Pet Peeves

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By Mark D. Crantz

I was never good at math. So, I’m probably the wrong guy to review the Indy’s “Math Teachers on Maternity See Paychecks Slashed to Fund Subs.” Right off the headline, I thought how unfair it was to make a teacher on maternity leave pay for Subway subs for all the other teachers. It’s only marginally healthier than letting them eat cake

Then I read further and saw the entire calculation. 1 husband + 1 wife + 1 baby + 1 substitute = 4 family members. It didn’t look right. I went back to my sex education class notes on the birds and the bees. 1 bird + 1 bee = 1 dead bee (without its stinger) + 1 bird in shock and grounded by the FAA.

The sex education notes were not helpful. I reread the Indy article. Oh, wait I think I get it now. The math teacher had to take some of her pay to help subsidize the substitute teacher who was filling in for her. So, the correct calculation is 1 husband paycheck + ½ wife paycheck = 0 baby paycheck + ½ substitute paycheck, or condensed is 1 and ½ = ½. This cleared it up for me. Babies don’t come with jobs and paychecks, and are a problem from the get go. They look cute, but do not contribute to a family’s financial stability.

I called Perfect Babies Genetic Research Labs for a comment. They explained that today’s parents are asking for ways to have a boy or a girl—a baby with certain eye color, or a baby with a high IQ (a genetic alteration not available for me, obviously.) So far, no prospective couple has requested a baby with a paycheck. I shared the Indy article with the Perfect Baby researchers and encouraged them to research ways to make “money-making” babies to help alleviate the financial burden they cause at their birth when the doctor slaps their little behinds in a vain attempt to find their wallets.

Until the researchers can genetically alter things, I suggest that parents learn to live with a mathematical equation that has been proven over and over. Family revenue is < than family expenses. How families can live like this has never been understood or adequately explained by leading economists. But somehow, most families make it, while just a few grown up babies ever pay back their parents. Yes, it’s just a few. But maybe you’ve made one of the great babies by accident.

Hope for the best and expect for the < than forever. Then if it turns out to be < than, then hope for the best from your grandchildren. They won’t let you down when they come with their wallets attached to their cute little behinds.


Crantz tells the Indy that he’s one of the lucky parents. His kids are financial math wizards.

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