"Sister Mary Ellen, how many angels can dance on a table at the same time?
"Why do you ask, Tommy?"
"I heard two drunks arguing about how many angels could dance on a table that’s holding ten pitchers of beer."
"Drunks? Beer? How shameful! What did they say?"
"One said, ‘Does it matter? The question should be what kind of dance they’re doing.’ They started to fight when one said they’d do a ballet, and other said a polka, because angels are always happy."
"Let that be a lesson. Never get drunk. See how it leads to sin? Fighting each other like that. Shameful. They’re obviously not Catholic."
"My mom said they’re Devout Alcoholics."
"To answer your question, I suspect several million can dance on a table at any given time. Of course they’d never dance on tables used for beer. Now, let’s just say one angel can dance on the head of a pin. All we have to do is figure how many pin heads can fit within the area of a table. Do you remember how to calculate area of a rectangle?"
"Length times width equals area."
"Correct. Okay, for homework tonight, work out the problem. Let’s say the table’s 4 by 6 feet, and one pin head takes up 1/100th of an inch. Now run along. Recess is almost over."
"Yes, Sister. Oh, what kind of dance do you think they’d do on top of a table?"
"Whatever works best with Gregorian Chant."
submitted at 4:47am
31 May 2009
Michael's stories have been published by 108 magazines and 30 anthologies.