Forty Minute Story (“Mandelbum”)


“Is that a new shirt, Dave?”

“Welll … uh … yes, new to me anyway. Got it at the thrift store on Dover.”

“What’s that on the front, some kind of insect?”

“No, it’s a fractal.”

“A fraggle? I think that’s a little vintage even for you, Dave.”

“Not a fraggle, a frac-tal.”

“What sort of fractal?”

“Well if you must know it’s the Mandelbrot Set.”

“It’s got a bum.”

“No, it hasn’t!”

“Yes, that bit on your left there, it’s got a big ol’ bum, bigger than it’s head.”

“Don’t be an arse, it’s not a bum, it’s just…”

“Just what?”

“Well it’s how the whole thing works when you run it through an equation or something. It’s really complex.”

“Uh huh. Those supposed to be it’s wings?”

“What wings?”

“The little round bits on top and bottom. What kind of an insect has round wings anyway?”

“Bees I suppose … wait, they’re not wings and that’s not a bum. It’s a Mandelbrot Set!”

“What’s a Mandelbrot?”

“Not what, who! This is named for the man who discovered it, Benoit Mandelbrot.”

“Ah, French then. That explains a lot.”

“Uh … no, polish I think. And what do you mean?”

“Well, it’s rather abstract isn’t it? Maybe a sort of modern impressionist.”

“It’s a bloody math problem, not a painting!”

“Now, now, no reason to get upset. What kind of a last name is Mandelbrot anyway?”

“I think it means almond bread.”

“What’s that?”

“I dunno, bread with almonds in it or something.”

“You mean like a muffin?”

“Yes … er … no … er … I don’t know.”

“So brot is bread then, yes?”

“I think so.”

“So mandel is almond? Seems like they just switched the letters around a bit, almend maybe.”

“It’s a name like any other. Yours is Liverpool and I don’t think you’d taste good with a side of onions. And you’ve never been a good swimmer.”

“That’s true. So why’d you buy it then?”

“Buy what?”

“Your Mandelbrot shirt or whatever.”

“Honestly? I don’t know. It was either that or something called a Douady Rabbit.”


“No, Douady, honestly are you even listening to me?”

“I like rabbits.”


Filed under Short Stories, Writing

7 responses to “Forty Minute Story (“Mandelbum”)

  1. madiebeartri

    LOL! I am amused. This sounds like dialog i might hear on the TV show The Big Bang Theory”. 🙂

  2. I laughed out loud at “It’s a bloody math problem, not a painting!” 😀

  3. May I suggest you add a chapter to the fractal book entitled “Mandelbuttocks”

  4. Hilarious! (Honestly, the first thing I thought when I saw that fractal was “bum.”) 😉

  5. Pingback: What not to write | [BTW] : Ben Trube, Writer

  6. Ah, the eternal struggle of explaining how fractals are awesome to look at and based on math to everyone.

  7. Pingback: Blog Updates | [BTW] : Ben Trube, Writer

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