Math and Chipmunks– My Apologies

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

I am coming to terms with two recent mistakes I’ve made– one very public, and the other quite private.

Mistake #1

This is the public one– the 10/17/2013 strip about Roman numeral long division.

Here it is in it’s original version. Can you spot the error?


Several of you did.  Hugh Hansen even made a graphic for me!


Hugh writes:

“MMCCCLIV  is 2354, divided by XIII or 13, equals 181 r 1.  181 is CLXXXI, the answer shown at the top is CLXXI or 171. (I guess technically in the next line, I IIX I r I, “8” would have been represented by VIII, they didn’t subtract by more than one symbol out front, but ah well.)”

So here’s the correct version:


My syndicate and I disagreed about whether I should correct it or leave it wrong, but I argued we had to fix it.  I would hate for Rome to fall a second time on my account.

Mistake #2

This is the private one.  Turns out my house is built on a sacred chipmunk burial ground.  I didn’t build the house, but I live there now, so have to deal with it.  And the way it manifests is that chipmunks just appear out of nowhere and run under my sofa.  They don’t live in the walls.  They just magically appear in my living room.  Daily.

My cat may have something to do with this, but whenever I let him in at the end of the day we is not holding one under his arm, hidden, because he is walking totally casually without any trace of a limp.  So he could bring them in through the cat door, drop them, then go back outside and pretend it didn’t happen– that possibility did occur to me:


But still, it seems more powerful than that.  Like I have disturbed the chipmunk spirits and they are sending word of their disapproval.  In droves.