While it’s not too late, run away. Run as fast as you can before you go on reading any further.
Because I’m about to introduce you to a math problem that’s going to plunge you into Dante’s ninth circle of Hell.
Yes, a math problem. Apparently cute cat memes, snarky hash tags and lip syncing to Carly Rae Jepsen aren’t the only things that go viral. For the first time that I can remember, a logic question went viral — and one that originated in Singapore, no less.
If you don’t have a knack for math or logic, then trying your hand at this problem will be as fruitless as your attempts trying to figure out a Rubik’s Cube.
You’ve been warned.
I first stumbled across the problem on The Atlantic yesterday, even though it was published on many other sites. My mind processed two things: “math problem” and “viral.”
So naturally, I said, there’s no way in hell I am going to get caught up in this. It was a few minutes before midnight, and I told myself that I have better things to do with my time right now than waste it doing math.
But, of course, I then thought: “Eh, I’ll just take one look and see what it says.”
Next thing I knew, it was 12:45 a.m., and I wanted to kill myself.
It’s not that the problem is extremely advanced, but it’s just that it’s been a really long time since I’ve tried to figure out a logic problem. Because you forget that, with logic, the progression of the clues often defy common sense. So to figure it out, you have to completely ignore reason and simply work it out step-by-step. I was too stubborn to do that.
Instead, I tried to figure out why Albert and Bernard were saying the things that they said, instead of using their statements as instructions.
As you can see, this was extremely frustrating. I got halfway through the riddle, but couldn’t figure it out. I gave up. But the Guardian explains the answer in detail, and of course makes it seem so simple. While I understand it now, thinking about it makes my head hurt.
I basically felt like Dennis Quaid did during his recent explosion on the set of whatever movie or TV show he is currently filming, which also went viral, and is totally outstanding and worth the watch. Without a doubt, it’s his best performance in years, if not ever. Although, thinking about The Rookie still gets me choked up. (Editor’s note: turns out that was actually a Funny or Die sketch. Bravo, Funny or Die.)
But anyway, math is one of those things that if you don’t like it, it’s pretty easy to avoid throughout life. I had been doing that until I came across this problem. And I vow, from this day forward, I will never do math ever again. Numbers are dead to me. Unless I get a hot girl’s phone number at a bar this weekend. Then I love numbers.
One woman’s number I don’t want to get? Cheryl. That bitch will not be getting a birthday gift from me this year.