Sunday, December 26, 2010


Soon we shall be done with 2010. I expect I'll start getting it right on my checks in about six months.

Eleven is my favorite number. It's also very funny the way Thursday is funny. When I want to exaggerate how many people were at our table I'll say eleven or how many times I took a makeup exam it's always eleven. It's the only number that rhymes with heaven.....if you ignore seven.

Eleven is the first number beyond our fingers or toes. The one preceding a dozen. A football and soccer team.

It is the age when nothing happened. Think of 1911 or 1811. There were no elections, no wars or overtures written. I can't remember what I did at eleven years-old. I was too thin to be noticed, too dumb to get skipped and too smart to be left-back. The year before pimples. Innocence was still there but beginning to wear at the edges.

Eleven was made famous by the armistice ending the Great War. 11-11-11, hour, day, month...six upright verticals as if to compensate for all the millions gone horizontal.

FDR was in office eleven years. I was in 6th grade at eleven learning how the Dutch discovered Manhattan or rather how the Indians discovered the Dutch stealing Manhattan.

It was 1944 and movies cost eleven cents which was the deposit from three milk bottles and a soda bottle. Eleven was two popsicle sticks; perfect balance between safety and risk. It was the easiest number on the multiplication table. And the fourth number which reads the same upside-down. If ten is perfect, eleven is one better.

The eleventh hour is one that gets our attention. It must have something to do with elves.

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to mention that Eleven is the smallest positive integer requiring three syllables in English, and it is also the largest prime number with a single-morpheme name in this language (although etymologically the word eleven originated from a Germanic compound *ainlif meaning "one left"