I told my algebra teacher that I didn’t understand algebra at all. I didn’t understand math with letters rather than numbers and I didn’t know what “X” was. He told me that “X” could be anything. I said that if that was true why did he mark my answer wrong. He sighed and shook his head while he walked off. Even the teacher didn’t have an answer to my question.

Sounds like “Bistro Math” from the “Hitch-Hikers guide to the Galaxy”

Bistromathics itself is simply a revolutionary new way of understanding the behaviour of numbers. Just as Einstein observed that time was not an absolute but depended on the observer’s movement in space, and that space was not an absolute, but depended on the observer’s movement in time, it is now realised that numbers are not absolute, but depended on the observer’s movement in restaurants.

The first non-absolute number is the number of people for whom the table is reserved. This will vary during the course of the first three telephone calls to the restaurant, and then bear no apparent relation to the number of people who actually turn up, or to the number of people who subsequently join them after the show/match/party/gig, or to the number of people who leave when they see who else has turned up. The second non-absolute number is the given time of arrival, which is now known to be one of those most bizarre of the mathematical concepts, a recipriversexcluson, a number whose existence can only be defined as being anything, other than itself. In other words, the given time of arrival is the one moment of time at which it is impossible that any member of the party will arrive.

Recipriversexclusons now play a vital part in many branches of math, including statistics and accountancy and also form the basic equations used to engineer the Somebody Else’s Problem field. The third and most mysterious piece of non-absoluteness of all lies in the relationship between the number of items on the check, the cost of each item, the number of people at the table and what they are each prepared to pay for. (The number of people who actually brought any money is only a sub-phenomenon in this field.) The baffling discrepancies that used to occur at this point remained uninvestigated for centuries simply because no one took them seriously. They were at the time put down to such things as politeness, rudeness, mea

They were at the time put down to such things as politeness, rudeness, meanness, flashiness, tiredness, emotionality or the lateness of the hour, and completely forgotten about on the following morning. They were never tested under laboratory conditions, of course, because they never occurred in laboratories – not in reputable laboratories at least.

And so it was only with the advent of pocket computers that the startling truth became finally apparent, and it was this: Numbers written on restaurant checks within the confines of restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the Universe. This single statement took the scientific world by storm. It completely revolutionised it. So many mathematical conferences got held in such good restaurants that many of the finest minds of a generation died of obesity and heart failure and the science of math was put back by years. Slowly, however, the implications of the idea began to be understood. To begin with it had been too stark, too crazy, too much like what the man in the street would have said “Oh, yes, I could have told you that.” Then some phrases like “Interactive Subjectivity Frameworks” were invented, and everybody was able to relax and get on with it.

Miss Wormwood gave up on ‘show me your work’ requirement. It caused excessive character development with Calvin and herself. In her case, the excessive character development was found in the bottom of a bottle of booze.

When my son struggled with math, I had him use manipulatives—small blocks that students can move around to work out basic math. His math skills soared because the abstract concepts became real to him.

Y is indeed a square number. (Even though I know Hobbes is full of it here, he’s selling his BS so well that I’m desperately trying to make sense of it.)

Interesting that Hobbes could also derive the correct answer from what he was doing. The area of the square would have been 18. then bisecting it would have equaled nine.

## The Calvinosaurus That Calvin Wanted To Discover 2 months ago

Miss Wormwood clearly hasn’t taught the Pythagorean theorem well enough.

## dadthedawg Premium Member 2 months ago

5 out of 4 people struggle with math…..

## Spacehog 2 months ago

The teacher would give credit for the creativity

## oldpine52 2 months ago

Now I know where common core came from.

## Blu Bunny 2 months ago

Count it out on your fingers.

## Blu Bunny 2 months ago

Hobbes is more knowledged in algebra and geometry, not basic math.

## Jonfield 2 months ago

I thought you had to multiply them?

## orinoco womble 2 months ago

That’s a new math, all right…

## Jayalexander 2 months ago

Same reason I flunked Algebra

## snsurone76 2 months ago

OK, Hobbes—explain the Pythagorean Theory!

## WaywardWind 2 months ago

I told my algebra teacher that I didn’t understand algebra at all. I didn’t understand math with letters rather than numbers and I didn’t know what “X” was. He told me that “X” could be anything. I said that if that was true why did he mark my answer wrong. He sighed and shook his head while he walked off. Even the teacher didn’t have an answer to my question.

## BigDaveGlass 2 months ago

Sounds like “Bistro Math” from the “Hitch-Hikers guide to the Galaxy”

Bistromathics itself is simply a revolutionary new way of understanding the behaviour of numbers. Just as Einstein observed that time was not an absolute but depended on the observer’s movement in space, and that space was not an absolute, but depended on the observer’s movement in time, it is now realised that numbers are not absolute, but depended on the observer’s movement in restaurants.The first non-absolute number is the number of people for whom the table is reserved. This will vary during the course of the first three telephone calls to the restaurant, and then bear no apparent relation to the number of people who actually turn up, or to the number of people who subsequently join them after the show/match/party/gig, or to the number of people who leave when they see who else has turned up. The second non-absolute number is the given time of arrival, which is now known to be one of those most bizarre of the mathematical concepts, a recipriversexcluson, a number whose existence can only be defined as being anything, other than itself. In other words, the given time of arrival is the one moment of time at which it is impossible that any member of the party will arrive.

Recipriversexclusons now play a vital part in many branches of math, including statistics and accountancy and also form the basic equations used to engineer the Somebody Else’s Problem field. The third and most mysterious piece of non-absoluteness of all lies in the relationship between the number of items on the check, the cost of each item, the number of people at the table and what they are each prepared to pay for. (The number of people who actually brought any money is only a sub-phenomenon in this field.) The baffling discrepancies that used to occur at this point remained uninvestigated for centuries simply because no one took them seriously. They were at the time put down to such things as politeness, rudeness, mea

## BigDaveGlass 2 months ago

They were at the time put down to such things as politeness, rudeness, meanness, flashiness, tiredness, emotionality or the lateness of the hour, and completely forgotten about on the following morning. They were never tested under laboratory conditions, of course, because they never occurred in laboratories – not in reputable laboratories at least.

And so it was only with the advent of pocket computers that the startling truth became finally apparent, and it was this: Numbers written on restaurant checks within the confines of restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the Universe. This single statement took the scientific world by storm. It completely revolutionised it. So many mathematical conferences got held in such good restaurants that many of the finest minds of a generation died of obesity and heart failure and the science of math was put back by years. Slowly, however, the implications of the idea began to be understood. To begin with it had been too stark, too crazy, too much like what the man in the street would have said “Oh, yes, I could have told you that.” Then some phrases like “Interactive Subjectivity Frameworks” were invented, and everybody was able to relax and get on with it.

## einarbt 2 months ago

I am glad Hobbes is there to help Calvin.

## jmworacle 2 months ago

Talk about the blind leading the visually impaired…

## Calvinist1966 2 months ago

This is the beginning of the story arc which will include the first ever mention of the Noodle Incident.

## Ropey Wee Yoofo 2 months ago

This was always an unusual strip, in that it focuses on making

Hobbeslook ridiculous.## Gent 2 months ago

Use yours fingers kid. There ten of em.

## jahays1 2 months ago

I think Hobbes could get a job at NASA or at least Boeing.

## mckeonfuneralhomebx 2 months ago

Hobbes was almost there, if he answered it 3 squared he would have gotten out of home work for the whole year.

## Watchdog 2 months ago

Are Calvin and the cat working in a government office

## SquidGamerGal 2 months ago

GAH!! It’s 9! You should know this stuff by now!

## Twelve Badgers in a Suit Premium Member 2 months ago

A square with sides of different lengths. That makes sense.

## Purple People Eater 2 months ago

6 + 3 = 6.7 according to Hobbes.

## Robert4170 2 months ago

This is the same kid with an immense vocabulary and grasp of philosophical concepts.

## baskate_2000 2 months ago

This is where Hobbes’ stuffed animal brain comes into play.

## Redd Panda 2 months ago

All seems logical to me. Where’s the joke?

## rshive 2 months ago

Tiger math is different from human math.

## rockyridge1977 2 months ago

Yep…..gonna make it work!!!!!

## uniquename 2 months ago

“Y as in y do we care” That’s great!

## EMGULS79 2 months ago

Given that Hobbes lives only in Calvin’s imagination, he should have mentioned imaginary numbers!!

## notjimothy 2 months ago

Dad and at least one CPA tried to teach me the Times Tables before giving up. Mom ,a school teacher, never even tried

## Angry Indeed Premium Member 2 months ago

Listening to Hobbes’s explanations of how to solve the problem is like peering into to Calvin’s brain, watching a Rube Goldberg machine in action.

## dflak 2 months ago

How much is 6 + 3?

Accountant: 9

Carpenter: eight and 63/64th of an inch.

Engineer: (fiddling with his slide rule): 8.999

Lawyer: How much do you want it to be.

Arizona Republican: Some say it’s 9 but we’re still recounting.

Florida Educator: That’s woke math.

## gozirra2 Premium Member 2 months ago

Miss Wormwood gave up on ‘show me your work’ requirement. It caused excessive character development with Calvin and herself. In her case, the excessive character development was found in the bottom of a bottle of booze.

## g04922 2 months ago

LOL… Tiger Math is complicated.

## Radkins27 2 months ago

Oh, come on! It’s obviously 63!

## MEPace 2 months ago

I wish I had had Hobbes as my teacher. My math teacher started with the Peano axioms.

## locake 2 months ago

My daughter did well on Algebra tests. It asked Can you Solve for X? Her answer was No, I cannot. That was correct for her.

## Just-me 2 months ago

Calvin, you take the square root of the hippopotamus and divide by 36 to get the answer.

## rasputin's horoscope 2 months ago

All the comic strip boys are having math issues today.

## worddancer 2 months ago

When my son struggled with math, I had him use manipulatives—small blocks that students can move around to work out basic math. His math skills soared because the abstract concepts became real to him.

## John Jorgensen 2 months ago

Y is indeed a square number. (Even though I know Hobbes is full of it here, he’s selling his BS so well that I’m desperately trying to make sense of it.)

## Skeptical Meg 2 months ago

Well, the answer

isa square number.## Calvins Brother 2 months ago

Go ask Susie and Mr Bun.

## DJohnny 2 months ago

I’m sharing an old classic!

There are 10 types of people who has an opinion about this comic – the ones who like it, and the ones who dislike it.

## kendavis09 2 months ago

If your IQ divided by your age is less than (0) then the answer is the square root of 81.

## billdaviswords 2 months ago

One of the best Calvin and Hobbes, and that’s saying a lot.

## anomaly 2 months ago

But one side of the square is 3 and 3-squared is 9. See how easy it is?

## kathleenhicks62 2 months ago

Wow! They sure lost me!

## drds2 2 months ago

If it doesn’t make sense just make a bigger square! Or shift the goal posts ..

## lnrokr55 2 months ago

Well, good luck with your career driving for Uber, they love having people that work for them that can’t do math ! ;-)

## apoch003 2 months ago

Interesting that Hobbes could also derive the correct answer from what he was doing. The area of the square would have been 18. then bisecting it would have equaled nine.

## kjnrun 2 months ago

There are three types of people in the world; those that can count and those that can’t.

## Nick Danger 2 months ago

This sounds like the common core solution to math problems

## Rio Smith 2 months ago

reading this during a math class and trying to keep the laugh in

## Karptaz 2 months ago

Has to be the new math

## willie_mctell 2 months ago

I didn’t have any trouble with arithmetic but I never checked my work so I often got wrong answers.

## eric.franz.petras 2 months ago

If his measurement of the diagonal is under 2, he doesn’t know how to use a ruler either.

## mac04416 2 months ago

Oh come on people Y = 6.7

## ellisaana Premium Member 2 months ago

What Hobbs lacks in math ability, he makes up in creativity.

## Strawberry King 2 months ago

Come again, Hobbes?

## wiley207 2 months ago

Indeed, I remember how difficult “higher math” was starting in high school.