Monday, October 22, 2007

The Whereabouts of Scott No. 517 -- Installation Seven

(fiction, continuted from previous)

The Poplar Valley Historical Reenactment Society is sponsoring a Civil War Reenactment featuring musket firing, wound bandaging, cannon loading, army cooking, 19th century surgery and long distance marching. No two tasks will be demonstrated concurrently. Among the four volunteers—Scott No.71, Scott No. 72, Scott No. 73, and Scott No. 74—three will each demonstrate exactly two tasks. The demonstrations must occur in accordance with the following conditions:

∙Scott No. 71 demonstrates exactly one task before Scott No. 72 demonstrates any of the tasks.
∙Scott No. 71 performs neither the first nor the last demonstration.
∙Scott No. 72 demonstrates neither musket firing nor wound bandaging.
∙Scott No. 73 will not participate in any demonstration unless the event’s title is changed from “Civil War Reenactment” to “The War of Northern Aggression Reenactment.”
∙Scott No. 74 demonstrates neither musket firing nor 19th century surgery.
∙Wound bandaging is the next task demonstrated after 19th century surgery is demonstrated.

Question: Which one of the following must be true?
(A) Scott No. 71 demonstrates musket firing.
(B) Scott No. 74 demonstrates long distance marching.
(C) Scott No. 74 demonstrates cannon loading.
(D) Scott No. 72 is lactose intolerant.
(E) Scott No. 71 demonstrates wound bandaging.

* * *

Scott No. 111 went deaf from playing music too loudly. Now his actions resemble that of his cat, Monty. White cats with blue eyes are genetically predisposed to deafness. Monty was afraid of nothing. When other cats would have cowered from the vacuum Monty would stalk it. Attack it. And try very hard to sit on top of it while it was still running.

One day before he went deaf, Scott No. 111 was practicing with an oboist he was to accompany later that week. Suddenly the oboist burst out laughing. Scott No. 111 turned around to see Monty watching the shaking oboist.

“He just …” she stopped to laugh. “He just stuck his nose up my oboe.”

* * *

Correct answer: (A) Scott No. 71 demonstrates musket firing.

* * *

Scott No. 514’s claim to fame was his attendance of the fifth international philatelic exhibition, 1956. He was nine years old when his father took him to the New York Coliseum just for that purpose. His dad got him the stamps commemorating the occasion which was the logical thing to do if you spent a whole day showing a boy stamps and telling him stories about them.

When he was sixteen his father handed him the collection he had been working on for over twenty years and told Scott No. 514 that it was now his. His father’s only request was that it not be sold while he was still living. He remembered his father smelling of cigars that day. Whenever he smelled cigars he thought of his father. Or perhaps it was that cigars smelled like his father. He didn’t understand how association worked so he figured it could go either way.

His father died at age 59. Heart attack. Hadn’t taken care of himself. That year was the 32nd international philatelic exhibition.

Highly Recommended