The Festrunk Equation
An Analytical Tool for the Baselining of
Dating Behaviors, Trends and Expectations
Bruce D. Cook
Stephe B. Sprouse
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Festrunk brothers, Yortuk and Georg, for whom this Equation is named. Yortuk and Georg were pioneers in the field of ‘Wild and Crazy’. Their groundbreaking insights into ‘hot swinging foxes’ and ‘big American breasts’ have served as the inspiration for our ongoing research. Although they and their ‘great bulges’ have not been a part of the intellectual scene since 1979, their work is not forgotten.
Slap my hand, black soul man! Le-e-et’s swing!
Somewhere in the Bahamas, 2006
Since the dawn of fermentation, man has sought to understand woman. Woman believes it is because he wants to know her as a person. Man knows it is because he wants to know her biblically. These fundamental differences are at that heart of all Festrunkian research. We can only hope that by shining the light of science on this age-old quandry that we may, in some way, make things just a bit clearer for everyone. Perhaps that great American tunesmith John Cougar ne’ Mellencamp asked it best when he asked:
Mama why do I always fall for the crazy ones
Mama why do they lay so heavy on my heart
Well I’m drawn to the devil every time we kiss
Mama why do the crazy ones leave me feeling like this
Why indeed Mr. Mellencamp? Why indeed?
Somewhere in a small town, 2006
The famous balladeer, David Lee Roth, once crooned:
Ow! Hey, hey, hey!
Everybody wants some!
I want some too. Whoa!
Everybody wants some!
Baby how ’bout you? Yeah!
As teens enter into their formative dating years, they are all driven by the need to get ‘some’. What it is, most do not know, having only heard veiled references to ‘it’ in awkward Father-Son/Mother-Daughter talks, boring sex-ed classes or the occasional dirty magazine.(1) Sadly, young people in this stage of their development, while physically able to perform the acts of ‘some’, are socially ill-equipped to actually get ‘some’.(2) In short, they don’t know how to date.
Dating is a complex, highly ritualistic social dance that many hope leads to mating. Through the dating process, people learn about themselves and about the opposite sex. Money is spent, dinners are consumed, deals are struck, occasionally a family pet gets boiled alive. For the adventurous, it is a magical journey, for the feint of heart, the first step toward an apartment full of cats.
Our research into dating practices and expectations led us to the conclusion that most people are completely over their heads when they begin the dating process. Few have figured out what they are looking to accomplish on a date, and those that have(3) aren’t quite sure how to make it happen. To simplify dating, we propose that individuals engage in a ‘baselining process’ whereby they can establish upper and lower limits for their dating expectations, and a corresponding set of benchmarks to ensure dating success.
When we began this project, our goal was to develop the empirical, mathematical tool for effective baselining. To do so, we researched the dating patterns of a variety of individuals ranging from good girls to bad boys, from prudes to skanks. From this research we were able to develop the aforementioned modeling tool. We call this the Festrunk Equation.
Like Math itself, The Festrunk Equation is gender neutral.(4) It works for women as well as men. The only differences that we found between male and female Festrunkers was in assigning values to the variables. Women were more likely to pursue men they deemed ‘marriage material’ and were more forgiving of a suitable candidate’s shortcomings. Men, we found, were looking for easy.(5)
This last observation compels us to address a major dating misconception, namely, ‘The Sure Thing.’ To be precise, it doesn’t exist. It’s a pipe dream, a myth. Yes, there was ample anecdotal evidence that ‘Sure Things’ were real, however, we were never able to run these rumors to ground. We followed every lead, pursued every tip and came up bupkis. Surprisingly, and this was a doozie, we found that in chasing down a ‘Sure Thing’, the pursuer was far more likely to fall in love with their cross-country road trip companion .(6)
There are really only two assumptions made by the Festrunk Equation:
Assumption #1 – Wild and Crazy go hand in hand.
Time and time again, our research showed that the old bachelor adage ‘If you want a good time, get yourself a catholic girl, just out of reach of the nuns. They’re wicked crazy and wild as all get out’(7) was not just a truism or wishful thinking. Catholic girls, or any female from a repressed environment (juvenile detention, Preacher’s kid, band camp) was 85% more likely to go ‘apeshit’ on a date. These behaviors went far beyond smoking, foul language, alcohol or naughty slumber parties. These girls put out.
We also found that the myth of the ‘bad boy’ was not nearly as baseless as we had hoped it to be. Bad boys, with their greaser looks, anti-establishment attitudes and their propensity for domestic violence, substance abuse, long bouts of unemployment, infidelity and packing on the weight in middle age, still managed to end up with 90% of the women in our surveys. That’s right, 90%. Good guys didn’t just finish last, they weren’t even invited to the race.(8)
Assumption #2 – The defined variables are all quantifiable.
Festrunk is about quantifying human behaviors and expectations. Because people are people,(9) there are no universal values in the Festrunk Equation. That’s not to say that the variables in the equation can’t be given a value. They can, in much the same way a number can be assigned to the hotness of a person based on looks.(10) All the variables that we identified as integral to the Festrunk Equation were fully debated and vetted through rigorous peer review and found to be quantifiable, even if it is a completely subjective assignation.
Based upon these assumptions, we believe that Festrunk users (Festrunkers) will be able to establish a risk vs. reward scale (or a graph, or a plane(11)) that they can then use to maximize the dating experience.(12)
Each variable in the Festrunk Equation represents an inherent, quantifiable personality trait. Seemingly, there are an unlimited number of variables that determine a person’s ‘datability’. After extensive debate and review, we settled upon the following list. Each variable will be discussed in detail below.
X (Wildness) – also described as ‘action’ or ‘play’
rZ (Craziness) – a product of rationality (r) and stability (Z)
h (History) – Even when you say it doesn’t matter…it matters.
C (Commitment) – what every man fears.
bc (Bullcrap) – also described as ‘bullshit’, ‘nonsense’ or ‘falderal’
e (Effort) – the amount of energy one’s willing to expend to get a little X
‘X’ is used to denote Wildness or Action or Play. ‘X’ was chosen for its universal appeal and widespread acceptance both inside and outside the math community. In mathematics, ‘X’ is typically the first variable students are exposed to, usually in first year algebra. In sports, ‘X’ is paired with ‘O’ to differentiate the offense from the defense, while in letter writing it is used denote kisses or abbreviate Christmas. Because dating, and by extension Festrunk Theory, is about developing a game plan to overcome a subject’s defenses, thereby earning a reward, or a present if you will, ‘X’ works. It marks the spot.(13) Perhaps, a fairer definition might be ‘X = Expectations’, but this isn’t about fair(14) and Wildness sounds cooler.
As with all variables in the Festrunk equation, users set this value for themselves, as in ‘How far do I want this date to go?’ The Festrunker begins by making an assumption regarding his/her own Wildness. They are saying ‘I’m just crazy enough to do X tonight .(15) On the surface this appears to fly in the face of the first assumption of Festrunk, namely that Wildness and Craziness go hand in hand. Many a casual observer has assumed that ‘X’ is a value derived from the ‘datee’, not the ‘dater’. We call these observers ‘wrong’.(16)
An individual uses Festrunk to derive a baseline for a good time, specifically, their baseline for a good time. Suppose Subject A has planned a nice date centered around dinner and a movie with Subject B, a person he’s never been out with before. What does he expect in return? A handshake? A kiss? Will she go down on him in the theater?(17) Since he has no idea the kinds of behavior Subject B is capable of before the date, he can only hope and dream and wonder. He might wish for the hummer but get stuck with the handshake. This is his ‘X’.
‘rZ’ represents Craziness and is a product of ‘r’, Rationality, and ‘Z’, Stability. Early drafts of the Equation identified Crazy, Rationality and Stability as three distinct variables; however, this path was soon abandoned.(18) Additional debate and a more in depth review of the datasets indicated that the three were, in fact, linked, and that Rationality and Stability, or the lack thereof, were integral components of Crazy. It was the decision of the authors that Crazy then be shown as the product of the other two.
‘r’ was selected to denote Rationality over ‘R’ because our studies showed that Rationality is never a proper noun to a head-case. Individuals with a high ‘r’ factor tend to insulate themselves from conventional wisdom and traditional behaviors. In truth, there seemed to be no way to predict their behavior with any accuracy. Case in point, our initial studies introduced us to a normal seeming, mid-20’s female who accused her boyfriend of implying they were into anal intercourse(19) when he asked about her duodenum.(20) Granted, it’s an odd question and we scored his ‘r’ factor accordingly, but it was not a license to go batshit and destroy his property – an act the female subject encored again and again, usually in response to imagined slights. Who would have predicted that?(21) Serious little ‘r’ for her and the same for the boyfriend. Why did he stick around?(22)
We selected ‘Z’ to represent Stability because, like an automobile, a person with poor Stability is all over the road. There was some discussion in the peer reviews to change the designation to an ‘S’ to better represent the slippery, s-curved slope of instability, however, Datsun’s(23) Z-series has always held a special place in the authors’ hearts. Those were cool, fast cars and unstable people don’t just speed, they zip-zoom down that zig-zaggy road to insanity.(24)
‘h’ is for History. We wanted to go with ‘H’(25) but lost the debate to the many researchers who undervalue the role of History in behavioral benchmarking, arguing that each relationship is unique, and subject to its own dynamic.(26) Suckers. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
In developing the Festrunk Equation, we found that History cannot be discounted. If a Festrunker were to set his X for a one night stand, and it turned out that the subject of his nocturnal conquest was a serial monogamist,(27) well, that’s an issue that must be accounted for. Conversely, good luck getting a long-term deal from a notch on the headboard.
Ultimately, what’s being assessed is just how many Festrunks has the Festrunk bunked. History can weigh heavily upon the ego. A long ‘h’(28) can present a challenge to some or an insurmountable(29) object to others. A short ‘h’, however, is always a turn on. In response to high Histories, we have found that men typically adjust their X values upward, expecting to get immediate play while women will lower their X, apparently in the belief that they’re the one who’s going to change the subject’s ways. Either way, expect to adjust the ‘e’ value accordingly.
Two more items of note in regards to History: 1) each additional partner is another gateway to a world of penicillin, and 2) everybody lies about their History. Our best advice is to convert your ‘h’ values to metric. (30)
What better symbol for Commitment that capital ‘C’. Commitment is huge.(31) Like a giant albatross of expectations wearing you down, wearing you out. People, people everywhere and not a soul to date. All of our research suggests that Commitment can be the deal-breaking variable in almost any Festrunk Event. Work around it by changing other values.
A study of the numbers shows that females have a higher Commitment factor than men by nearly three to one. Three to one! In Festrunk terms, that’s three relationships for every fling. Keep this ratio in mind during initial baselineing. We suggest high ‘C’ values be offset by lowering the ‘X’ projections and putting a lot less effort into ‘e’.
Again, we can’t stress this enough. The big ‘C’ will destroy one’s ability to pursue unlimited ‘X’ (should that be the goal). Consider lying about a fatal disease or moving to another town to counteract.
Now, if you’re into the big ‘C’…disregard.
‘bc’ represents Bull Crap. We selected ‘bc’ for its family friendly nature, noting that it’s not nearly as harsh as what it is, which is Bullshit. We lower-cased it because the reality of dating is pretty much all Bullshit, mostly harmless and forgivable, and, therefore, not as big a deal as we originally thought. Heck, we nearly dumped this variable all together until someone brought up the drama of divorce and that retarded ray of sunshine, ‘the ex’. Now there’s some Bullshit for you.
In initial Festrunk field tests, we found that approximately 85-90% of all ‘first date’ encounters were full of ‘bc’. With all the lying about jobs, dating history, parents, grades, athletic accomplishments, interests, life goals etc., the first date is awash in Bullshit. It’s a non-starter. In fact, for anyone looking to fling on the Festrunk Scale, delete this variable. Whatever Bullshit there is to be factored into the FE, it’s nothing compared to the Bullshit you’re spewing to close the deal in a night.
Our research suggests that ‘bc’ only becomes a viable variable when a relationship goes past the third date.(32) For reasons outside the scope of our project, the third date is something of a tipping point, when little habits become annoying and lies are uncovered. Yes, she really did by that tiny dog as a fashion accessory.(33) No, he doesn’t really own the McDonalds where he works. All those great gifts and fabulous possessions: stolen. And ladies, it is at this point that the losers start asking to borrow cash.(34) If any of this sounds familiar to you, punch that ‘bc’ number through the roof.
But in the meantime, be totally honest in assessing ‘bc’. Chances are you’re just as full of it.
‘e’. The final variable.(35) This represents the amount of Effort or Energy a Festrunker is willing to put into achieving ‘X’. Ideally, this number is kept exceptionally low, hence the lower case. We suppose that it could be capitalized, and that is certainly an option for the experienced Festrunker. If that’s what they choose to do, then we recommend they be prepared to square ‘C’.
Dating is a high-risk proposition with no guarantee of reward. Remember the hummer/handshake conundrum?(36) That’s dating in a nutshell. Until baseline values have been properly established, we advise Festrunkers NOT to put themselves too out there. Keep the ‘e’ low. Time invested can very quickly turn into time wasted. Some of these variables will bite you in the ass if you let them, so don’t.
As stated, each of the Festrunk Variables represents a quantifiably personality trait. The list was not arrived at overnight, but rather through a long period of evaluation, debate and review. There were several variables that nearly made the final cut and will, no doubt, provoke further Festrunk debate. We discuss the three most contentious cuts below.
As much as we wanted to find a meaningful Age-Nookie correlation, there wasn’t one. Yes, there were activity spikes in the early 20’s, the late 30’s, and, disturbingly, in the 13-15 range, however, each was attributable to an external circumstance – college, being between marriages, living in the Ozarks,(37) being Jerry Lee Lewis. Because there were mitigating factors behind each of these spikes, we ultimately decided to drop Age from the list of ‘essential variables’. We recommend that Age be factored into one of the other variables when applying the Festrunk Equation – ‘bc’ for subjects under 30, ‘r’ or ‘Z’ for older evaluants.(38)
Through our research, we were able to determine beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the old adage “Money can’t buy you love, but it can rent it” was true. As people who live within budgets, we were mighty depressed about these findings so we cut Wealth loose as a variable. If Wealth is to be considered (and we strongly advise against it) apply it thusly: if the Festrunker has the money, divide their net worth by 10 and raise the ‘C’ of the evaluant to the resulting power; if the evaluant has the money, increase ‘bc’ by a factor of 100 or so. Rich people tend to be assholes.
Although Alcohol is not essential to dating and hooking, it certainly greases the wheels. It can make anyone who consumes it smarter, funnier or prettier.(39) On the downside, it can make a body loud, mean or belligerent. To be effective, we found that alcohol had to be applied in precise amounts. When it wasn’t, the results were ugly.(40) Too little won’t get you over the hump. Too much and you can’t hump.(41) Ultimately, we found Alcohol to be too much of a wild card to be a viable variable, unless the evaluant is an Alcoholic. If that turns out to be the case, increase either ‘bc’ or ‘rZ’ by the number of empties you find hidden under the bed.
Building the equation is relatively simple and straightforward. In step one, the Festrunker establishes their expectations, or their ‘X’ value.
We’ve acknowledged that building our equation around what the Festrunker expects appears to be counter-intuitive,(42) especially in light of the first assumption of Festrunk.(43) Logically, it would flow that in order to get your taint tongued and your sack shaved on a first date, you’d need to find a woman with serious emotional issues. But the Festrunk Equation isn’t about how crazy the other party is. Whatever a Festrunker has set their ‘X’ to, be it a friendly handshake or something to make the Marquis De Sade blush, they require the participation of a partner to achieve it. To be successful, the X of the partner has to be equal to or greater than the initiators. Or in other words, your partner has to be Crazy enough to do your Wild. We represent this situation thusly.(44)
X1 = X2
But getting someone to do what you want to do isn’t necessarily a matter of locating a one-to-one Wild and Crazy relationship. If it were, we’d all be looking for that sack shaving, taint tonguer forever, because, as many critics have pointed out, it is still possible at this point for X2 to be substantially less than X1, a problem that plagued earlier models. That’s why the inclusion of additional variables was tantamount to the success of the new Festrunk Equation. To work around the potential short-comings of X2, we take advantage of the new variables, ‘C’, ‘bc’, & ‘h’, giving us:
X1 = C * X2 * bc * h
As you can see, the chances of X1 meeting their expectations are greatly improved with the additional variables factored in.
In order to effectively manage this equation to its desired end, ‘e’, effort, is required. This can be through phone calls, flowers(45), candy, sexy undergarments, or even remembering names. Even though the Festrunk Equation isn’t about finding a one-to-one, Wild to Crazy relationship, it is about achieving a balance between ‘X’ and the remaining variables. If the equation tips in favor of the Festrunker, the equation fails and everyone goes home alone. If it tips in favor of the evaluant, they sleep with all of your friends. So at this point, we factor in the final variable, ‘e’, as a divisor, bringing us to:
X1 = (C * X2 * bc * h) / e
Since Wild and Crazy are assumed to be equals, we substitute ‘rZ’ for X2 and simplify X1 to just ‘X’, giving us the basic Festrunk Equation.
X = (C * rZ * bc * h) / e
Since the equation is basically a mathematical means of defining Subject A’s desires in terms of Subject B’s qualities, e can be factored out of the right hand side of the equation, and moved to the left, giving us:
eX = C * rZ * bc * h
Or stated another way entirely
All my ex’s are crazy bitches.
And that, in a nutshell, is the Festrunk Equation.
- The Hef Effect – Thanks to the near universal penetration of adult content into our lives, sociologists have discovered that a substantial number of males under the age of 25 have come to believe that all women worth pursuing are air-brushed, vapid and turned on by things like honesty, sunsets and puppies while shunning bullies, liars and turnips.
- The Wallace-Donnelly Corollary
- 98% of males expected to end their date with a sexual act of some kind. 75% of females wanted to end the date ‘just friends.’
- Even though you can count the number of influential lady mathematicians on one hand.
- Technically, they are looking for a variation of the Madonna-Whore that is way more Whore than Madonna.
- The Zuniga Effect
- “Catholic school girls rule.” Kiedis, 1985.
- That’s not quite true. Nice guys sometimes were invited to the race, but chose not to participate because it was too competitive and someone could get hurt. Namely them. Pussies.
- …so why should it be, that you and I should get along so awfully.
- Like Bo Derek scoring a 10 on the Moore scale. My scale, by the way, goes to 11.
- Rene Descartes (1596-1650), inventor of the Cartesian Coordinate System (Cartesian Plane), was once in a bar. The barkeep asked him if he’d like another drink. Descartes said ‘I don’t think so’ and ceased to exist.
- Said another way…put out or get out.
- Fairness, schmairness. You don’t like the variables? Create your own equation, dickwad.
- Usually, its ‘Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight.’
- See Footnote 14.
- Strict Alanissists always argue ‘NO.’
- For the road less travelled.
- ‘Backdoor Burglary,’ ‘Uphill Gardening,’ ‘Guest in the Back Room.’ You get the picture.
- Duodenum – the first part of the small intestine. To affect this part of the anatomy through the kind of intercourse suggested…well, let’s just say she would have had to have been violated by a mule.
- Not us, that’s for sure.
- Ultimately, he didn’t.
- Okay, it’s Nissan now. Happy?
- The Vince Neil Axiom.
- Actually, we wanted to go with ‘H-E-Double Hockey Sticks.’
- Suckers. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
- You know the type, one long-term relationship after another, no overlaps. Lonely people, basically.
- ‘You slept with the team? Even the kicker?’
- Well, not really. You get that historyfor being mountable, not insurmountable.
- Use the McKenzie Conversion Factor. Double the number and add 30.
- How huge? Really huge.
- Some moron went so far as to suggest that you should consider for marriage anyone you date more than three times. I’m not making that up. I think it might have been Dr. Laura. Again, not made up.
- Hello, PETA? Anyone protesting this trend? Why not?
- The Federline Factor.
- These are the voyages of the Festrunk Equation.
- From all the way back at ‘X’? Pay attention.
- Not made up factoid. Misouri age of consent was to one time 14. It is now 17.
- Sniglet alert!
- A 2 at 10 is a 10 at 2.
- In some cases, ‘Coyote Ugly’ – waking up with someone so unattractive that you’d rather chew your arm off than wake them up.
- Whiskey Dick.
- The first assumption of Festrunk used to state that there was no Festrunk.
- Pronounced with and “usly.”
- 1-800-FLORIST. You’ll thank me later.