"Wake up, Exit! This ship won't clean itself!"
Exit groaned and rolled out of his bunk and peered around for the source of the wakeup call. Tim, who slept on the bunk above, was already dressed and standing by the door to the four-man cabin they shared with two other ship cleaners. Exit rubbed his eyes. "I just had a dream that I was in a coma."
"That's just called sleeping, isn't it?"
"Well, there was swing dancing involved... I think." Exit stood up and walked over to the dresser.
"Now when you put it like that..." said Tim.
"Something about a fish," mumble Exit as he pulled on his shirt.
A few moments later, Tim and Exit emerged on deck, blinking in the sunlight. Captain Loophole was striding heavily to and fro across the creaking wooden steering platform, sails snapping in the wind above him. It was a while before he noticed Tim and Exit standing next to the mast, looking up at him. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Waiting to receive cleaning materials, sir,” said Exit, who considered saluting, but didn’t.
Captain Loophole took off his tricorn hat and ran his fingers through his hair. “Ah yes! Where did I put those… ah yes.” He climbed down from the steering platform and seized two buckets. “Now watch carefully.” Captain Loophole took a few steps forward, holding up the buckets. “The buckets have now covered half the distance in their journey towards you.” He took another step forward. “They have now covered half the remaining distance.” Another, smaller step. “Half of the remaining half distance.” A small shuffle. “Another half.”
Tim looked apprehensive. Captain Loophole was almost touching noses with him at this point, buckets still held high above his head. Captain Loophole turned to face Exit, then looked back at Tim again. “If I keep covering a half distance each time, what does this mean?”
Exit had never studied Calculus, and neither had Tim, so there was an awkward silence before Tim mumbled “we never get the buckets and we don’t have to clean?”
Captain Loophole shrieked with laughter as he flung the buckets down at their feet, sloshing water onto the deck. “No! It means one! Either that or you don’t exist! Now get to work! Hoo hoo!”