The year was 2000 + 80. The Math Rush was upon us. I saw a lot of good people die because they didn’t have basic math skills.
I held him in my arms as he coughed up blood. “Just…one question…what’s 80 divided by 4…” I looked sad. “20.” “Okay thanks.” He died.
Clouds filled the sky and pain filled my heart.
All starting to add up. Who has the most to gain from arithmetic puzzles that increase in difficulty every few feet? I headed to the Math District.
The rain fell off the brim of my hat and got my shoes wet. That’s okay, they were already wet. Because of puddles.
Math temptresses seducted me from street-corners. I bet they knew subtraction. But not tonight. I entered the math club and spotted a familiar face.
“Math Blaster,” I spat. Older, fatter, greener, but it was him all right. He smiled. “Is that any way to greet an old friend?”
“You got this whole city doing long division, but I got you by the short hairs. Shut down the Math Rush or else.”
Math Blaster rolled away with surprising agility for a washed-up edutainment icon. “Get ‘im, boys!”
Bullets sprayed through the air, each one representing a simple but instructional math problem. I’m getting too old for this shit…
I flipped a multiplication table over and listened as the bullets impacted the didactic varnish. If each gun has 20 rounds and there are 3 guns firing 1 bullet per second and this table can take 70 bullets before breaking–ahh fuck it. Word problems were never my strong suit. But my strong suit…was my strong suit. By that I mean my bullet proof vest. I ran for it.