Yellow Pig Day is a nonsensical celebration based on logical exploration. Back in the swingin’, singin’, pig swillin’ sixties, Michael Spivak and David C. Kelly, a couple of Princeton mathematics students, started analysing the number seventeen and eventually created a theoretical creature: a yellow pig with seventeen of everything.
As you do.
For years this has been celebrated by academics (and students who will use any excuse to get drunk) on 17th July, and there are even special songs reserved for the occasion. Here’s one I found earlier, which is called ‘Oh n+1!’ and is to be sung to the tune of ‘New York, New York!’
Start with the base case, and if it’s alright
I will assume the truth of it for n and then
My old chewed up pen, is longing to write
A joyful Q.E.D. for it, oh n+1.
I want to prove this conjecture so I can sleep
I’ve counted subgroups and orders and sets – now let me count sheep!
My problem set blues are melting away
I’ll find a brand new proof for it, oh n+1
If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere Oh n+1, oh n+1!
Ahhh, those maths students really do know how to pig out on the revelry!
Richard Sutherland is the author of 'The Unitary Authority of Ersatz', a quirky collection of short stories and humorous poetry. His favourite colour is Cornish Pasty and he loves the smell of confusion. Richard also writes Twitter fiction; tales within 140 characters. You should follow him, it's what all the cool kids are doing. @Banana_Penguin and @tinyweefiction.