According to the internet, a “baker’s dozen” is 12 + 1. The phrase dates back to the middle ages when bakers would include an extra loaf of bread for every dozen ordered so they wouldn’t get fined and/or flogged if one was accidently misplaced during transit.
Of course, it could have also been defined as 13 – 1:
Let a = 12 + 1, b = “baker’s dozen”, and c = 13 – 1. By the transitive property of equality, if a =b and b =c, then a =c and you simply can’t argue with math.
It’s important we all agree on this before I tell you I was in charge of a baker’s-dozen 14-year-old boys last weekend. Starting out with 12 + 1 boys is the same as ending with 13 – 1. Some parents have a really hard time understanding this.
Also, you should know I’ve never been officially certified to be in charge of 14-year-old boys. Of any quantity. I’m telling you this now with hope you’ll be less judgy about it later.
The plan was to partner with five other adults and take 12 + 1 boys on a three-day hiking trip along the beaches of Northwest Washington. For fun. To ensure success, we mapped our route, created a detailed itinerary, and produced an itemized packing list that included necessities like food and clothing and bandages. We then went over all this with the boys weeks in advanced so no one would show up totally unprepared for the trip.
Everyone, in turn, showed up totally unprepared for the trip.
Actually, that’s not accurate. We were mostly prepared for the trip as I’d imagined it – where everything would go according to plan and didn’t include things like vomiting or dead sea monsters or peeing off 100-foot cliffs. We were just less prepared for the trip we actually took.
Like all great adventures, though, it was the unexpected that made it memorable. And now that it’s over, I’m sure the boys would agree with me.