The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

Table Dancers
by Michael A. Kechula

“Sister Mary Ellen, how many angels can dance on a table, all at the same time?”

“Such a question, Tommy! Why do you ask?”

“I heard two drunks arguing about the number of angels that could dance on a table that could hold ten pitchers of beer.”

“Drunks? Beer? How shameful! What did they say?”

“One said, ‘Does it matter? I think the question really should be what kind of dance they are doing.’ They got into a fistfight when one said they’d do a ballet. And the other said it would be something lively, like a polka, because angels are always happy.”

“They fought over what kind of dance angels would do on a table?”

“No, it was about whether angels are happy all the time or not.”

“Mercy! Let that be a lesson. Never get drunk. See how it leads to more sin? Fighting and hurting each other like that. Shameful. Their Guardian Angels must be weeping for their souls. They’re obviously not devout believers.”

“They ain’t. My mom said they’re devout alcoholics.”

“Well, to answer your question. I suspect that several million can dance on a table all at the same time. Of course they wouldn't dance on any table holding beer. Heavens! Now, given that at least one angel -- let’s settle on one for the moment -- 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.”

“Which table?”

“Any table. Do you remember the formula for calculating the area of a square or rectangle?”

“L times W equals A. But what if it’s a round table?”

"Use the formula for calculating the area of a circle. We'll be discussing that in class, next week. Now, once we have the area of the table, and figure how many pinheads would fit in that area, we must take into account that pinheads are round. So, there may be some space between angels when they’re standing elbow to elbow. I don't recall seeing any formula for that. Hmmm. Might have something to do with Celestial Mechanics. Well, that's a good homework project for you for tonight. Now run along. Recess is almost over."

“Yes, Sister Mary Ellen. Oh, what kind of dance do you think they’d do on top of a table?”

“Whatever works best with Gregorian Chant.”