Tuesday, November 4, 2003

The weirdness of mathematicians

I woke up this morning, on my class free day, and thinking Winnie-the-Pooh-ish thoughts of my breakfast (porridge with honey and cream, two eggs on toast, strong black coffee, thanks for asking) I wandered downstairs.

I was not singing my very own morning song, a la Pooh Bear (pom tiddley um pom pom) but my iPod was at least providing me with a string of randomly selected jazz and other tunes.

Imagine my surprise then, when on opening the microwave I discovered a book.

Not just any old book mind you.

A large paperback copy of "The Topography of Algebra".

Mathematician No 2 later reported that he hadn't put it there, indeed he claimed to have spent much of the previous day searching his room for it, unsuccessfully. (Scarcely surprising given it's actual location.)

Mathematician No 1 also disclaims all knowledge and responsibility. But he may not himself be a credible witness.

When back in the kitchen at lunch, indulging in a smackerel of something, I had to point out to him (a) the existence of the dryer in our kitchen and (b) my good deed in putting his t-shirts through with my towels - when he expressed surprise at the sudden dryness of said shirts.

Our bed-maker (who cleans - for example - the kitchen, but does not make beds) exclaimed: "How did you not know there was a dryer?" - which fairly neatly echoed my own thinking.

"I have not washed since I arrive," he shrugged. "Well, I wash myself each day. But I have not used the machine."

Ladies and gentlemen, we are only four or five weeks into the term calendar. He has been home to Milan twice in that time, but surely he didn't take his laundry home to Mum on an international trip?


Should I be scared yet?

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