Boarding-House Geometry

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Boarding-House Geometry  (1910) 
by Stephen Leacock
Appeared in Literary Lapses, published in 1910.

DEFINITIONS AND AXIOMS[edit]

All boarding-houses are the same boarding-house.

Boarders in the same boarding-house and on the same flat are equal to one another.

A single room is that which has no parts and no magnitude.

The landlady of a boarding-house is a parallelogram--that is, an oblong angular figure, which cannot be described, but which is equal to anything.

A wrangle is the disinclination of two boarders to each other that meet together but are not in the same line.

All the other rooms being taken, a single room is said to be a double room.

POSTULATES AND PROPOSITIONS[edit]

A pie may be produced any number of times.

The landlady can be reduced to her lowest terms by a series of propositions.

A bee line may be made from any boarding-house to any other boarding-house.

The clothes of a boarding-house bed, though produced ever so far both ways, will not meet.

Any two meals at a boarding-house are together less than two square meals.

If from the opposite ends of a boarding-house a line be drawn passing through all the rooms in turn, then the stovepipe which warms the boarders will lie within that line.

On the same bill and on the same side of it there should not be two charges for the same thing.

If there be two boarders on the same flat, and the amount of side of the one be equal to the amount of side of the other, each to each, and the wrangle between one boarder and the landlady be equal to the wrangle between the landlady and the other, then shall the weekly bills of the two boarders be equal also, each to each.

For if not, let one bill be the greater.

Then the other bill is less than it might have been--which is absurd.

This work is now in the public domain because it originates from Canada and its term of copyright has expired.

The author died in 1944, so this work is in the public domain in Canada because, according to Canadian copyright law, all private copyrights expire fifty years after the year marking the death of the author. This work also in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1944, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 60 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.