Whoever said that people who write in to newspapers have too much time on their hands? We found this letter sent in to the Jamaica Gleaner (never let it be said we’re not thorough), and we don’t know whether we should weep or be impressed. You decide...

The Editor, Sir:

I was taken aback by a report on local radio today (15/05/08), which stated that Zimbabwe had issued a Z$500,000,000 note. That same report stated, however, that this note could buy only two loaves of bread or Z$250,000,000/loaf.

Now, assuming that each loaf contained a total of 21 slices of bread, then each slice would cost Z$11,900,000 (Z$250,000,000/21). Assuming further that this slice could be broken down into crumbs and that each slice could give as many as 119,000 minute crumbs, then it would cost Z$100 for each crumb (Z$11,900,000/119,000).

I tried to demolish a slice of bread following a crumb-making recipe appearing in The Cook’s Thesaurus, available on the internet, into the tiniest of crumbs and could not get more than 1,190 pieces.

Assuming that my best effort wasn’t even one-tenth of the most efficient crumb maker, it would still mean that the most crumbs that one could get from a slice of bread would be 11,900. That would work out at Z$1,000 per crumb.

Under any stretch of the imagination, Z$100 couldn’t even buy a crumb.

I am, etc,

Egerton Chang MBA, BSc