An Italian wants a job, but the foreman won’t hire him until he passes a little math test.

Here is your first question, the foreman said. “Without using numbers, represent the number ‘9’.”

“Without numbers?” The Italian says, ‘Atsa no problem.’ And proceeds to draw three trees.
‘What’s this?’ the boss asks.

“Eh! Come on Boss, attsa easy to figure oud. Tree and tree and tree makesa nine,’ says the Italian.

‘Fair enough,’ says the boss. “Here’s your second question. Use the same rules, but this time the number is… 99”.

The Italian stares into space for a while, then picks up the picture that he has just drawn and makes a smudge on each tree. ‘Ere you go.’

The boss scratches his head and says, ‘How on earth do you get that to represent 99?’

‘Each of da trees is dirty now. So, it’s dirty tree (33), and dirty tree, and dirty tree. Datsa ’99.’

The boss is getting worried that he’s going to actually have to hire this Italian, so he says, ‘All right, last question. Same rules again, but represent the number 100.’

The Italian stares into space some more, then he picks up the picture again and makes a little mark at the base of each tree and says, “Yo, here you go. One hundred.”

The boss looks at the attempt. “You must be nuts if you think that represents a hundred!”

The Italian leans forward and points to the marks at the base of each tree and says, “A little dog come along and poop by each tree. So now you got dirty tree and a turd, dirty tree and a turd, and dirty tree and a turd, which make one hundred.”

The Italian is now the new supervisor.

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