Alphonso has three elephants. We don’t know where he got them. We think Alphonso may be a little bit odd. Each elephant eats five bales of hay per day, plus seven medium-sized saplings, a 40-pound sack of raw peanuts, and a can of sliced peaches. One of the elephants also drinks coffee, but the others do not. If the three elephants eat this exact diet every day for a month, how long will it take the train to get to Perth Amboy?

Your cousin Ferdinand thinks that The Da Vinci Code is twice as bad as Irene Iddlesleigh, but you think that Irene Iddlesleigh is three times as bad as The Da Vinci Code. Solve for X on a pocket calculator.

You are a lobbyist for the artificial-lemon-flavoring industry, and your assignment is to persuade Congress to ban lemon oil as a dangerous hallucinogenic drug. In your research, the only fatal accident you can find involving lemon oil occurred when a drunken teenager drove into a tree while carrying a bag of groceries that included lemon oil in the trunk. Your research has further shown that there are about twenty million teenagers of driving age in the United States. When you face the congressional committee for the lemon-oil hearings, what percentage of teenagers do you tell them are killed or maimed in lemon-oil-related accidents every year?

Mrs. Quetzal assigns her fourth-grade math class fifty word problems for homework, due tomorrow, no exceptions. How long will it take the janitor to find where the students have hidden Mrs. Quetzal?


  1. Martin the Mess says:

    1.) The train will be delayed when one of the elephants, maddened by the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal, escapes its paddock and wanders across the tracks in search of a really good independent coffee house that isn’t even more overrun by hipsters than Starbucks.

    2.) Ferdinand is full of bull.

    3.) Instead of trying to link competing lemon products to somethign so passé as the War On Drugs in these permissive days of creeping marijuana decriminalization, I simply point out that lemons are one of the few crops profitably exported from Afghanistan these days other than opium, and thus all lemon and natural lemon by-product imports to this country need to be banned lest terrorists sneak in amongst the lemon shipments the way spiders come in with bananas. With the price of lemons thus driven upward, cheap artificial substitutes will gain market share, and my corporate masters will be pleased. I also try to bribe certain key members of Congress into ensuring that, should marijuana legalization ever be passed at the Federal level, an amemdment be added to the bill requiring that all legally-sold marijuana cigarettes be (artificially) lemon-flavored.

    4.) Depends how many places the students have hidden various subsets of Mrs. Quetzal.

  2. Captain DaFt says:

    Well, I’ll give these problems a go, but I must warn you; I am an acalculiac.

    1. Parsnips taste more like raw hamburger than cucumbers do.

    2. Malcolm X was assassinated for his political and religious beliefs in 1965.

    3. I like Lemon pie, but But Key lime pie is better. Plus The less said about lemon tea parties, the better!

    4. Mrs. Quetzal’s remains are still hidden in the couch cushions in the student lounge. The janitor has never removed them for cleaning, and the students knew this. He did, however, frequently air out the lounge and use air fresheners to combat a mysterious odor during the warmer months.

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