Joanna Carlton

Back To The Blackboard

It was just one of those days. JOANNA CARLTON went out shopping and came back with the wrong change. It could happen to anybody, and it certainly happened to Joanna, a Nottingham housewife.

“Yes, I know,” said Mr. Carlton, “but it happened last Christmas as well. Back to the blackboard for you, dear wife, and we'll start with practical mathematics and end with trigonometry, and though it'll hurt me more than it’ll hurt you we’ll both feel all the better for it.” “I don’t think it will make me feel better at all,” said Joanna. “Can't I just go out to knitting classes?"

“Back to the blackboard,” said hubby and back to the blackboard it was, and Joanna started with how many beans make five and what happens when you buy seven oranges and give a quarter of them to that nice bus conductor on the way home.

Then she went on to practical mathematics and wished fervently she'd stayed with the five beans and seven oranges, because she was never very good at any kind of mathematics and likes just being a happy housewife and a good cook and a great help to her husband when he's having trouble mending a fuse.

“What,” said hubby, “is the distance between A and C?”

“Five and a half oranges,” said Joanna.

Never mind, it was a gallant try and she felt all the better for it, even if he didn’t.