This is a fictitious essay on mathematics based on genuine student bloopers. Although the story is fictitious, the bloopers are real. I have merely woven them into a more coherent structure.

In mathematics, Persia gave us the dismal system. A decimal is a fraction with a point. A point is that which will not appear any bigger even if you get a magnifying glass.

The Egyptians gave us pyramids, huge triangular cubes. The French gave us a measure of length called the centipede. Whereas, a litre is a nest of young puppies. Italians gave us Roman numerals. For example, in Roman numerals, LXXX means love and kisses.

A related branch of mathematics is trigonometry, which is when a lady marries three men at the same time. Trigonometry may involve a matrix, a part of a bed. Two of the main functions of trigonometry are sin and co-sin.

Geometry teaches us to bisex angels. There are two kinds of angels — right angels and left angels. We make a right angle out of a straight line by bisecting the hypothesis. An angle is a triangle with only two sides. The line opposite the right angle is a right-angled triangle and is called the hippopotamus. A hypotenuse is the thing someone saw when he had a bath and he yelled "I've found it".

A triangle is a circle with three corners to it or a square with only three corners. We know that if three sides of a triangle are equal, the other side must be equal also. This kind of triangle is called equatorial. An equilateral triangle, on the other hand, is a four-sided figure with all its five sides equal. A four-sided triangle is called a paradox.

Isosceles triangles are used on maps to join up places with the same weather. An obscene-angled triangle has none of its angles equal, while an obtuse-angled triangle is a solid three-sided figure with thick sides. A polygon with seven sides is called a hooligan; and a trapezium is the thing in the gymnasium.

A circle is a rounded figure made up of a crooked straight line bent so as the ends meet; the line has no kinks in it so as not to show where it began. A circle has no corners and only one side. It really is a line which meets its other end without ending. To find the centre of a given circle first get a pair of compasses and draw the circle. Punch a hole in the middle, hold the paper to the light, and see the hole in the middle. That is the centre.

By contrast, to find the area of the walls of a room, you take a barometer and multiply by the height. A line is a length of breadth. Parallel lines are those that do not convert, except when they meet at the far end of infinity. A sphere is two hemispheres stuck together; a curve is the longest way between two points; and a quotation is the answer to a division sum. For example, to divide 4 potatoes equally among 5 persons, the answer — or quotation — is to mash them.