Millennial Math Problems

Ali Solomon
Published in
3 min readApr 5, 2018


1.) For her birthday, Caitlin made a reservation at a tapas place for six people at 8pm. If five people show up at 8pm, and one person shows up at 9:45pm, what time will the party be seated?

2.) There are six chairs at the table. Caitlin sits in the middle since it’s her day. If Jane and Dori want to sit on either side of Asher, Kyle wants to sit across from Dori so they can share the tempeh dish that Yelp recommended, and Luke wants to sit near a window so he can surreptitiously smoke the Cuban he stole from work, whose thigh does Caitlin “accidentally” graze when she reaches for her purse?

3.) Each pitcher of sangria pours approximately 6 glasses. If Jane gave up alcohol for her month-long cleanse, Luke is pounding them back, Caitlin is mixing the red and white to make “birthday rose-gria,” and Dori only wants to eat the brandy-soaked pears from the top, how many pitchers should they order?

4.) The orange-and-lavendar-glazed meatball tapa comes with three meatballs. If Dori is vegan this week, Luke is a gluttonous monster, and Caitlin deserves a whole one since today’s her you know what, how many microscopic pieces will the remaining two meatballs be divided into?

5.) Luke is telling the story about the time he almost got arrested for urinating in a firehouse. All members of the party except Jane have heard this story before, although not all at the same time. How many times has Luke told his story?

6) As a main course, all six friends split one goat cheese and sun-dried tomato flatbread (although Dori picks off the goat cheese). How many blocks will they walk after dinner to find an open pizza place?

7.) There is only one stall in the women’s bathroom. There are nine women in front of Jane in line. How long will she wait before sneaking into the unoccupied men’s room?

**Bonus: How many women in line also went to Jane’s small liberal-arts college even though they didn’t know each other there? Small world, right?

8.) When the waiter keeps passing by holding plates of whipped-cream dollops with candles in them, how many times will Caitlin think it’s for her?

9.) The bill comes to $545.18, and Asher wants to put the whole thing on his credit card. Luke left early and only threw $20 on the table despite consuming one whole pitcher of sangria by himself. The birthday girl shouldn’t have to pay, Dori refuses to split the bill evenly since she didn’t have any meatballs, sangria, or goat cheese, Kyle can’t convince the bartender to break a $100 bill, and Jane wants to Venmo her share of the check to Asher later. How much will Asher end up paying for dinner yet again?

10.) After dinner, the remaining friends debate where to go next. Kyle has to work early tomorrow but will “totally hang for one more drink” if someone has change for $100. Caitlin hopes someone will buy her a “birthday-tini” at a swanky new lounge. Asher suggests a dive bar named Sloppy Dave’s, and Jane and Dori prefer to go with him since he looks like a slightly beat Paul Rudd (and Caitlin’s birthday mercifully ended at midnight). How long will they stand in an indecisive circle in front of the restaurant?

11.) The next day, which will get more “likes”:

Caitlin’s post “Thx 4 all the birthday love! #HumbleAndLucky,” or

A picture of the meatball dish on Jane’s Instagram.



Ali Solomon

Cartoonist-to-the-Stars. @newyorker @mcsweeneys @huffpost #Binders