Thursday, February 05, 2009

Blog Contest Thursday: Power Trip

Maybe you don't know disco, and you aren't into dress designing, and you don't want to guess about food that could possibly be mashed brain or deep fried bull penises...Well, ok, how about this one:

Guess how many wires are connected to this pole.

These pictures are taken out on our main street, Tran Hung Dao (I meet Nam right past the blue bicycle sign every morning). The close-up shot is taken from the chain restaurant on the corner, King Baguetteria. I bought a sandwich just to take the picture for the contest. (It was only $1.20) I sat up there and counted, (as best I could) these wires. BTW, the streets and sidewalks are dead because I took these right after Tet. I know I keep saying this, but usually, this place is swarming.

Katherine told me the other day that it was the amount of wires, not the amount of motorbikes, that she was obsessed with upon her arrival here. Me - I didn't notice anything other than the motorbikes for about two weeks.
Back to the guessing, we will do this "Price of Right" style: put your guesses in, but don't go over~
Speaking of King Baguetteria and Katherine: she sprained her ankle pretty badly at soccer practice last night (she is the only girl who practices on this particular men's team). I want to take the invalid something to eat after school and I think of her favorite tuna sandwich at King Baguetteria - it would make her so happy. The problem: I must ask Nam to drop me off at the corner, and he will not approve of me buying a sandwich from KB - a chain restaurant. Of course, he always knows a better, cheaper place to get any food item (as you know).
So this is what I do: I tap his shoulder and point to let him know I want to get off at the corner. Predictably, he gestures at KB. "You're going to get a sandwich there?" His face is incredulous.
I point to the little grocery store right next to KB, "No, no...I'm going over there," I lie.
He relaxes; he's got no problem with that. I pass KB and enter the store. It has only two aisles, and I don't need anything there, but you cannot put a price on saving face (and saving myself a translated lecture at Nam's aunt's house). I buy yogurt and crackers, pay up front and then step out onto the sidewalk. But guess who has stopped to chat with a friend on the corner.
Quickly, I duck back in; he doesn't see me. I study the chocolate bin for a while before creeping back to the entrance and peeking out...I do this two more times. I buy some chocolate and more crackers. Finally, the coast is clear. I can walk next door and buy Katherine's tuna sandwich without my mother knowing.
Oh, and Nam lost another helmet today. He's laughing and pointing at the new helmet when I emerge from the school. It's a red one, just like the one he wore at the beginning but without the Tweety Bird sticker. I laugh and do a pantomime, "What, what did you do...toss another one out on the street?"
I am not expecting this, but the driver sitting next to us answers in perfect English. "No, he forgets to ask people to take them off when he drives them places." Mystery solved. That is how Nam loses all of his helmets.
One more thing. I have to tell you about this nightmare I had:
I get up to brush my teeth in the dark, like usual, but I just happen to notice a dark spot on the brush. I turn on the light and my toothbrush is swarming with ants.
That really happened, too.
OK, numbers anyone?


Mungo said...

My instinct is to just bid $1.00, but since I'm the first one guessing, that won't work...

I am going to be conservative and guess a nice, round 73.

Thank you for your consideration.

Michelle said...

If Mungo's instinct is to bid $1.00, I want to be that jerky person next to him and bid $1.50 . . . naa.
I'm going to guess 93.

Amy T said...

Shouldn't there be a skantily clad woman holding up or gracefully pointing to the PRIZE before we guess?


Brian Bowker said...

Ooo! I'm all stressed out now! I want so badly to win on Price Is Right!

"Don't look like a fool in front of Bob Barker... Don't look like a fool in front of Bob Barker..."

My first instinct is, of course, to cheat; look at the picture full size and count myself.

But the picture is through a dirty window, and it's difficult to tell if all the cables actually attach to the pole, or if some just run behind it. It's also difficult to tell if there may be some that are a little out of frame... Which means I have to take a wild guess... STRESS!

Ok, I'm going to guess more conservatively, assuming that some of the wires don't actually connect to that pole, and I certainly don't want to go over...

My guess is 42.

Dad said...

I'm pleased that Brian guessed a smaller number. That makes me feel better about guessing 57.

Deanna said...

When we were in VN in November, I was fascinated by both the motorbikes and the wires, and I took a few pictures just to show friends. It's really unbelievable - what an electrician's nightmare.

So, I'm going high since no one else has - 123.


The Norris Clan said...

Do I hear 97?!

marjie said...

Brian, as for you and Bob Barker - you've done it now. I can't believe it.

42? Really? 42??

My Uncle Rex sent in an email guess of 113. He missed my "estimate" by 2. I tried over and over to count these wires and it was impossible. It's over 100, for sure. But he was here, as was Deanna, so I guess they had the "home" advantage.

Uncle Rex, you win! Were you ever here, on that corner, counting those wires in 1966?