Using a Chainsaw to Teach Math

Pretty Hispanic girlswith popcorn watching television

My teenage kids love slasher films. They can never get enough gore and dismemberment. This ubiquitous teenage trait has spurred yet another epiphany: Let’s combine the world of slasher movies and education to ensure kids know their math facts.

Everyone loves to bitch about the low math scores of our nation’s young. I’m not sure if this is a concern for our children’s education, or if it’s the fact that the USA can’t stand to be #2 in anything.

Nevertheless, we need to get math scores up, or else teachers will get fired, administrators will get fired, and politicians will get, well, reelected.

I’d been thinking about this national quandary for all of about five minutes when a solution to our educational woes screamed out to me from the family couch. There, my daughter sat, rapt, watching the latest American Horror Story installment.

It brought me back to the days when I was a teenager. I loved watching slasher films. It was so romantic to take a date to see Friday the 13th Parts I – XXXVI. We’d cuddle as on-screen juveniles were sliced and gutted (one victim was even made into a centerpiece.)

I loved the murderous mayhem, as my daughter and son do today. So why not leverage that love of horrific violence and apply it to our education system?

I made an appointment to see our high school principal. When I arrived at his office, I found him cowering behind his desk, weeping and sniffling. “Mr. Principal?” I asked the pathetic creature. “What are you doing back there?”

“You’re not going to beat me about the head for the recent test scores, are you?” he whimpered.

The poor man was afeared of parent or politician vigilantism, scared s—less that he might be beheaded with a standardized test form.

“There is a way out,” I told Mr. Principal. “And all it takes is a chainsaw.”

Abacus Face Does Division – Slasher-style!


“Kids love watching homicidal maniacs chainsaw people’s heads off,” I explained. “They’ll sit and watch the worst movie in the world, just to see someone get cut in two. So let’s integrate that into the math curriculum.”

“That’s insane,” Mr. Principal sniffed.

“It will improve test scores.”

“Oh, why didn’t you say so? We start Chainsaw Calculus tomorrow!”

The next day, this brilliant epiphany took hold.

As the kids slouched into calculus class, the math teacher pulled out a chainsaw, shoved two pencils up his nose, and stapled an abacus to his forehead.

“We’re going to have a quiz on this section, if you don’t get an A, then I’ll show you how we do division chainsaw-style.” With that, Abacus Head pulled the starter cord, and the chainsaw roared to life. The students were both thrilled and terrified. Game on.

Abacus Head proceeded with instruction on some unbelievably difficult concepts, but the kids were extremely attentive. They followed each word, with one eye on the smartboard, the other on the chainsaw.

As you might imagine, there was one goof-off in the room. He decided to call Abacus Head’s bluff, and bombed the test miserably. The math maniac wasted no time in revving up the chainsaw and promptly slicing off the goof-balls arms.

“Ok, class,” the teacher held up one arm. “Now one…” then he held up the other arm, “…plus one, equals?”

“Two!” the class shouted out in unison.

Two days later, the weekly standardized assessment of all things in the entire universe was given, a 47-hour test given over the course of an afternoon. Our kids did miserably in all subject, but we kicked major a– in math!

There was much jubilation in the high school. Abacus Head was most excited, swinging his chainsaw above his head as he did a little jig.

Soon all our math teachers were being outfitted with chainsaw, machetes, and meat hooks. We expect test scores to skyrocket via Chainsaw Calculus.

Thanks to this innovative new approach, teachers and budgets won’t be cut – only misbehaving students’ limbs. Now that’s how you reform (or deform) an education system!


  1. Not even remotely funny, and in very poor taste, given what’s been happening in Syria/Iraq. Seriously – I would remove this post.

    • Greg Mischio says

      Those people are so far out of whack all satire and humor would be squashed if we let them dictate terms. Sorry if I offended you, however. I understood the potential implications, and I always strive to make things so completely ludicrous that they couldn’t possibly be taken seriously.

  2. This is hilarious, Greg – and so effective! What I want to know is, what’s your plan for improving our kids’ English? 😉

  3. Definitely don’t remove Greg this is hilarious and your intentions obvious. Abacus head has big screen potential, I have John Carpenter’s email address if you want to send him a pitch?

  4. Definitely don’t remove. This is hilarious Greg and made my laugh out loud. I sense a Hollywood Future for Abacus Head, I have John Carpenter’s email address if you want to send him a pitch 🙂

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