Mathematically Impossible.

Looking back to my school days, I reflect on the arithmetical problems which the teacher gave us. My favourites were the ones which made no sense at all, which I have to admit were most of them. I’m sure that even now your minds are re-winding at full speed to remember such gems as: If it takes ten minutes for two men to dig a hole four feet deep, how long will it take three men to tunnel out of Wormwood Scrubs? Answers on a postcard to Tunnelling Tom, ‘E’ Wing, HMP… You get the idea!

As a tribute to my former World weary Mathematics teacher, I have set a new examination –

Examination Paper

Please answer all questions. Time allowed 45 minutes.

Q 1 / If it takes five days for seventeen employees to find a water leak, calculate how much it will cost to repair. Take into account Directors’ over-inflated pay and their staggering level of bonuses. For this calculation bear in mind that the water company’s customers are charged an arm and a leg for each litre of water.

Q 2 / If three men are due to be extradited to foreign lands to stand trial on very dodgy evidence, calculate how long it will take to send them if – One has already been bundled onto the plane under cover of darkness. One is appealing against extradition using Human Rights legislation citing that he looks after a budgie. One has already scarpered.

Q 3 / If two lorries arrive in the Port of Dover having travelled on a ferry from France (Examiner’s Advice- Disregard the fact that the French ports may be blockaded by angry French fishermen, very angry French lorry drivers or positively irate French air traffic controllers although to be fair the last one is usually caused by the Spaniards) calculate the length of time it would take for UK Border Agency personnel to totally dismantle both vehicles while looking for contraband. Please take into account the fact that Bernie the sniffer dog is having a day off, having been severely traumatised the previous day when he found 140 kilos of dog biscuits.

It should be noted that if you fail any of the above questions, you may be able to appeal under current Human Rights legislation.

Copyright © Ian m Allan 2015

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