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No-Work Friday

(Eric Shansby)


Karl: This is a good idea!

Me: I think there may be a logical problem with your suggestion that we're not paid for Leap Day.

Karl: Actually, I didn't do the math.

Me: Me, neither. Two of the greatest mathematicians in the world did the math for me. Curtis McMullen at Harvard is a winner of the Fields Medal, which is math's equivalent of the Nobel. Terence Tao of UCLA won the Fields Medal and a MacArthur genius grant. I talked to both of them, and they both said that, mathematically, because most of us work for an hourly or weekly wage, most everyone is compensated for the extra day. Only people who are paid by the month lose a day's pay, but they're already getting overpaid in February, because it's so short.

Karl: Oh.

Me: So.

Karl: But, see, this isn't the point. I'm not a mathematician, but I understand poetry. And there is an inscrutable logic to the fact that this day is extra.

Me: Don't you mean immutable logic?

Karl: No, inscrutable. It can't be scruted.



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