I was never very good at maths. Apart from geography (which I now really like, btw) maths was my least favourite subject. My first ever detention (we in fact called it Late Room, which still carries a more sinister connotation when I think about it) was served as a result of the following excuse for not handing in my homework:
"Miss, we've been decorating at home and my Mum must have glued my homework book to the wall."
I have no idea whether this is or was an original excuse, but it seemed a stroke of genius to my 12 year old self. I think I may also have attempted to forge a letter from my mother backing up the story. Needless to say, Mrs Jones the maths teacher was not terribly impressed, did not believe that my mother had written the letter (the injustice of it!) and threw me in the slammer without a backward glance. I can't actually remember what it was I had to do in the 'after school club' so it can't have been too traumatic, but I do remember the sheer sense of hopelessness I felt when confronted with Venn diagrams. Long division still brings me out in a cold sweat.
So it was with a small shiver of pleasure that I watched the train wreck that was Carol Vorderman on Question Time the other night. As Richard Herring has attested, she may be good at maths, but she is nonetheless a total fuckwit. It was excruciating to watch her trying to come across as some sort of Carole Malone figure, outraged by the 'world gone mad' in which she lives. If you didn't watch it, I urge you to do so. Will Self and Dame Shirley Williams (to be fair) were excellent.