Saturday, January 14, 2006

Joe: January 5, 1943

Since you have seen fit to comment on my writing ability (was it some Nolan blarney or some Hunter satire?) I feel brash enough to give you a short lesson in mathematics. To wit, 3 x 4 =12. Simple, isn’t it? You are probably wondering what prompted this pedagogical outburst and I should let you guess, Mary. But just writing your name, Mary, makes me softhearted so I’ll tell you. Well along in your last letter (on page 9 to be exact) you stated and I quote, “here I am on my third booklet.” Yet on the last page of that very same booklet in a P.S. you wanted me to note that your letter was only 15 3/4 pages. You know, Mary, that sooner or later the Hunter Math dept. will get you for at least one course and where will you be? I think I’ll have the Koches ship my calculus book to Queens Village. After all, if your wishes for an end to World War Ii during 1943 are fulfilled, I’ll need an assistant mathematician to help me with my actuarial examination.

I notice that you glibly mention our letters crossing in the mails. It’s my belief that one has to master the intricacies of Einsteinian Time-Space in order to keep our correspondence straight. Look at the following diagram:

Do I hear Mary Nolan saying, “Yes, he fills up his letter with charts and diagrams so he can boast of his extended epistles; if I did that I wouldn’t have to make mistakes in arithmetic.”? Oh, I forgot you’re still a Home Eco. major--at least until the new semester--so you won’t have to answer that question. While we’re on the subject of home economics, I think it’s mean, Mary, to mention your prowess (is that a bit too strong?) as a cook when I’m some 2500 miles away from your kitchen. I’ll get even, though. In my next letter home I’ll tell my mother; for over thirty years she’s been looking for someone to cook Sunday dinner for the Koches. In that time she got a number of additional Koches but no cooks. That’s a German pun, and like all German jokes, lousy.

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