Wednesday, 18 November 2009

I Hate Maths.

“I am never running this coach trip ever again”, I wailed, literally pulling my hair out in tufts as I counted and recounted the cheques and cash I had received from my passengers.
“How hard can it be mum?” asked the beautiful egg-head, “Give it here”. I handed her the monies and the passenger list.
“Right then, you’ve got 51 bums on seats at a cost of twelve pounds each that makes six hundred and twelve pounds. Has everyone paid?”
“Yes” I answered meekly, figures still dancing in my head, “But I still can’t make it add up”.
“Silly mummy”, she replied gently as though I were some dear old soul with special needs, “Maths has never been your forte”.
“I’m well aware of that but this is simple arithmetic. The money in the bag should equal 12 times 51 but it doesn’t. I’ve added it up a million times”.
She counted it again in seconds and concurred that yes, there was an anomaly of £11 and that I had a problem.
“See?” I said defiantly, “I knew it wasn’t my maths that was at fault”.
“No, but it is your banking. What are you going to do now?”
“Pay the extra, I don’t have an option. Somewhere along the line I’ve mislaid eleven quid. Thank God it’s not fifty.”
The Egg-Head just shrugged her shoulders and went upstairs to contemplate the intricacies of the universe or whatever the hell it is she does in her room for hours at a time.
My son walked in, “Right ma? Tea? You look stressed”.
“I am stressed, I’ve lost eleven pounds.”
“Well that should be commended. I thought you were looking slim.”
“Not in weight you plonker. In money. In hard cash”. His face dropped.
“What? Why that expression? You haven’t nicked it have you?”
“No way mum! That would be some serious ju-ju. Nope I was just hoping for a bit of a hand out.”
“You have to be kidding me. You have a job and an allowance and you still expect more? Do you think I’m made of money?”
“Well evidently you are made of flesh and blood and other elements that my sister could probably enlighten us with, but nope, I just wanted a few extra quid to get a special Christmas present”.
“That’s very sweet of you but don’t you think that defeats the object somewhat? I mean I give you more money so that you can buy me a better Christmas present? Just get me something small and we’ll be even stevens.”
“I’m afraid I wasn’t exactly thinking of you”, he added sheepishly. The temptation to clip his ear was enormous but given the arduous nature of the last hour and the subsequent headache brought on by all the adding and subtracting, then the temptation of a cuppa was even greater, so I resisted the call to arms and just very firmly pointed him in the direction of the kitchen.
I settled myself back at the dining table and shook every last piece of correspondence I had regarding the coach trip, just in case a tenner was clutching tenaciously within a folded piece of paper. Suddenly Mags burst through the front door.
“Coo-ee!”, she called.
“In here”, I yelled back. She bounced into the dining room.
“Flipping heck Alice! You look like Ebenezer Scrooge on a bad day. What’s going on, has Hubby asked for you to account for your spending at long last?” She tipped an indignant cat out of a dining chair, sat down and opened her designer, oil cloth, shopping bag and pulled from it two slices of not just any cheesecake but a Marks and Spencer cheesecake.
“Ta-da!” she said, beaming.
I pinched more than an inch of flesh which was sitting steadfastly atop my waistband.
“Oh for God’s sake Alice; live a bit. I’ll go and get two forks and a cup of tea to go with”.
“No need Auntie Mags”, said my son just at that moment walking in. “I heard you arrive and thought, hmm, shall I open the bottle of wine or make her a cup of tea. Then I looked at the clock and the sun hasn’t gone over the yard arm yet, or whatever it is dad says before he decides on a snifter or not, so I thought you’d prefer Twinings instead of Temperenillo”. Where I had previously resisted, Mags did not and gave him a quick clip of his ear.
“That’s for being so bloody facetious”, she laughed, “Now hand over that tea and go and play with your train set”.
“As my God mother...”
“Yes?”, said Mags warily, “ This sounds ominous”.
“Well, you usually give me a tenner in my Christmas card, and I just wondered, just this once, whether you could sub me and give it to me early”.
“This kid has more neck than a giraffe”, roared Mags, rummaging around in her bag for her purse.
“Put it away Mags”, I said, taking her bag away from her, “He is not being subbed by anyone. He probably wants to buy his girlfriend some impossibly expensive scent or something I care not to envisage”.
“Got it in one mum”, he said walking away but not before giving us a big wink first. Mags and I just looked at each other in a ‘they’ll be the death of us’ way before dishing out the gooey, chocolate cheesecake.
“So what’s all this about?” she said waving at the cash. I briefly explained and we were just stuffing our faces with the last morsel when Hubby came home.
“Oh yeah! So this is what goes on when I’m out earning a crust”. He gave me and Mags a kiss and went to hang up his coat and as he did so, he called out,
“Don’t forget tomorrow Alice. Divisions”.
“Poor Alice” added Mags, “All this adding up and taking away and now divisions? It’s a cruel world”.


DL said...


I thought we were going to get a grand denoument as a final flourish, in true Agatha Christie style. I'll be on tenterhooks all bloody week now!

Best wishes,

P.S. A bit gloomy on FB the other day - hope all's OK?

Alice Band said...

No grand denoument I'm afraid. This is Alice Band after all, not The Mousetrap! Eleven quid never accounted for. I have to cough up!

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