"Here'* your first question," the foreman said,
"Without using numbers, represent the number 9."
"Without numbers?" the Norwegian says. "Dat is easy,"
and proceeds to draw three trees.
"What'* this?" the boss asks.
"Ave you got no brain? Tree and tree and tree make
nine," says the Norwegian.
"Fair enough," says the boss. "Here is your second
question. Use the same rules, but this time the number
The Norwegian stares into space for awhile, then picks
up the picture that he has just drawn and makes a
smudge on each tree. "Ere you go."
The boss scratches his head and says, "How on earth do
you get that to represent 99?"
"Each of da trees is dirty now! So it'* dirty tree,
and dirty tree, and dirty tree. Dat is 99."
The boss is getting worried he'* going to have to hire
this Norwegian, so he says, "All right, the last
question. Same rules again, but represent the number
The Norwegian stares into space some more, then he
picks up the picture again and makes a little mark at
the base of each tree, and says, "Ere you go. One
The boss looks at the attempt. "You must be nuts if
you think that represents a hundred!"
The Norwegian leans forward and points to the marks at
the base of each tree, and says "A little dog come
along and crap by each tree. So now you got dirty
tree and a turd, dirty tree and a turd, and dirty tree
and a turd, which makes one hundred. So when do I