Thursday, August 04, 2011

"What I Did Last Summer"

 
An essay like that used to be a standard back to school homework ritual.


I don't remember what I wrote for the summer between the 5th and 6th grades; probably something like “a week at Myrtle Beach....





Municipal Swimming Pool

...as many bus trips to Municipal Swimming Pool as my parents could afford"...and I might have thrown in a mention of a couple of books I checked out of the library. (I didn't read them, of course, but figured that checking them out should count for something.)




But what I, and my gang of buddies, mostly did for the greater part of those long days that summer was to try and solve this puzzle:
Pastry Driver Puzzle
Pastry Delivery Van

It was presented to us by a pastry delivery truck driver, who decided to make friends with our ragtag bunch. (In fact, it might have been his company's policy for delivery men to get on the good side of hungry kids who hung around places where their deliveries were left outside unattended for short periods of time.)

Anyway, he said that if any of us could draw the above diagram......WITHOUT lifting our pencil (or pen) AND WITHOUT drawing OVER any lines........then he would give us a large cake....that we could divide up among ourselves.

Wow! Who could resist such a simple challenge as that?!

And who would have thought that four boys could spend the better part of three months trying to solve an impossible puzzle?  It almost drove us nuts.

Actually, it wasn't impossible. At the end of August of that year, our pastry delivery man explained that if you FOLDED the paper a certain way....it could be done.

Darn! It was a trick!

He gave us the cake anyway. It was probably pretty good, but more importantly was the lesson I learned from that experience:

“NEVER PLAY A LOUSY TRICK ON GULLIBLE YOUNG KIDS,  BECAUSE ONE OF THEM MIGHT HOLD IT AGAINST YOU FOR A LONG, LONG TIME!"


-Ed