The Descartes’ were hosting one of their fancy late night parties. (Blaise) Pascal and (Pierre) Fermat were there; Blaise playing the jester and making bets with passers-by about the craziest things you could imagine, and Pierre taunting the English as usual.
The Descartes were renowned for these parties which usually went on well into the night, and were especially famous for Madame Descartes’ elaborate dessert creations which were always immaculately presented every hour exactly on the hour.
Midnight came and went, and the remaining guests started to gather as Pierre and Rene struck up a friendly debate about the nature of existence.
A hungry Blaise casually wandered over towards Madame Descartes’ famed croquembouche pastry, even as he remained engrossed in the intellectual spectacle taking place before him. Rene caught a glimpse of Blaise out of the corner of his eye. “Quelle horreur!” he thought to himself;
Blaise was about to grab a profiterole and disturb his wife’s creation, unwittingly causing a minor scandal! As a gracious host, he couldn’t interrupt his vigorous repartee with Pierre to shout out a warning to Blaise (thereby embarrassing both his friends), so his mind furiously raced for an alternative.
As Pierre kept on talking, Rene surreptitiously grabbed Fermat’s book from the table (A copy of Diophantus), tore out some paper from the generous margins, scribbled down a note, and hurriedly directed his servant to pass it on to Pascal.
Just as the profiterole was about to reach Blaise’s lips, the servant arrived and handed him the crumpled piece of paper.
Blaise looked down upon the note; it simply read “I THINK THEY’RE FOR 1 AM!”