Mathematics for Teaching Humor Two Plus Two Apples or Why Indians Flunk

Two Plus Two Apples or Why Indians Flunk

I found a piece of paper with this little poem inserted in my old notebook. It was written by Beverly Slapin. I realized I was born an Indian and will always be.
two apples

All right, class, let’s see who know what two plus two is. Yes, Doris?

I have a question. Two plus two what?

Two plus two anything.

I don’t understand.

OK, Doris, I’ll explain it to you. You have two apples and you get two more. How many do you have?

Where would I get two more?

From a tree.

Why would I pick two apples if I already have two?

Never mind, you have two apples and someone gives you two more.

Why would someone give me two more, if she could give them to someone who’s hungry?

Doris, it’s just an example.

An example of what?

Let’s try again—you have two apples and you find two more. Now, how many do you have?

Who lost them?


Well, if I ate one, and gave away the other three, I’d have none left, but I could always get some more if I got hungry from that tree you were talking about before.

Doris, this is your last chance—you have two, uh, buffalo, and you get two more. Now how many do you have?

It depends. How many are cows and how many are bulls, and is any of the cows pregnant?

It’s hopeless! You Indians have absolutely no grasp of abstraction!


-by Beverly Slapin


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