In which Gadjo trashes the tradition of February 14th and, most crucially, that strange comic strip featuring two naked pre-pubescents with no genitals (right). (I almost missed Valentine's Day this year – hence the belatedness of this post - but just remembered in time to pop to the graveyard to get a bunch of flowers. Here is what happens if you forget, curtesy of Gaws’ blog.) To do this he will use the famous phrase from the film Love Story and then pervert it, repeatedly. Levenshtein edit distance* (“LED”) will be employed to gauge the extent of this perversion.
Love Is.... never having to say you’re sorry. The paradigm. LED = 0.
Love Is.... never having to save your lolly. No worries about having to get your hard-earned dosh to a bank when she’s spending it all on shoes and scratch-cards – right, guys? LED = 9.
Love Is.... never having to pay for your folly. You may feel your marriage was folly but you’re still better in it than paying alimony – right, guys?? LED = 11.
Love Is.... never having to change your story. If you can use the same excuse time after time it proves your marriage is a solid one. LED = 11.
Love Is.... never having to wash your trollies. Leave them scattered around the bedroom floor if you must but washing them yourself will infringe a sacred marriage taboo. LED = 13.
Love Is.... never having too gay a hobby. Dancing, Ice Skating and Writing Poetry may all be said to be ‘gay’ but - and it’s a very big ‘but’ - not only will they put you in contact with lots of women but they’ll also make you a chick magnet. The wife’s not going to like that, and will insist you take up rugby, chess, or stamp-collecting instead. LED = 13.
Love Is.... never leaving to get your jollies. Make your sex life and your marriage life overlap, that’d be my advice. LED = 15.
Love is.... forever having to bathe in her glory. Perhaps the biggest perversion of all. She’s better than you are and everybody thinks she’s great. Learn to live with it. LED = 17.
* This metric calculates the minimum number of edits (insertions, deletions, or substitutions) needed to transform one “string” (in this case a series of letters) into the other; e.g. smite
--> kitten has an edit distance of 4: 1 substitution of ‘k’ for ‘s’, 1 deletion of ‘m’, and 2 insertions of ‘t’ and ‘n’. The algorithm for calculating (the very impressive, nuclear physics-sounding) Levenshtein edit distance has great significance in my life: having learnt it in my previous job I used it during the trial period of my current one; the boss maybe had heard of it but maybe didn’t know it was fairly simple to implement or that I didn’t know much about other algorithms – I passed the trial period and got a contract.