Base Nine

–Hey man, help me with this tip.  What’s like 15% of $24?

–I dunno.  My phones’ dead.

–I wouldn’t have asked you if I could have just done it on my phone myself.  You think three dollar is enough?  The waitress was pretty cool with us.

–Sure, I guess.  I’m not really good with math, though.

–It’s not that hard actually.  Just move the decimal point over by one and add an extra half of that.

–I can’t keep up with you when you say that.  Like I said, I’m really not good at math.  I don’t really even like it either.

–That just means you had a bad teacher or something.

–No, it all just started out bad actually.  You know how they encourage you to count on your fingers until you eventually can do simple stuff in your head?  That never worked for me to begin with.  I only have 9 fingers.

–Really?  Wow, I never noticed.

–Yeah.  Neither did I.  Nor my parents, or any doctors.  Not even the teachers, despite all my struggles.  Everyone was told to count to ten on their fingers, but I always just assumed that there was an extra number in there that I was adding or something.  I can’t remember which number I cut out of my own personal existence, but once that one was gone, I could count to ten just fine, except the number four or something didn’t exist.  I became overwhelmed trying to find out which numbers were wrong or right.

–No way.

–Eventually when I got into more complex math, I was already way behind, and nothing made sense.  It wasn’t until much later after failing many Math classes later that I discovered the problem, but only after getting my first girlfriend.

–What did that do?

–You know when you hold hands with someone and your fingers kind of lace together nicely?  My left hand would never do that, and the girl eventually examined my fingers to try and find out the problem.  I was born without a ring finger on that hand.  Never occurred to me that it wasn’t normal.

–So you’ve been in base nine all your life, then?

–What?  I told you, don’t talk that math stuff with me.

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