I’m working on trying to remember that I’m 54. It’s not that I fear it, or regret it; it’s that I’m likely not to remember it. It’s not as though I can recall all the times I spent at Studio 54; heck, I never even saw the movie. It’s a nonadecagonal number, but I don’t even know what that means.
It’s not like a number divisible by 10, or even 5. It’s not a power of a number, such as 27 or 32 or 36 or 49 or 64. It’s not a repeating digit (33, 44, or next year’s 55).
It’s not a popular culture iconic number such as Jack Benny’s 39 or Paul McCartney’s 64 (again – I should DEFINITELY remember that year.)
It doesn’t have special meaning to me, such as last year (53 – born in ’53) or the year I turned 37 (March 7) or will turn 73 (7 March).
It’s not even a prime number.
So how do I embrace my 54ness? Shall I remember that 54 is:
The atomic number of xenon, a noble gas?
The jersey number of Chicago Bears’ middle linebacker Brian Urlacher?
The number of the police car on an old NBC sitcom I used to watch enough that I STILL remember the theme, from which someone made a terrible movie starring David Johansen and John C. McGinley, the very existence of which I didn’t remember?
Then it struck me, though not right away: 54 is the number of my house. I guess I WILL be able to remember it after all, and won’t have to recall 54 40 or fight.
(There is some appropriate Homeric response, but I’m not going to g’oh there.)
There’s a holdup in the Bronx,
Brooklyn’s broken out in fights.
There’s a traffic jam in Harlem
That’s backed up to Jackson Heights.
There’s a scout troop short a child,
Kruschev’s due at Idlewild
Car 54, Where Are You?
Re: the US Attorneys’ firing case, you may have seen this letter (in PDF) that has more conditions that attendees at a hypochondriac convention. Or as one colleague put it: “Jedi mind tricks: ‘You will hear testimony from only Harriet Miers and you will be satisfied…'” And to think that she could have been on the Supreme Court.