Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood hit theaters recently. Leading up to seeing the director’s 9th (and supposedly penultimate film), I rewatched a few old classics. Pulp Fiction, of course, was top on that list.
Pulp Fiction is an out-of-order and hyper violent crime movie, set in 1994 Los Angeles, known for memorable dialogue and masterful screenwriting. John Travolta as Vincent Vega claims early in the movie that he’s given “a million ladies a million foot rubs”, defending the idea that a foot rub has deeper meanings than a massage. We can debate whether or not he was right, or we can calculate how long 1,000,000 foot rubs would take. I’ll go with door number two!
How long does a foot rub last? While a typical massage parlor would typically offer them in 30 minute blocks, it’s unlikely Vincent has enough patience to sit through a full half hour without smoking or shooting up. On the low end of this, 10 seconds a foot seems the bare minimum to be counted as a massage and not an accidental touch.
Assuming Vincent works at maximum efficiency (20 seconds exactly per massage) and he has no downtime between massages, how long would it take him to give a million foot massages? 231.5 days. Honestly? Not as much as I expected. If Vincent started massaging on January 1st, he could stop on August 20th and take the rest of the year off. If he wanted to spread it out over a year exactly, he could spend about 32 seconds on each massage.
If Vincent wanted to be a step above minimum, I figure that a minute per massage is decent enough. That puts the time it took for him to deliver this massage-apalooza at just about two full years, not even the full time he was in Amsterdam… but let’s not forget that any Vega is a gentleman. I’d be willing to vouch Vince doesn’t let any of his foot massages last less than five minutes. At 300 seconds per foot rub, almost a full decade will have passed, or about 9.5 years. Travolta was 40 years old when Pulp Fiction came out, and if Vincent shared this age, about a quarter of his life would have been dedicated to massaging.
Who are we to say he didn’t? Vincent is an interesting guy. He’s willing to spend $1,000 on heroin, but calls Mia out for spending $5 on a milkshake.
If he went for massage parlor levels of excellence with 30 minutes per massage, it would take him 57 years. Definitely longer than his life up to Pulp Fiction. At this point, it’s no longer a matter of time, and simply a matter of how he’s at maximum efficiency.
Logistically, where are all these women coming from? In 1994 (when the film takes place) there were 9,095,157 people in Los Angeles. Assuming half of that is female, 4,547,578 of California’s most eligible bachelorettes were available to get massaged by Vincent, so it’s not an issue of population. This has now become an issue of how many women Vincent can really meet each day.
At peak efficiency Vincent works impossibly fast- but even a man like Vincent Vega would struggle to get a date every night and be free to take it. If he did though? It would take him… 2739 years. If Vincent gave one lady one foot massage a day, it would take him almost a millennia and a half.
This means that Vincent Vega spent most of recorded history up to 1994 giving foot rubs. Whatever was inside the glowing briefcase he and Jules retrieved must have let the user stop time, or live forever, and Vincent used this amazing power just to give a million ladies a million foot rubs… and that might be the most Tarantino story of all.
Vincent Vega Gave 1,000,000 Foot Massages And It Only Took All Eternity.
What does @JeffShutUp look like? Does he look like a bitch? Absolutely, but he’s funny on Twitter.