December 10, 2009

The Tillerman Painkiller Challenge


Damn it all.

That Tillerman has no common sense of decency.

Here we all are in the throes of winter and what does he do? He blogs about how he's really going to do some serious frostbite racing this winter and then what? Right, he takes off for the BVI, with the subtle boast that he may never come back.

I haven't been able to concentrate on anything else this week. Northern California has been hit by one of those depressing cold spells we get a few of every year. The overnight temperatures have been plummeting to below freezing. And there's been actual frost on the ground in the morning! Can you believe it? Frost! Right here in California. The Chamber of Commerce people are going nuts. I've actually had to start wearing a windbreaker to work in the dead of winter!

All I can think about in my despair is that damned Tillerman lazing about in the BVI's, lying on the beach, snorkeling, sailing some rented Laser, and getting wasted on Painkillers.

To take my mind off the frigid winter conditions here, I am hereby issuing the Tillerman Painkiller Challenge.

Guess how many Painkillers Tillerman has downed on his vacation, and the closest guess will win some kind of prize - yet to be determined. Don't focus on the prize too much, you should enter this competition in the Corinthian spirit - for the sheer thrill of competing.

But please, don't just come up with a number. I'd like to see your reasoning or actual computations. We will have to rely on Tillerman's word for how many Painkillers he has actually downed, assuming he has sobered up enough to remember anything. In the event of a tie, the creativity of the entry will be considered.

I have no idea how long Tillerman will actually be away - a factor which should sweeten the contest.

The decision of the judges (me) will be final, unless someone comes up with a pretty good bribe.


Yikes, the response to this has been underwhelming. I thought folks would have all sorts of theories about how many Painkillers Tillerman is consuming on his BVI vacation.

You just have to come up with a number and some rationale for how you arrived at it. Here are some examples of numbers:


A hypothetical entry might read something like this:

I know that Tillerman has lost 92 Laser races over the course of his racing career and would probably want to drink a painkiller to soothe the pain of each one of those, so I'm guessing 92.

Now that's not that hard, is it?

You're not worried about what kind of prize you might win are you? Did I mention that California is home to some of the finest vineyards in the world?


  1. O Docker, Given that I'm new to the world of all things Tillerman, I'm wondering if any weight is given as to whether or not they are a painkiller number 1-4. Or perhaps in my galloping ineptitude I've not stumbled upon his preferred octane level of killerness, and if such knowledge was a known unknown or in fact a known known then some sort of advantage could be gained with aforementioned information and an unfair situation could be afforded to someone who is not hindered with galloping eneptitis. In any case, I will guess 56. Either he will be there for a week and be completely pain free or for two weeks with just a modicum of pain. Please don't in any circumstance let the knowledge of my debilitating condition sway the outcome of this noble contest. I prefer pinot noir.

  2. Boat de Jour, at the rate entries are pouring in (notice how I'm trying to keep the wine metaphor going?), you may be a shoe-in winner no matter how far off your guess, I mean calculation, is.

    I really don't know what Tillerman's drink preferences are, only that he mentioned his holiday would incorporate the drinking of rum, and, as Painkillers are fashioned from rum and are readily obtainable in the BVI, I'm using them as the working currency for this contest.

    It's the total tally of tots actually taken by the tipsy tippler of Tiverton that will be compared to the contest entries, not the content of Tillerman's glass.

  3. Are you talking , solid or liquid, or herbal painkillers ? You need to be more exact. This is why no one is guessing.

  4. BTW , that picture on the header Sucks!! Brings back way too many bad memories of the Suckill expressway!

  5. Zen, it's supposed to suck. That was the first thing I thought when I saw it, too. It reminded me of all of those big bad back East winters. The guys at the back of the line don't know it yet, but they're not making it home for dinner tonight. It makes me cold just looking at it.

    BTW, this is the kind of Painkiller I'm talking about.

  6. Forty-two.

    That is the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. And is that not the question you have asked?

    Verification word (I kid you not): split.

  7. I think that Tillerman might prefer a ratio. I would propose painkillers/day. In fact, this ratio could be used to correct his hours sailing/hours travelling number to better justify a long trip somewhere warm. (S/T)*(P/D) for tropical destinations.

    I would suggest Tillerman aim for a target (S/T)*(P/D) of at least 1.000

    S/T Background reading

  8. OK, Breezetrees, I'll allow linear equations, but if you get into quadratics or calculus, you risk disqualification. Fourier analysis, linear algebra, and Lorentz transformations are strictly forbidden.

    You WILL be required to come up with an actual answer before the close of competition. I'll provide the prize, but I'm not doing any math.

    I hope I won't have to resort to Venn diagrams before this contest is through. Nobody likes Venn diagrams.

  9. Hey, have been busy.

    Anyhow, linear algebra would work just fine for this sort of thing, so might risk the wrath of O dock and include some.

  10. One. It's the loneliest number, to be sure, but with so many other beverages to sample and so many other things to do, T-man just won't have time for imbibe too much from one particular potion.

  11. Unaswerable question. No way to count when one is laying on a lounge chair with a "pain killer" IV in one's arm. :)

  12. EscapeVelocity12/12/09, 5:16 AM

    If Tillerman remembers how many he had, they weren't making them right. But I'll guess 14, just to have my hat in the ring.

  13. X + Y(2XY)/39,243X = ? How the hell do I know? How the hell will you know?

  14. Have submitted the consultant's report on my blog.

    Still waiting contractual clearance for phase 2 though...