Quantum maths a.k.a. Bobenomics

WARD 12, PARIRENYATWA HOSPITAL, HARARE - Mr. Editor, my dear, I am really not feeling very well at all. Things are really bad. The government has just introduced compulsory payment for all outpatients of this mental institution. Imagine! All those poor people who have been drive

n crazy by living this life we have to live in this poor Zimbabwe of ours – now they even have to pay for a few zhing-zhong tablets to take their mind somewhere else. Maiweee, Mr Editor, I’m telling you things are BAD.
Myself, I’m not doing so well. All my friends who used to chat to me through the fence while they were standing in the outpatients queue – they have gone. They used to give me all the latest news. Now nothing. No queues. Nobody has got money. So why wait in the queue – just to be told you must pay or voetsak? Huh?
Anyway, I’m just sending you my new theory this week – well not actually mine. It was sent to me by my very clever friend. I trust your readers will find it useful:
Introduction to the Zimbabwe Theory of Quantum Mathematics (Also known as Bobenomics). The day is very hot and you are passing the Keg and Sable in Borrowdale, so naturally you go in for a nice cold beer. The barman informs you that one beer now costs Z$150 000. You can pay with three crisp new $50 000 notes, still damp from the printing press. Or, if you are feeling a bit bloody-minded, and if you can still source the coins. (remember those things : they were still quite common a few years ago), then you can sit back and enjoy a beer while the barman counts out 15 million Zimbabwe one cent coins. But hold it! We have a problem. Each Zim one cent coin weighs 3 grams. So this little lot weighs in at 5 million grams, or 45 000 kgs or 45 tonnes. After humping 45 tonnes of coins into the pub you are going to need a lot more than one beer to cool down. But don’t panic – we have a plan. Like all brilliant ideas this one relies entirely on its simplicity. Plan B : We sell the metal and drink the proceeds. There is a small legal question about smelting coin of the realm and exporting the resulting brass ingots. However, we’ll let the buyer worry about that one. There doesn’t seem to be an international price for brass. It’s main ingredient, copper, has recently been selling for an all-time high of US$5 200 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange, but we won’t be greedy. For a quick sale let’s discount it to US$2 600 a tonne. We are now the proud owners of US$117 000. But we still can’t buy that beer as the Keg is only allowed to accept Zimbabwe currency. We must resist the temptation to change our money on the lucrative but illegal black market (only the Governor of the Reserve Bank and Cabinet Ministers are allowed to do that). So we change at the prevailing interbank mid rate which is US$1: Z$99 201,58. Our heap of US green-backs now miraculously becomes a mountain of Z$11,6 million. For the uninitiated the billions start at the tenth figure, counting from the right. So, if the price of beer has not increased while we were doing this calculation you can now walk back into the Keg and order 77 377 beers! HAPPY DRINKING!
PS. For current inflationary reasons it is advisable to review these figures on a daily basis.

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