## Sunday, February 26, 2023

### Flashback to 2006 and an Early Vaudeville Routine

Abbott and Costello kept many standard routines in vaudeville and burlesque alive through repeated repurposing of gags, and not being afraid to recycle them in their films and move them wholesale into the TV medium a few years later.

This one appears in at least two of A&C's movies, and I was able to trace it back to at least 1911 when it was recorded by the team of Montgomery and Stone, who marked their names to history by being the first Scarecrow and Tin Woodman in the stage version of "Wizard of Oz" in 1903.

Given the loose narrative of that early production, it would be easy to imaging the pair putting this brief exchange to work as a way to check the Scarecrow's lack of a brain.

I tossed this together for a program of theatrical turns that made their way through Battle Creek in the years before WWI.  Others passing through the cereal city in those years would have included the Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, and Sarah Bernhardt.

And, since I can't get enough out of annoying Chat GPT these days,

My question:
A man is forty, and his wife is 10.  He's 4 times older than she is.  They wait five years, and he's now 45, and his wife is 15.  He's 3 times older than she is.  They wait another 15 years, and he's 60, and his wife is 30.  He's 2 times older than she is.  The question is - how long do they have to wait until they're both the same age?

ChatGPT:
This is a classic math puzzle that involves using algebra to solve the problem. Let's use "x" to represent the number of years they need to wait until they are both the same age.
We know that the man is currently four times older than his wife, which means that:
40 = 4 * 10
We also know that after 5 years, he will be three times older than his wife, which means that:
45 = 3 * 15
And after another 15 years, he will be two times older than his wife:
60 = 2 * 30
Now, we can set up an equation using "x" as the number of years they need to wait until they are both the same age. If we add "x" years to the man's age, he will be the same age as his wife. This gives us the equation:
40 + x = 30 + x/2
Simplifying this equation, we get:
x/2 = 10
x = 20
Therefore, they need to wait for 20 years until they are both ...

The cursor after “both” began blinking - it blinked for 10 minutes, I had a chance to take out the recycling and returned to, “Error in creating a response.”

I said, “Try again”

ChatGPT said
This is a classic math puzzle that involves using algebra to solve for the unknown variable, which in this case is the number of years they need to wait until they are both the same age.

Let's represent the man's current age as x and his wife's current age as y. We can set up three equations based on the information given:

Equation 1: x = 4y - 30 (because he is 4 times older than her when he is 40 and she is 10)
Equation 2: x + 5 = 3(y + 5) (because he is 3 times older than her when he is 45 and she is 15)
Equation 3: x + 20 = 2(y + 20) (because he is 2 times older than her when he is 60 and she is 30)

We can simplify these equations and solve for x and y:

From Equation 1, we get y = (x + 30) / 4
From Equation 2, we get y = (x + 10) / 3 - 5/3
From Equation 3, we get y = (x + 40) / 2 - 20

Now we can set these three expressions for y equal to each other:

(x + 30) / 4 = (x + 10) / 3 - 5/3 = (x + 40) / 2 - 20

Simplifying this equation, we get:

3(x + 30) = 4(x + 10) - 20 = 2(x + 40)

Solving for x in each of these equations gives us:

x = 60

Therefore, the man and his wife will be the same age in 60 years.

And I replied:  But in 60 years, the man will be 120, and his wife will be 90.  That's not the same age.

Chat GPT replied:  You are correct. I apologize for the error in my previous response. The answer I provided is not correct.  In fact, it is not possible for the man and his wife to be the same age because the man is always older than his wife. We can see this by using the equations we set up in the previous response.

If we set y = x in the third equation, we get:

x + 20 = 2(x + 20)/2 - 20

Simplifying this equation gives us:

x + 20 = x + 20 - 20

This reduces to:

0 = 0

This means that the equation is always true, regardless of the value of x. Therefore, the man and his wife will never be the same age.

--

That still isn't a proof, but I don't need Chat GPT to start messing with the SmartTV downstairs.