Here is your first question, the foreman said. “Without using numbers, represent the number 9.”
“Without numbers?” The Irishman says? “Dat is easy.” And proceeds to draw three trees.
“What’s this?” the boss asks.
“Have you ain’t got no brain? Tree and tree plus tree makes 9″ says the Irishman.
“Fair enough,” says the boss. “Here’s your second question. Use the same rules, but this time the number is 99.”
The Irishman stares into space for a while, then picks up the picture that he has just drawn and makes a smudge on each tree… “Ere you go.”
The boss scratches his head and says, “How on earth do you get that to represent 99?”
“Each of da trees is dirty now. So, it’s dirty tree, and dirty tree, plus dirty tree. Dat makes 99.”
The boss is getting worried that he’s going to actually have to hire this Irishman, so he says, “All right, last question. Same rules again, but represent the number 100.”
The Irishman stares into space some more, then he picks up the picture again and makes a little mark at the base of each tree and says, “Ere you go. One hundred.”
The boss looks at the attempt. “You must be nuts if you think that represents a hundred!”
The Irishman leans forward and points to the marks at the base of each tree and whispers, “A little dog come along and poop by each tree.
So now you got dirty tree and a turd, dirty tree and a turd, and dirty tree and a turd, which makes ONE HUNDRED!”
Now that’s what you call creative thinking!