There once was a guy who wanted to know what two plus two was equal to. He could remember the answer he had been given at school but he wondered if it really was as simple as the teacher had said. His next door neighbour was a mathematician so he thought maybe he should be able to dispel any doubts he had.

He asked the mathematician, “What exactly is two plus two equal to?”.

“Four”, said the mathematician.

“Are you sure?”, he said.

“Absolutely”, said the mathematician.

“All the time?”, asked the guy.

“All the time”, reassured the mathematician.

The guy went away feeling happy with the answer he had heard.

However, as the days passed he began to think more deeply about the mathematician’s answer, maybe it would be a good idea to get a second opinion.

He knew accountants dealt with numbers so surely an accountant would know the answer to his question so he went down the high street until he spotted an accountant’s office.

He asked the accountant, “What exactly is two plus two equal to?”.

“Well, round about four”, said the accountant.

“Are you sure?”, he said.

“More or less”, said the accountant, “but anything between three point six and four point four is near enough”.

“All the time?”, asked the guy.

“Well, sometimes it might be a bit less or more than that but most of the time between three point six and four point four”.

This was not the answer he had hoped for, which troubled him a little. After pondering over this he thought it might be good idea to see a lawyer.

He asked the lawyer, “What exactly is two plus two equal to?”.

The lawyer sat up and looked around the room. He walked quietly to the door, opened it sharply and then looked out down the corridor. After he closed and turned the key in the door he stepped over to the window and pulled the curtains closed. Then he returned to his chair, put his hands together, smiled and asked, “What exactly would you like it to equal?”.

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