Thursday, 13 October 2011

Tale of the Improperly Bolstered Mathematics College

The mathematicians gathered around the largest collection of floral wallpaper in the United States. Some were impressed, others not so. David, a mathematician, remarked: “These belligerent pinks and staccato mauves speak of a dangerous neo-liberalist agenda.” Another mathematician, Simon, was less critical: “It’s heartening to see so many posies on one low-slung summer décolletage.” The group all headed outside.

Having seen the wallpaper, the mathematicians were unsure how best to expend the remaining hours of their trip. One man, Filbert (a mathematician) suggested: “We could convene to an eatery for the hearty consumption of burgers?” No one responded to this suggestion and Filbert faded from the narrative. “How about we found our own college right here on the steps of this museum?” David said. He was the mathematician who earlier criticised the pinks and mauves. A roar of happiness swept through the crowd. The roar spread like a Mexican wave, with the far left side roaring first and the far right side roaring last. Some of the far-left roars outlasted some far-right roars, showing individual ebullience at varying durations and pitches.

The mathematicians divided into groups to source tools and raw materials. Four calculus experts went into the forest for wood. A few all-rounders located a hardware store and bought nails, hammers and extra 2x4 if required. The others sketched up the blueprints and worked out the specifics of construction. Early the next morning the college was erected. Misfortune occurred when Simon (who earlier praised the posies) commented: “We appear to have blocked the entrance to the museum.” Another voice, that of a mathematician, said: “Our college is also aslant. We should have used the existing staircase as our foundations instead of balancing our building on the annexe of the museum.” This comment was unpopular. The man faded.

To solve the problem, the mathematicians erected a supporting beam extending from the museum steps to the dangling wall of the college. This prevented the college from capsizing backwards down the museum steps when students gathered at the precarious end. One mathematician remarked: “It is a shame the mathematician who noticed this aberration has faded. We should have provided a more positive response to his comment.” The mathematicians removed their cravats and cried for the faded man.

A few hours later, mathematics students filed into the mathematics college. The museum went bankrupt that afternoon and the curators, enraged at their loss, cut the freshly erected support beams. The college slid down the museum steps and zipped down the street at quite a speed. Inside, the mathematicians were too engrossed in teaching mathematics and the students too engrossed in learning mathematics to notice their college’s new mobile state. The structure came to rest in a pond, where thanks to the excellent rain-seal roofing work, no water seeped in through the windows or doors.

When the mathematics was complete, the students and mathematicians swam to the surface. One mathematician remarked: “Clearly, vandals towed our college and lowered it into the pond.” A collective hiss of disapproval passed among the mathematicians: a low hiss that started on the far-right side this time, passing to the far-left. “It is truly appalling how vulnerable mathematicians are in this town,” a mathematician added. No one liked this remark so he faded. The mathematicians walked home.

On their way home, the museum curators cornered them in an alleyway and blew them into a large number of pieces. The last dying mathematician counted 2,928 pieces.


  1. After seeing a blog post label like 'surreal-wank', I just had to leave a comment...and follow your blog!

  2. How very delightful. You have three blogs, making reciprocal followage rather burdensome.

  3. Hopped over from the pay it forward blog fest. Love your blog and looking forward to exploring it :)

  4. Siv: I'm amazed you're declaring love already. All I hope for is casual tolerance. Hi.

    Chris: I trust you'd stay out the museum?