Integers, gotta love ’em

ONE called me on his wee little Fischer-Price cell-phone:
“Take us to the zoo, Daddy.” he talked into the toy, upside-down. I looked up from my tax return.
“We were just there last week, big guy. Remember?”
“Take us to the zoo. Take us to the zoo.” he wasn’t going to give in. I knew that. He has a one-track mind.
“All right already, but you go wake up NINE, he was out till 12 last night.” I handed off that tricky baton to another runner. NINE can be grouchy.
“Yippie. ONE won one! I knew you’d fold.”
A half hour later they were all lined up beside the van. (No, not in order; who am I, Superdad?)
I looked at my watch. One fifty eight.“One fifty eight.” I announced, for no real reason.
“Yep, dat’s what I got.” TWO looked at her pink plastic watch-thingie. “I gotz two to two too.”
“And that explains your impromptu tutu, does it, TWO?” I teased her. Ever since I let her dress herself there’s been a series‘inventive’ outfits. Harmless I guess.
Unless it becomes the rage. THREE looked at least sensible in her light-green T-shirt, but sad.
“Cheer up, sweetheart.” I messed up her hair. It didn’t help.
“I don’t have a pun to piss in.” she pouted. SEVEN heard it and looked at me, palm up expectantly. Ha, like I control their vocabulary? I brushed him off.
“But THREE, you know everybody loves you. Without you’d there’d be no third gear, no Trinity…” I could have kept going.
“We’da never known whether the Big One worked.” SEVEN, doing that annoying mystery-reference thing he does.
FOUR, demonstrably un-interested in history wanted only to get the ball rolling. In some direction.
“So, is it animals or trees this time?” he took the junior podium. ONE, TWO, FIVE, and on seeing them, EIGHT raised their paws “Go meat! Go Meat!” they started to chant. I’d heard it before. And frankly, watching nine little ciphers at once, keeping ’em from slipping through the gates of the Lions’ Den, well, I’d rather be doing taxes.
” OK, Trees?” FOUR had his own hand up already, and SIX, SEVEN, and NINE joined his side.
“That’s four for furs and four for firs.” FOUR announced the Decision.
“What?” THREE looked up at me, kinda lost. “Who won?”
“Nobody.” I told her. “Yet.”
“Yeah, it’s a tie, duh.” SEVEN, so charming. “And you’re the tie-breaker.” he added, as if it were a bad word.
“Where do you want us to go, honey?” I asked her softly, “Animal Kingdom or World of Plants?”
She looked around a second, and backing toward me for protection made the timidest little lion-roar, complete with  hands wiggling at her ears. And aimed the threat right at SIX, who glared back.
“Three-toed sloth!” she spit out. But THREE just held her thumb up, smiled, and countered “Thank you, sicko.”
“The eyes have it.” FOUR announced the results, sort of.
NINE, still half asleep, looked at me. “Who’s the eyes?” he needed to know.
“Well, NINE, many members of the furry fauna family are blessed with vision-sensing organs which…” I started to clear it up.
“On the bus.” ONE gave the order. It was his idea, after all. “We going to da Zoo.”
    You likely heard the rest of the story. In the Enquirer. The place was packed. Animals from all over the world. Looked like the United Nations General Assembly just let out for lunch. Guys with their wives and their hats. Dressed in white, dressed in black, dressed in saffron. Tempers were barely restrained. At a certain point SEVEN ate NINE. Must have caught him off-guard. SIX flipped the f*ck out. She’s hated SEVEN ever since the dawn of time. She commandeered a half-dozen white-turbaned fellows near the hippo lake and.. Well, the headline read
“SIX sics six sick Sikhs on SEVEN, but that’s not the whole story. Once they release her from custody I’ll probably know more. She just became, I don’t know, irrational. I just hope none of my other little Integers will be scarred by the incident.
THREE is taking it well so far:
“What did you expect, Daddy. SIX just wasn’t ready for Prime time.”


27 thoughts on “Integers, gotta love ’em

  1. jsolberg

    @we_deny_everything – We’ll wait on that conjecture till after I take ’em to the Houston Eulers game next week. The little rug-rats. Thanks for your commendation; the little countables are all excited about seeing the Front Page. Having read that ‘less people wear a watch’ there. They don’t buy it for a second.

  2. jsolberg

    @ordinarybutloud – Last but assuredly not least, dear OBL. Bingo ♥ I now know how LENA feels with the ALL CAPS menage-a-troix. Hope she takes it as a well-intentioned parody of sorts. And I’m sure you noted the admiring parallels with your own wacky mini-van world. My little perpetrators perpetuate an infinite saga of anti-climatic mayhem. Until I hit the ‘Clear All’ key

  3. jsolberg

    @xXxlovelylollipop – We have that very much in common, dear. There is both ‘nothing to say’ and ‘tons to say’. My own ‘Alex’ is at least spiraling back into the Cosmos from where she came, bless her memory, and I can only wish her clear skies.

  4. Lovegrove

    Godd Morning It’s still dark here and I’m all wrapped up pleased to not be a brass monkey. Just to say I named my offspring after numbers but made the mistake of beginning with NONE. Now she wants to be one ‘n we’re not even cat’lick.

  5. chromepoet

    You know how Beethoven’s 5th usually arrives in Da Da Da Da, Da Da Da Da? For some unexplained reason, the lyrics just changed to pun pun pun pun, pun pun pun pun. Go figure, eh?

  6. jsolberg

    @chromepoet – Well, four-in-a-row gets you fruit-cup. Until 8:00 AM.Odd how it’s mainly the even numbers with dual-use name-sounds. Beethoven, deaf, must have relaxed a bit after he went to exchanging hand-written notes. Or not.

  7. jsolberg

    @twoberry – Yeah, nine is enough, as they say. I’m with Nancy Reagan “Just say NO to Nitric Oxide” For once she was right./ And I’m reminded of once in a club I was playing, a German tourist and his friend insisted on ordering ‘Zwei Beer’. The waitress was adamant” ‘We ain’t *got* Zwei Beer!” So he held up two fingers. She shouted over the noise: “We don’t have even one!” I was on break, and bought the guy two Millers. He drank ’em, then asked me ‘Das ist Bier?’

  8. chromepoet

    @jsolberg –  Can of worms there, I suspect. Beethoven demonstrated, with his 9th, he heard more in his head than most of us are willing to listen to. Written notes probably bounced noise around the poor guy’s sensitive mind like frozen deer turds in a jelly jar. Letters do nothing more, or less, for our inner voices than musical notes for our air guitars. Letter represent the grunts and sighs of human voice but without the many niceties of musical scores. No way for you to know if I write with giggle on my lips or sternly, a defeated, angry, mad, scientist in the cellar, face perpetually frowning at the failure to achieve recognition or perpetual motion. No way for you to know my pace or pitch as I pitch you sophomoric linguini theories. Oh dear. This should expand into a post for both of us.Two-by-four to the forehead and a heartfelt “Doh!”Sorry I missed the fruit cup btw. It would have cloaked the bitterness of the meds.

  9. jsolberg

    @chromepoet – Condolences. After 8 it’s back to the standard ‘Bitter Herbs, w/ Sour Grapes in Regalia.’Great point as usual on the Voice vs notation. Puns, my default piano-forte, are an aural game, at root. Written down, the little ambiguities can only be felt in sonic brain-translation.Smileys evolved in an attempt to fill the emptiness; the insinuations missing in cold text. Beethoven’s original ‘Ode to Joy’, if you didn’t know, was titled: ‘Ode to, like ‘Joy?’ plus an ‘Embarrassed Happy-Face’. Didn’t catch on. In those days nobody was ironic yet.


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