"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us. "
~Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes
"Dating," says the skinny girl on the end, checking her hair for split ends as she and her friends sit down across from me, "is pointless. Impossible. Every time I go on a date I wonder why I'm wasting my time."
The doors close and the trees become a blur behind the trio of hipster girls as the train picks up speed.
"I met this guy online," says her plump friend, excitedly, "in a chat room. Apparently he's taken the algorithm physicists use to calculate the odds of extraterrestrial life existing and used it to try and calculate his odds of finding a girlfriend."
Her friends gawk at her like she's just morphed into a giant insect. Seeing that they don't understand the brilliance of this she tries to explain.
"There's a mathematical equation that's used to calculate the odds of life on other planets and he's manipulated the parameters to apply to dating and calculated that his odds of finding a girlfriend are less than .5 percent."
Her friends still don't get it but I have to stifle a laugh. If I remember correctly that's actually less than the odds of ever making contact with aliens.
She tries again. "Once you factor in variables like age range, availability, reasonably equal intelligence, language restrictions the odds become astronomically small."
Her skinny friend screws up her nose, "What a waste of time."
I want to agree, but then realize she means the calculating, not the dating.
The plump girl just sighs in answer and settles into her seat, both the search for intelligent life and a compatible mate having been proven futile in less than one subway stop.