Thursday, 20 December 2007

maths smaths

Something to help you while away your days (is that correct?):

3 Old ladies, called Doris, Helga and Xiangua go in to a shop to buy a TV together. They live in a 3 bedroom house and decide that they should buy a tv together so that they can save more money for their respective hobbies of knitting, croquet and assassination. The Tv they spy is just £30, so they each put £10 in and give the collected funds to Helga, who is the most trustworthy of the three, as she use to work for the local NatWest and knew everyone's salaries. Of course Xiangua may have been the most trustworthy, as neither Doris nor Helga knew what she did for a living so it could be argued that she was the most trustworthy for not giving away this secret. But Doris never trusted her for not being trusted with such information, so the two had not been getting on too well recently as a result.

So the 3 walk in to the shop and begin to look around even though they only want the TV. Doris spots some nice knitting needles that are £2 for 10, Helga eyes some lovely fishing rods at £15 each, and Xiangua eyes up the young boy at the counter, who's name later turns out to be Steven.

Helga, after her perusing reaches a close, walks up to the counter and speaks to the young man.

"That television, still £30?".

"Yes it is, and a fine example too. It has all the colours you could wish for, optional and variable audio and more channels than you collectively have eyes (19)".

"well that sounds wonderful. I'd like to buy it please"

And so the exchange between shopper and tv-monger is made and the three ladies leave in a column from tallest to shortest with their new purchase on point.

5 minutes and 12 seconds pass before the shop owner returns from his lunch break which was spent smoking a pipe and reading the middle 13 pages of the Daily Mail, and enquires as to the boy's time spent in charge.

"Good thankyou, I sold the tv".

"Did you reprice it as I asked?" enquired the owner. The boy said nothing but tried instead to give him a look of 'I know that you asked me but my silence my suggest to you that you never asked me, thus absolving me of my guilt'. Which failed miserably. "You didn't did you?". The question was rhetorical.

And so Steven Brangburger was given 500 pence made up of 8 50p coins and a pound coin by the shop owner due to his new role of intermediary to the tv owning ladies.

"Give this £5 to those ladies, quick! They can't have got far". Said the shop owner, unaware that two of the three ladies had run middle distances for the respective schools' sports teams.

And so Steven J. Brangburger ran out of the shop with half a thousand pennies lining his cotton pockets. As he caught sight of the three ladies, now dispersed from their initial ascending height formation, a wicked idea came in to his head. He could pretend that the TV wasn't the actually priced £25, but instead that it was £27. This way he could pocket 2 hundred pennies, and know that no-one would know.

Quickly he approached the ladies and explained the £27 mixup. Gratefully the ladies each received £1. Which at current exchange rate is about $2. It is here that we run up against the problem.

If the ladies have now spent £10 ($20) and each got £1 ($2) back, then they have each spent £9. If you add the nines together then you get £27 ($54). Adding the £2 that Steven Jarsbug Brangburger kept gives a grand total of £29 ($58). Given that this entire event happened in the USA, why has $2 gone missing?

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