FileTitle: Prose1812.html
Category: Humor
Type: Prose
Description: Polly-Nomial
 Once upon a time (1/T) pretty little Polly Nomial was strolling
 across a field of vectors when she came to the boundary of a
 singularly large matrix.
 Now Polly Nomial was convergent, and her mother had made it an
 absolute condition that she must never enter such an array without
 her brackets on.  Polly, however, who had changed her variables that
 morning and was feeling particularly badly behaved, ignored this
 condition on the basis that it was insufficient and made her way
 amongst the complex elements.
 Rows and columns closed in on her from all sides. Tangents approached
 her surface. She became tensor and tensor. Quite suddenly, two
 branches of a hyperbola touched at a single point. She oscillated
 violently, lost all sense of directorix, and went completely
 divergent. As she reached a turning point, she tripped over a square
 root that was protruding from the erf and plunged headlong down a
 steep gradient. When she rounded off once more, she found herself
 inverted apparently alone in a non-Euclidean space.
 She was being watched, however, by that smooth operator, Curly Pi,
 who was lurking inner product. As his eyes devoured her curvilinear
 coordinates, a singular expression crossed his face. He wondered, was
 she still convergent?  He decided to integrate improperly at once.
 Hearing a common fraction behind her, Polly rotated and saw Curly Pi
 approaching with his power series extrapolated.
 She could see at once by his degenerate conic and his dissipative
 terms that he was set for no good.
 "Arcsinh!" she gasped.
 "Ho, ho," he said. "What a symmetric little asymptote you have; I can
 see that your angles have lots of secs."
 "Oh, sir," she protested, "keep away from me. I haven't got my
 brackets on."
 "Calm yourself, my dear," said our suave operator, "Your fears are
 purely imaginary."
 "I, I," she thought, "Perhaps he's not normal, but homologous."
 "What order are you?" the brute demanded.
 "Seventeen," replied Polly.
 Curly leered. "I suppose you've never been operated on?"
 "Of course not," Polly replied quite properly, "I am absolutely
 "Come, come," said Curly Pi. Let's go off to a decimal place I know
 and I'll take you to the limit."
 "Never," gasped Polly.
 "Abscissa!" he swore, using the vilest oath he knew. His patience was
 gone.  Coshing her over the coefficient with a log until she was
 powerless, Curly removed her discontinuities. He stared at her
 significant places and began soothing her points of inflection. Poor
 Polly! The algorithmic method was now her only hope. She felt his
 hand tending to her asymptotic limit. Her convergence would soon be gone
 There was no mercy, for Curly was a heavyside operator. Curly's
 radius squared itself; Polly's loci quivered. He integrated by parts.
 He integrated by partial fractions. After he cofactored, he performed
 Runge-Kutta on her.  The complex beast even went all the way around
 and did a contour integration.  What an indignity to be multiply
 connected on her first integration. Curly went on operating until he
 had satisfied his hypothesis, then he exponentiated and became
 completely orthogonal.
 When Polly got home that night, her mother noticed that she was no
 longer piece-wise continuous but had been truncated in several
 places. But it was too late to differentiate now. As the months went
 by, Polly's denominator increased monotonically. Finally she went to
 the hospital and generated a small but pathological function which
 left surds all over the place and drove Polly to seek analysis.-