Word problems, Red Lobster and Schizophrenics

Part 2 – (‘Siderodromophobia’ and Other Word Problem Woes)

Okay, dear reader, I hate to keep you in suspense any longer as to the solution to the word problem I blogged about in my previous blog….

My hubby, David, solved it. I had also sent the problem out to my kids – all grown, via text on their phones. The discussion went like this:

Solve the word problem

Solve the word problem

“Can you solve this word problem? I
couldn’t. But your dad did. That
second sentence is the foggiest of
any sentence I’ve seen in my 62 1/2 years”

Meredith, our daughter-in-law, answered back within 5 minutes …

“30.333333 for her, 60.333333
for him….?”

Me: “‘A’ for speedy response.
He must have robbed the cradle
for sure..”

Meredith: “Sugar Daddy.
I think my decimals are off tho…
Math gives me question marks.
Oh, duh, 30.5 and 60.5
Wait, no, that’s not it either. I’m
bowing out and leaving it to the scientists”

Me: “I hear you Meredith. I’m into
pulling numbers out of a hat
here and seeing if they fit. Yet,
more inclined to think about this
relationship, why they are
together in the first place and
assuming money is a factor”

Then son, Ben pipes in:

“He is 52 and she is 39.
Pretty simple system of
equations.” (Ben has a Physics degree)

Meredith: “LOL, Jody. I guess we’ll just have
to stick to sparkling narratives”

Ben: “Kind of crazy that they were
born on the same date, and
today is their birthday.” (HUH?)

Meredith: “Maybe that’s what brought them
together … they met at a Red
Lobster where they were both
getting a stupid birthday song
with their all-you-can-eat shrimp.”

Son, Adam (married to Meredith) joins the conversation:

“Nice try, Ben, but it’s a trick
question. He’s actually a
schizophrenic and there is no wife!”

Meredith: “Hahahahaha”
“Oh I love you”

Ben: “LOL”

Okay, so here’s the solution, the set of equations that describe the word problem, per my husband, David, the physicist:

“If you add the age of a man to the age of his wife, the result is 91”

x (his age) + y (her age) = 91

“He is now twice as old as she was when he was as old as she is now” (HUH?)

Okay, since the difference in their ages is a constant, (x-y), when he was her age, y, she was (x-y) years younger.

So mathematically that statement is written as:

x (his age now ) = 2 [y-(x-y)]

To solve:
x = 2(y-x+y)
x = 2(2y-x)
x = 4y-2x
3x = 4y
x = 4y/3

Substitute into the first equation: x+y = 91 (where x = 4y/3)

4y/3 + y = 91
4y + 3y = 273
7y = 273
y= 273 / 7
y = 39

So, …. x + 39 = 91

x = 91-39

x = 52

So he is 52 and she is 39. (Yes, he did rob the cradle.)

And now, somehow, when I think about this problem I can’t get beyond the vision in my head of me at Red Lobster, smelling shrimp, with a bunch of employees around my head singing “Happy Birthday”, surrounded by schizophrenics.

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2 Responses to “Word problems, Red Lobster and Schizophrenics”

  1. melissafelicia Says:

    I spent so long trying to figure out what equation to use. That sentence was so difficult to understand, I had to read it a few times!

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