Alarmed at the state of the country’s inability with numbers, a spokesman for the US Department of Education, Billy Bob Napton, asks the question, “ how many presidents does it take to build a wall?”
We all remember the question we were asked at school. “If it takes one man eight hours to build a wall, how long does it take four builders to build the same wall?” Simple arithmetic, and notwithstanding issues which are invariably raised in class about tea breaks, one builder arriving late, stopping for a trades union meeting and other realistic hurdles to any actual bricklaying taking place, the answer is, of course, two hours.
Such simple arithmetic needs more variables when building a wall between nations, however. Donald Trump, a keen would-be builder of walls, is discovering this. “How long does it take to build a wall along the Mexican border?” is perplexing him as is “who will pay for the damn thing?” given pesky Mexico’s refusal to pay and the even peskier Democrats pointing out that 800,000 federal workers are going without pay as Mr Trump looks for funds.
Other relevant questions include, “when will the whole embarrassing wall idea be quietly dropped?”, “who has the courage to point out to Mr Trump that the pesky Mexicans will simply tunnel under the wall if it’s built, partly because they still want to enter the USA, but mostly because they know that doing so will turn him a redder shade of orange in rage?” and finally, “how did this man become the President?” None of these questions helps to tackle our inability with numbers, but hey, who cares?