Norwegian Math

Ole is out of work and applies for a job at a plant which is known for not hiring Norwegians. He would have to answer some questions in order to be hired.

"Here's your first question," the boss said. "Without using numbers, represent the number 9."

"Vitout numbers?" Ole says. "Vell den, I can do dat easy," and proceeds to draw three trees.

What's this?" the boss asks.

"Ain't you got no brain? Tree and tree and tree make nine," says Ole.

"Fair enough," says the boss. "Here is your second question. Use the same rules, but this time the number is 99."

Ole stares blankly into space for a while, then picks up the picture that he has just drawn and makes a smudge on each tree. "'O K den, here yew go."

The boss scratches his head and says, "How on earth do you get that to represent 99?"

"Each of da trees is dirty now! So it's dirty tree, and dirty tree, and dirty tree. Dat is 99."

The boss is getting worried he's going to have to hire this Norwegian, but then figures out one that he figures Ole doesn't have a chance and and says, "All right, last question. Same rules again, but represent the number 100."

Ole stares into space some more, then he picks up the picture again and makes a little mark at the base of each tree, and says, "OK den, here you go. Vun hunderd."

The boss looks at the attempt. "You must be nuts if you think that represents a hundred!"

Ole leans forward and points to the marks at the base of each tree, and says, "A little dog come along and he craps by each tree. So now you got dirty tree and a turd, dirty tree and a turd, and dirty tree and a turd, Dat makes a hunderd.

Ven do I start?"