DALLAS: Math class was a difficult and boring time for most of us, but it was always made more cheerful by the wondrous things we could do with our calculators. From the moment we learned to say our first word “0.1134” to when our more mature minds saw “58008,” we could count on those humble seven-segment displays to brighten up our days. Or I guess we brightened up their days, as those devices need solar power to work (thanks, Extinction Rebellion). Sadly, those days will soon become a bit dimmer (like those screens when we put our fingers over the solar panel).
Texas Instruments manufactured those calculators, and Governor Greg Abbott is not pleased with the sullying of childrens’ innocent minds as they type a good old-fashioned 58008 on the screen, tilt the screen upside-down, and giggle at the result. “Children of that age should never be seeing 58008 until they are married,” Mr. Abbott thundered during a back-to-school night. “Texas Instruments oughta be ashamed o’themselves poisonin’ the minds of children like this! That phrase, under Texas state law, is hereafter BANNED.”
We asked Texas kids and parents what they thought about the new legislation. Says Aidan McGrawhill, “It’s no fair. My teacher took away my phone, my Switch, and even my critical race theory coloring book. I thought my calculator was gonna be my only source of fun, but now even that’s gone. I hate everything!” Meanwhile, local dad Colin de Office offered a different take. “My daughter is only ten years old! She’s far too young to see such vulgar, sinful words. She needs to wait until puberty for something like that to be relevant.”
To comply with the regulation, Texas Instruments will have to scramble up the screens whenever a naughty child types the gross and indecent number on a calculator. When the child gets married, however (preferably after age 14), they will be allowed to see the phrase once more. To check if the person is married, the calculator will prompt them, “Who blessed your union?” and they must respond, “4509” or the device will explode.