It’s International Joke Day today, so here’s a little joke for you:
A guy thought it would be fun to have a strange pet. So he went to the pet store and bought a talking centipede (100-legged bug), which came in a little white box.
The guy took the box home, found a nice spot for it, and decided he would start off by taking his new pet shopping. He asked the centipede in the box, “Would you like to go to the store with me? We’ll have a great time.”
But there was no answer from his new talking pet.
This bothered him, since the bug was supposed to talk. He waited a minute, then asked again: “How about going to the store with me to shop?”
The guy waited and waited, but again, no answer from the centipede.
Finally the guy put his face right up against the centipede’s house and shouted, “HEY IN THERE!!! Do you want to go out to the store with me?”
A little voice came out of the box: “Chill out, I heard you the first time!! I’m putting on my shoes.”
Wee ones: How many shoes do you put on each morning to cover your feet?
Little kids: If your pet centipede starts putting on shoes at 3 pm and takes 3 hours, when is the centipede finally done? Bonus: If you and your pet ladybug need shoes too, how many shoes do the 3 of you need in total?
Big kids: If your pet centipede wears purple, orange, green, red, and blue shoes, and wants the same number of each, how many pairs of each color does it need? Bonus: If instead the centipede wears all blue shoes except every 3rd pair is red, at most how many red pairs can the bug wear?
Wee ones: 2 shoes.
Little kids: At 6 pm. Bonus: 108 shoes.
Big kids: 10 pairs of each, since the bug wears 20 shoes in each color. Bonus: 17 pairs. If it were the 3rd, 6th, 9th, etc. pairs that were red, there would be 16 pairs, ending on the 48th. But if we shift up one so it’s the 4th, 7th, 10th, etc., then you still have 16 pairs AND can fit in one more pair on the 1st pair of feet, giving us 17 pairs.
And thank you Gil and Emily B. for sending us this number-fun joke! And for the record, real centipedes have 34 legs; only the talking ones have 100.
Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.