Here is a clever variation on the classic Two mathematicians walk into a bar.

Two mathematicians walk into a bar

The first one says to the second that the average person knows very little about basic mathematics. The second one disagrees, and claims that most people can cope with a reasonable amount of math.

The second mathematician goes off to the washroom, and in his absence the first calls over the waitress.

He tells her that in a few minutes, after his friend has returned, he will call her over and ask her a question. All she has to do is answer “‘*a*‘ squared plus ‘*b*‘ squared.”

She repeats: “A square plus a bee square?”

He repeats “*a* squared plus *b* squared.”

“Ay squared plus bee squared?”

“Yes, that’s right”, he says.

So she agrees, and goes off mumbling to herself, “Ay squared plus bee squared… Ay squared plus bee squared… Ay squared plus bee squared…”

The second guy returns and the first proposes a bet to prove his point, that most people do know something about basic math. He says he will ask the blonde waitress a simple algebra question, and the second happily agrees.

The first man calls over the waitress and asks “What is (*a*+*b*)^{2}?”

The waitress says “Ay squared plus bee squared” and while walking away, turns back and adds with a wink “…assuming *a* and *b* are anticommutative.”