Daily Dose of Immortality

Can you do math? It’s a yes-or-no question. Give me the courtesy of a straight answer to my simple question.


Try this then. There were three people who checked into a hotel room that cost thirty dollars a night. Each one paid ten dollars. The clerk later figured out he had made a mistake and that it was a twenty-five-dollar room. He sent a bellboy up with five dollars in ones. The bellboy gave each of them a dollar back and kept two dollars as a tip. Each had originally paid ten dollars, and now with one back they had each paid nine dollars for the room. Three times nine is twenty-seven. That leaves three dollars from the original thirty. The bellboy kept two. How do you account mathematically for the missing dollar?

I don’t know.

If that’s how you do bookkeeping, they’d rob you blind.

[from Immortal for Quite Some Time]


About Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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2 Responses to Daily Dose of Immortality

  1. J.G. says:

    Yet another reason I’m happy I was an English major!


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