According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Math Doesn't Add Up for Me

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Math Doesn't Add Up for Me

April is math month.

That’s according to a reader board at the elementary school just down the road from our house. Sam and I saw the sign when I took him for his walk today. Personally, I prefer April sayings like, “Sweet April showers do spring May flowers” (Thomas Tusser - April’s Husbandry) or “I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds and bowers: of April, May of June and July flowers” (Robert Herrick - Hesperides Argument of His Book); April being math month sounds too much like, “April fool!”

When it comes to math I am a total fool and I don’t like being reminded of it. I don’t do math except to balance my checkbook and to make change from a cash register. Any math beyond that “benumbs all my facilities (or faculties).” I read that somewhere but can’t remember where.

I shall be forever grateful to my sainted high school geometry teacher who pulled me aside after class one day and told me he was giving me a D-minus because I was flunking his class. He said I deserved an F, but because I was a good kid and excellent student otherwise, he just didn’t have the heart to give me an F. Believe me when I tell you I might not have been a math whiz, but I was smart enough to know how many “thank-you sirs” to slather on that teacher.

The only thing I retained from geometry was the theorem that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. That theorem actually made sense and I still believe it today. Kathleen probably doesn’t think I believe that theorem because I often take rather circuitous routes in the car to arrive wherever we’re going. But that’s just a problem of not knowing which streets give you the straightest line. I don’t really care, I always wind up where I was headed and I get to see a lot of great scenery along the way. Kathleen asks me quite frequently if I know where I’m going. I just look at her, give her a big cheesy grin and tell her, “I have a plan.”

Just please don’t start talking to me about x equals y minus z or some dang equation like that or ask me to sum up the hypotenuse of a triangle or whatever. And if you want me to help you build something, don’t ask me to do any measuring - I don’t do eighths or sixteenths of an inch, I round off.

I’m pretty sure my math teacher brother-in-law would tell me that math isn’t that difficult, but I ask you, do I look like Albert Einstein? If God wanted me to be a rocket scientist or a nuclear physicist or a bridge engineer, he would have placed different genes in my brain lobes. He didn’t though and I’m a writer.

So, if I have three bags of Sam’s poop and I award two bags to math, how many bags of poop do I have left? Help me get the right answer and I’ll give you whatever I have left.

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