Was the rant necessary?

When was the last time a company’s idea of packaging and your needs matched up? (My whole concept of packaging has been turned on end by living in Taiwan. Wow! Individual packaging galore.) It has been a long time since I watched Father of the Bride but last year I came across this clip from the movie. George Banks, played by Steve Martin, is having a rough day and heads to the supermarket to buy hot dogs and buns. I used the clip as a jumping off point of unit rate.

This year, as I looked at the clip again. Before watching I asked students to think about the following questions:

  • What did George want to do?
  • What would the cashier done if George received the outcome he desired?

I was pretty happy that students quickly brought up unit rates after a few good laughs. I then asked if George’s actions were necessary? Some student replies:

  • He can buy three bags of hot dogs and two bags of bread and it can make 24 hot dog buns.
  • He didn’t need to take 3 packs of buns. He only needed 2 packs.
  • He could have bought 3 hot dog packages and 2 bun packages, cause 8*3=24 and 12*2=24 so they are even.

As it turns out, George took four buns out of each bag of 12. He then bought three bags. I didn’t pick up on this the first time through and wonder if the movie producers even thought about the fact that the packaging actually agreed with his purchase (contrary to his rant). A few of my students picked it up on the first “blind” watching.

Did the packaging actually agree in number with the amount George put into his cart? After working out what the cashier would have done if George did not end up in the slammer, I posed the question to my students…


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