In the David Byrne movie, True Stories, we meet the leisurely lady. She has refused to leave her bed for years. In her leisure, she discovers the hot dog plot.
In the trailer for the movie (hopefully embedded above) can be seen and heard the essence of the hot dog plot. “Bunch of maniacs out there,” says the leisurely lady to her assistant. “You know how hot dogs come 10 to a pack, and buns in packs of 8 or 12? You’ve got to buy 9 packs to make them all match up! That’s what I’m talking about.”
The plot is that you run out of either buns or hot dogs at different times. So, for instance, you run out of hot dogs but still have some buns. You decide to go buy more hot dogs so as not to waste the buns. But then you run out of buns but still have some hot dogs, and you decide to buy more buns so as not to waste the hot dogs. The insidious scheme is to keep you forever on a treadmill, always buying either buns or hot dogs.
But the leisurely lady seemingly has figured out a solution to the problem, for she mentions how “You’ve got to buy 9 packs to make them all match up!” (However my calculations show she is wrong when she says 9 packs.)
To solve the problem of the buns and the hot dogs, the leisurely lady could have done factoring. This factoring involves what Uncle Jed Clampett called “The Guzintas.”
Uncle Jed Clampett has a nephew, Jethro Bodine (image above). Jed is impressed overall by the level of Jethro’s education. Sometimes Jed asks Jethro to “do the guzintas.”
“The guzintas” are, in other words, the “goes intos.” For example, 3 goes into 3, one time… 3 goes into 6, two times… 3 goes into 9, three times…
Let’s say the leisurely lady has just bought a pack of 10 hot dogs and a pack of 12 buns. Having plenty of time on her hands, she idly ponders the guzintas:
“10 guzinta 10, one time. 10 guzinta 20, two times… 10 guzinta 120, twelve times.”
Next, the leisurely lady ponders the guzintas for the packs of 12 buns:
“12 guzinta 12, one time. 12 guzinta 24, two times… 12 guzinta 120, ten times.”
|Guzintas for 10||Guzintas for 12|
|10 guzinta 10 = 1||12 guzinta 12 = 1|
|10 guzinta 20 = 2||12 guzinta 24 = 2|
|10 guzinta 30 = 3||12 guzinta 36 = 3|
|10 guzinta 40 = 4||12 guzinta 48 = 4|
|10 guzinta 50 = 5||12 guzinta 60 = 5|
|10 guzinta 60 = 6||12 guzinta 72 = 6|
|10 guzinta 70 = 7||12 guzinta 84 = 7|
|10 guzinta 80 = 8||12 guzinta 96 = 8|
|10 guzinta 90 = 9||12 guzinta 108 = 9|
|10 guzinta 100 = 10||12 guzinta 120 = 10|
|10 guzinta 110 = 11||12 guzinta 132 = 11|
|10 guzinta 120 = 12||12 guzinta 144 = 12|
We can see from the above table that if the leisurely lady buys 12 packs of the hot dogs (10 to a pack) then she will have 120 hot dogs in all. And we can see that if she buys 10 packs of the buns (12 to a pack) then she will have 120 buns in all. (10 guzinta 120 = 12; 12 guzinta 120 = 10.) By studying the guzintas on the subject, she can see that both columns share the number 120, and that is the key to the problem. The leisurely lady, by factoring and the power of mathematics, has defeated the hot dog plot meant to enslave her to an endless life of buns and hot dogs.
However looking more closely, the leisurely lady might also have discovered that another number, less than 120, is shared by the guzintas for 10 and 12. In fact, the number 60 (half of 120) is shared in the table by both columns of the guzintas. This means she can buy 6 packs of hot dogs (10 to a pack) and 5 packs of buns (12 to a pack) which will give her an even total of 60 hot dogs and 60 buns.