Little Johnny somehow finished his education and is now attending a job interview. The interviewer did a background check on Johnny and he concluded that he wouldn’t want to hire him. So, he devised a test which he’s sure that Johnny would fail.
“Before we can hire you, you have to pass my test,” the interviewer remarked.
“Oh, I like questions!” Johnny said.
“Good. Here’s the test. Please represent the number 9 without using numbers. So, even writing NINE or showing 9 objects to me is not allowed.”
“Ha! That’s easy!”
Johnny then drew three trees.
“What’s that?” the interviewer asked with a confused expression.
“Don’t you get it?” Johnny said, “Tree, tree, and tree make nine.”
“Fair enough,” the interviewer said. “Here’s your next question. Please represent 99. The same rules apply.”
Johnny smudged each of the trees he drew and showed it to the interviewer.
“How in the world did it represent 99?” the interviewer said.
“The trees are now dirty. So, dirty tree, dirty tree, and dirty tree make 99.”
The interviewer is worried that he may have to actually hire him. So, he now avoids any number that can be represented by “trees”. After some thinking, the interviewer finally asked, “Using the same rules, represent 100.”
Johnny drew a small blob beneath each tree and said, “Now, this is 100!”
The interviewer looked at it and said, “This is getting ridiculous! You must be nuts if you think this represents 100.”
Johnny pointed at the blobs at the bottom of each tree and said, “A dog passed by and pooped at each tree. Now we got dirty tree and a turd, dirty tree and a turd, and dirty tree and a turd. That makes 100! When do I start?”
Source: Adapted from a joke published in John Robert Colombo, The Penguin Book of More Canadian Jokes, 2003.