: There! Done! Want to have a look?
AMY: Oh, let me see! Let me see.
MAGGIE: You tell me what you think.
(Amy runs over and looks at Maggies back.)
MAGGIE: Whats wrong?
AMY: Um, nothings wrong.
MAGGIE: Somethings wrong.
AMY: Nothings wrong. Its just thats it so . . . big.
TATTOO ARTIST: Its a big number.
TATTOO ARTIST: Infinity is a big number.
MAGGIE: What do you mean number?!
TATTOO ARTIST: You said you wanted pi on your shoulder. So Ive done pi.
AMY: 3.14515926535 . . . .
MAGGIE: What are you talking about?
TATTOO ARTIST: Pi. The quotient of the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter. The most famous transcendental number of all time.
MAGGIE: I know what pi is! Ive taken algebra! Ive taken geometry! Ive taken calculus, trigonometry, differential mechanics, quantum physics! I know what pi is! What have you done to me?
AMY: Its different, Ill admit that.
MAGGIE: Different! Different! Let me up! Let me see! What have you done to me?
When Amy says its different, I get worried.
(Maggie gets up; her back is covered with the number for pi, starting on her left shoulder blade and continuing the rest of her back.)
TATTOO ARTIST: Now dont be irrational about this ó even though that would be appropriate, seeing as how pi is an irrational number.
MAGGIE: Irrational! Whos being irrational? Why should I be irrational?
AMY: Now dont freak out, Maggie! Its really quite
(Maggie screams as she looks in the mirror.)
AMY (softly) spectacular.
MAGGIE: You idiot! I wanted the Greek symbol pi, not the number!
TATTOO ARTIST: You asked for pi, I gave you pi. How was I to know all you wanted was the silly little symbol?
MAGGIE: How was I to know you even knew the number? The whole number!
TATTOO ARTIST: Doesnt everyone know pi? At least out to two places. Heck, that much was even in a Tom Cruise movie. You know, Mission Impossible, where hes a secret agent and the code for his mission is Job 3:14,î and theres this riff on pi and what it means . . .
AMY: Perhaps I should have said impressive?
TATTOO ARTIST: Besides, I was a math major until I dropped out.
AMY: From where?
TATTOO ARTIST: Cal Tech. I was in the doctoral program there.
MAGGIE: Great. Just great. What are the odds! I find the only tattoo artist in the whole wide world who knows how to express pi to 200 places!
AMY: Well, that would be more in the realm of probability studies, Id think.
TATTOO ARTIST: Actually, its more like 198 places, because on that first row theres the 3 and the decimal point. After that, its 10 to a row.
MAGGIE: Oooh! I look like a walking bar code!
AMY: Well, look on the bright side, Maggie.
MAGGIE: The bright side? Theres a bright side to having numbers tattooed all over your back?
AMY: The next time you walk past a construction site, itll be the architects and civil engineers who whistle at you.
MAGGIE: What are you talking about?
AMY: Pi. Dont they use that a lot in the building trades?
TATTOO ARTIST: With pi, you can calculate the circumference of a circle, a sphere ó
MAGGIE: All right!
TATTOO ARTIST: A cylinder, a cone ó
MAGGIE: Thats enough!
TATTOO ARTIST: Or any polygon with a circle shape.
MAGGIE: Enough already!
AMY: And pi can be used in all sorts of other ways, too. Einsteins Gravitational Field Equation has pi in it.
TATTOO ARTIST: You can describe a wave using pi.
AMY: The description of the double helix in DNA uses pi.
TATTOO ARTIST: Raindrops.
TATTOO ARTIST: You can use pi to describe the ripples in a pond from where a raindrop hit the water.
AMY: Oh, right.
TATTOO ARTIST: And dont forget superstrings.
AMY: Or the distribution of primes, or
TATTOO ARTIST: And you know in "Contact," the Carl Sagan novel, the aliens send a message based on pi. It really is the universal language. Jodie Foster was in the movie.
AMY: Oh, oh, oh, you know Lucy Kaplansky, the folk singer? She does a cute little song called "Song About Pi." Her father was a math professor, you know.
TATTOO ARTIST: And theres
(Maggie screams; lights out.)
------------- THE END -------------
ABOUT THE PI OF MAGGIE
ECAST OF CHARACTERS
Two females, one male
Maggie, a math major
Amy, a math major
A table or chair or something to suggest theapparatus in a tattoo parlor
Maggie needs to wear an open-back outfit under her regular clothes, so she get tattooed on her back. You may or may not wish to actually show it.THIS SCRIPT IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AND MAY NOT BE DOWNLOADED, TRANSMITTED, PRINTED OR PERFORMED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR