Foot Long

“What are you doing, Tara?” Lora asked.

“I’m measuring my feet,” Tara said, looking down at her foot as she balanced on the metre stick.

“Okay, but isn’t there an easier way?”

“Maybe,” Tara said. “But I tried to hold a ruler up to my foot, and it seemed off. It said twenty-three centimetres, which was too small, so I got the metre stick.”

Lora stood for a moment as her friend stared at the measuring tool. “So…what’s the verdict?” she finally broke the silence.

“Hm? Oh. I think something’s off. Either my foot, or the rulers. See, it was twenty-three on the ruler. Then from the beginning of the metre stick, it was twenty-five centimetres. But from the fifty-centimetre point, it’s only twenty-four centimetres. Then from the sixty-centimetre point, it’s twenty-three centimetres again.”

“Huh. Weird.”

“Very. And my right foot is slightly shorter than the left. It’s been exactly once centimetre under in every case.”

“Are you sure it’s the tools, and not the way you’re measuring them?”

Tara looked up at her friend with disdain on her face, then back down at her foot.

“Sorry I asked. Maybe there’s a difference between a normal measurement versus balancing on just that one foot?”

“That’s what I’m checking.”

“Well, can you just go with the average and say about twenty-four?”

“I can. But I want to know exactly.”

“Okay, well, carry on then,” Lora said. She turned and walked away while Tara continued to move her foot around.


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