Arithmetic
Teacher: How many tanks did you destroy yesterday,
Robert?
Robert: Eight, teacher.
Teacher: How many persons were in each of those tanks,
Robert?
Robert: Five, teacher.
Teacher: Now the multiplication problem for today
is this: How many persons were destroyed
yesterday?
Robert: 8 x 5 = 40
Teacher: Very good, Robert. That is the correct answer.
The next problem is this: if every person
in every tank had two surviving parents?
40 x 2 = 80
and one loving spouse?
40 x 1 = 40
and three children?
40 x 3 = 120
and only one friend in the whole world?
40 x 1 = 40
but one brother,
40
two sisters,
80
one grandmother?
40
Can you add those figures, Robert?
480, teacher.
How long to heal the grief, Robert?
I don't know.
How long for the rage to rest?
I don't know.
How long for you to forget yesterday?
I don't know.
That's the lesson for today.
But, teacher …
Yes?
I don't think the last question was fair.
Oh?
Because it was really just like Nintendo.
Oh … Robert.
Grand Junction, CO,
1991
