Sir: When is the Nobel committee going to wise up and start offering a Nobel Prize in mathematics? My work on the commutative property of beer has gone completely unrecognized, and I’m a bit miffed about that. But I haven’t been discouraged from further mathematical research, and I’ve just made a discovery that blows the lid off the whole math racket.

Everybody knows there are two kinds of numbers, right? There are odd numbers and even numbers, right? We always arrange them so that there’s an odd number, then an even number, then an odd number, then an even number, and so on.

So let’s think about the most basic mathematical operation: adding two numbers together. There are obviously three possible cases.

1. You add two even numbers together.

2. You add two odd numbers together.

3. You add an even and an odd number together.

Now, what happens in each of these possible cases?

1. You add two even numbers together: You always get an even number.

2. You add two odd numbers together: You always get an even number.

3. You add an even number and an odd number together: You always get an odd number.

As you can see, two out of three of the possibilities lead to even results. But no one before me seems to have pointed out the obvious and inevitable conclusion: There are twice as many even numbers as odd numbers.

This leads us to an obvious question. Where are all the extra even numbers? I’ve been trying to work that out, and it will be a good topic for my post-Nobel research. For a while I thought they must be hidden in among the debris between numbers where the fractions and decimals hang out. But now I’m leaning toward the idea that there’s somewhere way up on the number line where a bunch of even numbers are crowded together. I don’t know exactly where it would be, but my preliminary data suggest that it would probably be somewhere past 150. I’ve always been pretty fuzzy on numbers over 150.

So sit up and take notice, Nobel committee. These are results that totally blow everything we thought about math out of the water. If this isn’t reason enough to institute a Nobel Prize for mathematics, what is? Give my regards to King Carl Gustaf, and tell him I’ll be seeing him soon.

Sincerely, Bernie Riemann, Scranton.