Once upon a time there was an engineer who was driving through hinterlands trying to reach his summer cottage. Unluckily he got lost and then finally fell off a road in a sharp corner.
Well, the engineer left his car and decided to have some help. After walking a long passage he found that there was a simple, small farm house among all these back forests and fields. The engineer was sure that people in that house would help him, especially when there weren't other houses nearby. So he entered the yard and knocked on the door. He heard someone coming and when the door opened he found that the person who answered the door was just a shriveled-up old man.
"Mr. Householder", the engineer started to speak, "I got lost and then my car fell off a road. I've walked many kilometres before finding your house. Could I borrow a phone so I can call some help, please?"
The shriveled-up old man stared at the engineer for a while before he answered:
"Mr., we don't have a phone".
"Well", could you then come and help my car back to the road with your tractor?"
The shriveled-up old man started to stare at the engineer again before he answered:
"Mr., we don't have a tractor or other motor vechiles either".
The engineer started to become frustrated and asked:
"Well, do you know anyone who could help me then?"
The shriveled-up old man thought for a while and said:
"Do you see that lake there? Please wait for a minute. I'll take my coat and then I can row you on the other side of that lake. I know there's a farm house there and they do have a phone". The shriveled-up old man turned around to take his coat. The engineer stared at his hunch shoulders and started to think that the man had to be pretty simple minded so he decided to tease him bit. After the shriveled-up old man had grabbed his coat the men started to walk toward the shore and the boat.
"Do you know", started the engineer again, "you've actually lost a quarter of your life when you don't have a phone. Lack of it rules a whole part of your life out". The shriveled-up old man stayed quiet and after walking some steps the engineer continued: "actually I'd say you've lost two quarters of your life when you don't have a tractor or other motor vechiles. I don't understand how you can go anywhere without them. Oh wait, actually you've lost three quarters of your life since you don't have a motor in your boat either. You've just one quarter to left so use it wisely". The old shriveled-up man kept quiet and the engineer laughed in his sleeve.
Finally the men reached the shore and the shriveled-up old man lauched his boat out into the lake. The engineer stepped into the boat and the shriveled-up old man started to row. He rowed slowly but finally the men arrived at a middle of the lake. Then suddenly the boat crashed into a nasty, sharp rock which was hidden into water. The rock hit a dowel in the bottom of the boat and the engineer and the shriveled-up old man watched the dowel drifting away when the boat started to fill with water.
"Well, can't help", said the shriveled-up old man. "Seems that we have to swim."
"Actually Mr. Householder", the engineer answered pale as a ghost, "I don't know how to swim".
The shriveled-up old man took a long, quiet look at the engineer before he finally said:
"I'm not mathematically talented like you seem to be Mr. Clever guy, but I bet you've now lost whole of your life".