Thursday, May 5, 2016

Whimsy for Four

Headnote: if you are from China or Japan, probably you don’t like the number four: In the orient, the word for “four” rhymes with the word for “death … a very unlucky number.

Today is for whimsy (humour) . That, and the number four.

Four: My favorite number. Now, you are probably wondering why I like the number four. (Of course you are, work with me here)

As for my numerical favorite, you might think it’s a (swells chest) grownup manly warrior thing: Four is the smallest safe number of battle tanks rolling along a sunny grassy valley. I have happy peacetime memories of walking along uphill from them, because they need protection from anyone in any suspicious clumps of trees on the hillside.

But no, that’s not my reason for loving four, or, for that matter, why I love counting to four.

You might think it’s a (eyes go wide) boyish thing: Of course you recall pirate stories where a ship could only fire one gun at a time, recoiling in smoking succession, to avoid shaking the ship apart: That’s a science thing, for Newton’s third law of reaction. But in science fiction, the space pirate ships only have, count them, four guns. As a boy I read On the Trail of the Asteroid Pirates, book three in the series Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. The invading pirate ship appears over an idyllic prison asteroid that is covered with nice pretty green lawns—hiding the defenses.  

“Meanwhile, the invader continued to blast relentlessly. One—two—three—four—automatic reload—one—two—three—four, reload. Over and over, firing at seemingly peaceful fields of grass, only to strike an armory, space cradle, or supply depot buried underneath the ground.”

Lastly, you might think it’s a (wide smile) childhood thing but actually I missed out, by being born too late: I wish a pretty girl from my hometown had sang her lovely hit single back when I was little.  Without singing “automatic reload,” Feist sings:

“1 2 3 4
tell me that you love me more
sleepless long nights
that is what my youth was for”

Did you know Feist danced in the opening ceremonies for the Calgary Winter Olympics? Her sparkly blue costume inspired her 1 2 3 4 hit music video; her song is almost, but not quite, the reason I like the number four.

Q: The real reason?
A: The not-so-hit music video where Feist wears dull blue denim and sings, “1 2 3 4 monsters walking cross the floor.”

Luckily for me, last year a local disc jockey mentioned the video on air, saying he really, really liked it. So I tried it out—Wow! Now it’s my favorite music video of all time! …Here’s the link for Youtube. (Footnotes are below) You’re welcome.

Sean Crawford
Footnotes, of which I have only three, not four:
1~If you want to read a little more of Tom Corbett and his pals, see My Blog is Not a Platform archived in February, 2016.

2~Here’s what Feist says:
“So, I’m on ‘Sesame Street’ walking around with a whole bunch of monsters, Elmo and his buddies, a whole bunch of chickens, a whole bunch of penguins, and a number four dancing about. It was just pure joy, simple ridiculous fun, stupid joy. There’s no irony. ‘Sesame Street’ is just a crazy great place to be.”

3~Speaking of Feist’s monster friends, some humans would say that monsters (and fairies) should be clothed, for the sake of common decency.

I answer: What about Political Correctness? Shouldn’t monsters (and fairies) be allowed to have their own culture? A clothing-free culture?” I mean, just imagine if you were a monster. Monster fur is very warm. So that’s why, among adults, I feel no shame at wearing my T-shirt showing a big unclothed fairy. It’s magic: young fairies don’t need clothes because they’re so hot.

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