Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Other Numbers Critical of The Number 23

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NEW YORK – The approaching release of The Number 23, starring Jim Carey and Virginia Madsen, has created a furor in the ranks of the normally staid numerical community. The advance publicity for this brooding psychological thriller, which opens Friday, February 23, figures to turn 23 into a cult phenomenon, and that is sure to dominate discussions at the International Numerical Consortium (INC) meeting in Amsterdam next month.

“Numbers should not aspire to cult status,” said 11, which is known for its rectitude and straight-arrow thinking. “It is unseemly and counterproductive, yet that is what 23 seems to be doing.”

Eleven’s remarks were echoed by 420, entertainment coordinator for the INC meeting.

“Like, 23’s been number-messaging me all week, dude,” said 420, which is not without a following of its own. “First it wanted to approve the other numbers that’ll be sitting at its table during the awards ceremony, then it wanted Dom Perignon instead of Andre Cold Duck at the table. That kind of attitude’s a bummer, man. What’s wrong with a good ol’ screw top?”

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Twenty-three added insult to intergers when it referred to itself as “the Michael Jordan of numbers” during a recent interview, pointing out that Mr. Jordan wore 23.

“Yeah, and they retired Jordan’s number, didn’t they,” boomed 8 in its jolly, rotund voice. “Somebody ought to retire 23.”

Like many other numbers, 8 was critical of the “contrived significances” attributed to 23.

“So what if David Beckham just changed his number to 23? Am I supposed to believe that means anything? I also heard 23 bragging that if you count the letters in the names of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman, they add up to 23—and that O.J. Simpson wore number 32, which is 23 backwards.

“You don’t hear me bragging that there are eight pints in a gallon or that spiders have eight legs or that—get this—I’m one of only three numbers that looks the same when it’s written upside down.”

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“Yeah,” chimed in 6, “and I don’t go around bragging that I form a new number when you turn me upside down, and when I’m combined with that new number . . .”

“Enough of that sex talk,” laughed 8.

The growing animosity toward 23 is no laughing matter, however. Not since the prominence of the binary numbers during the early days of computer development has the staid numeric community seen this kind of unrest. Even several of the other prime numbers, which are notorious for presenting a monolithic front, have hinted privately that they would be willing to sign a bipartisan resolution of censorship if one is proposed in Amsterdam.

All of which could add up to a rousing 23 skidoo.

In related news, the number of men claiming to be the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter has now reached double figures.    

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