Dear Tell All: Is a block of ramen really just one long noodle?
Dear Philosophy Major: Well there's only one way to find out, isn't there? Let's count the little suckers! Turns out that's a lot easier said than done. Separating and counting wet ramen noodles is like trying to eat Jell-O with chopsticks. It's a maddening challenge. I destroyed three packages of Maruchan Ramen before I was successful. Had I been a man of lesser patience - oh, say, Mel Gibson - I would have exploded in a profanity-laced, noodle-flinging tirade after package number two.
On my first attempt, I absentmindedly did what I always do before boiling ramen: I grabbed the unopened bag with both hands and crunched the life out of it. It was pure habit. I had figured out years ago that eating ramen was a whole lot easier if you broke the noodles into tiny pieces before cooking them. But this time, after pouring the broken bits into a pot of water and realizing what I had done, I began to seriously question the value of my Madison education. Based on this first experiment, we could conclude that a block of ramen is really 9,367 separate pieces. But surely this would be fuzzy science - good enough for Kansas, perhaps, but not good enough for Tell All.
On to bag number two, which if you don't mind, I'd rather not discuss. I do have feelings, after all. Let's just say that old habits are hard to break.
On to bag number three... preceded by cocktail number two. This time I resisted temptation and carefully slid the unblemished brick out of its package and into the boiling water. When it was done, I put a fork in the center and gently shook it, until the folds of the dying brain began to separate and its secrets started to emerge.
So what did I discover? I wish I could report that not only is a block of ramen one long noodle, but that it's one long continuous noodle, with no beginning or end - the perfect allegory for infinity. Or, better yet, that when stretched out it would spell "Bristol Palin & Levi Johnston" in cursive - a sign from the heavens that they really are meant to be together. But in reality, my pot of ramen contained 68 20-inch pieces and over 40 smaller ones. I counted.
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