My good friend Mr Paynter is, in the absence of any other phrase, a mathematics freak. I don’t mean this in a nasty way he just has far too much of an affinity with numbers. You know the way that you look at the rather odd gentleman in the field and say “he is far too close to his sheep” well we say the same about Paul when he is near a calculator. There is an old joke about a blonde dying and when they remove her earphones, they subsequently discover that the tape (hey its an old joke) that she was listening to was saying “breath in, breath out”; well for those of us that know Paul we think that he has a macro in excel that calculates the optimum number of breaths a day.
I am conscious that I appear to have started this post as somewhat of an attack on a good friend, let me assure you that this is not the case. The purpose of this post is to act as a warning to the normal people out there, those whose mind is equally balanced between words, numbers and ‘other stuff’, be aware that the numbers are looking to expand. You see I have had many conversations with Paul where he has explained the oddities of living in a numerical world, they are always followed with an expectant “everyone does that right?” a point which I can rarely concede. Don’t misunderstand me, I have similar experiences when I share with him the genius of the licensed trade or my medical theories, it is by no means a one way street.
What is it that makes me think that the numbers are trying to take over you may wonder, well allow me to explain. My bedroom is opposite a street lamp and, since I am on the second floor, this can be quite irritating if I lay the wrong way. The council, god bless their lunatic dithering, decided at some point to save money by turning street lights off between midnight and 5 am which is all rather splendid for me*. I saw nothing untoward in the fact that the 00:00 – 05:00 time became a barometer of available sleep, it seemed sensible that if the light is on I know that it is gone 5 am and the alarm is approaching. But the numbers were there, sneaking their way into my mind as they sought global domination.
A few months ago I awoke at 5 am I am certain of the time because, as I heard the hour chime of my watch, the red glow of a street light starting met my eyes. Naively I wrote this off as coincidence, hence the warning to you all, how wrong I was. Every morning that I am at home I awake, albeit briefly, at 5 am and as my watch chimes I see the red glow. This is even stranger when you consider that it never happens in the week when I am away, well why would it they have street lights on all night.
It is now my firm belief that the numbers have colonised all of the available grey matter in Paul’s head and are branching out. I have warned you now whilst I still have sufficient words in my mind, I will fight the numbers but if you start seeing posts in code then you will know that I have lost the fight, don’t let them get you!
*At this point I would like to make it clear that I offer no apologies to the lunatic fringe, always in bed by nine pm, who have taken to campaigning against the street lighting change. Quite how turning the street lights out between midnight and 5 am can elicit shrill cries of “won’t somebody think of the children” would be beyond me if it were not for the ‘marvels’ of facebook.