Thursday, October 05, 2006

Kidonometry

They told me in school that math would be important in my daily life. So I studied geometry and algebra, but never once did teachers school me in the really important math - Kidonometry.

Here's a Kidonometry problem I solved the other day:

"A four year-old and six year-old accelerate suddenly from the kitchen. You notice that the four year-old's mouth is colored a brilliant blue. If you ask why the kid's mouth is blue, the six year-old will double his rate of speed until he reaches his room. The four year-old will stop immediately and offer no help. If all behavior remains consistent, how long will it take you to find out what the four year-old has imbibed and, more importantly, how long should the recalcitrant kids spend without television?"

The answer is fairly easy. It will take you (the parent) two minutes of panicked yelling to discover that your kid has tried to drink one of those fake ice packs that you freeze and put in a cooler. It will take another minute to read the package to discover that the Ty-D-Bowl colored stuff is non-toxic. It will take another 20 minutes to discover that the four year-old did this asinine thing because his six year-old brother dared him to do it.

Nevertheless, the correct answer to first part of the question is two minutes. As for how long the kids go without television, that's a trick question. The time spent without television is directly proportional to how long it takes me (the parent) to catch them (the sneaky bastards).

There was a pop quiz this morning.

"An hour and a half before work, you discover that a golf ball has been lodged in the drain of bathtub/shower. If x=golf ball, solve for "Who the hell did this?", "How the hell did they do it?" and "How the hell can I get the ball out of the drain?" For extra credit, calculate whether you'll be late to work.

This a tough one, because you have to work it in reverse. Yes, you'll be late for work. A plunger is the correct tool for removing golf balls from tub drains and finally, it doesn't matter who did it or how they did it because you're late for work.

I'm much better at Kidonometry than I ever was at Algebra.