Monday, June 11, 2012

Four Minutes



 It's such an anti-climactic number. It's not your "5 minutes of fame" and it isn't your "order will be ready in 3 minutes." It's a forgettable number that either gives you too much time to wait or not enough time to do what you want.

You always hear people say, "I have 5 more minutes - that's plenty of time to hide the body." But you would never hear someone say, "I have 4 minutes to toss the murder weapon into the river. Plenty of time." Because, unfortunately, 4 minutes is never plenty of time to drive down to the aquaduct, toss in the anvil/murder weapon, pay off the bum that saw you toss away the weapon, and hop into a taxi to catch your flight at the airport. Famous movies and television shows are based on more popular numbers.

Gone in 60 seconds
60 minutes
3rd Rock from the Sun
Ocean's Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen
88 Minutes
2 Mules for Sister Sara
6 Degrees of Separation

But you'll only hear of 4 when it comes to sequels of movies, and usually by that time they had overplayed the same plot to death that nobody really likes the movie when it reaches its fourth release. Seriously, who really liked "Friday the 13th part IV: The Final Chapter?" It's based on a lie since they came out with 8 more movies after that, including the dreaded space odd-essy of "Jason X." Even when they do come out with more movies than the average 3, they always come up with a different name for the fourth movie to not use the number 4, or they have such a big franchise that nobody pays attention.

For example: George Lucas was a mastermind when he came out with the Star Wars franchise. He developed the first 3 movies, then came out with 3 more that were prequels of the others so nobody could tell what was the 4th movie.

Anyway, 4 is never quite as good as a 5-star restaurant rating and it's too long if you hope to win a race with the fastest time of 3 minutes or less. You don't see people in the Olympics win fourth place as the stand on the podium with the other three winners. What medal would they win? Aluminum?

4 minutes. A scourge to our daily lives and a forgettable number. I apologize in advance for wasting 4 minutes of your life reading this post.

(In case you are wondering what is up with the washing machine image at the top of the page, I did the laundry today. I never realized how waiting 4 minutes to place the laundry in the dryer is such a weird thing. If I had five minutes, I would have rushed out to take out the trash. If there was just three minutes, it would have seemed - in my mind - a short wait that was well worth it. But four minutes makes a person so indecisive on what they should do, and afterward it always seems as if the decision you made was a waste of time.)

23 comments:

  1. Truth. I find that three minutes is about my absolute limit for waiting through commercials. If they enter that fourth minute, I give up on the program and go do something else. And Rocky IV? Worst of the bunch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! I can't believe I forgot about Rocky. I also forgot to include The Three Stooges in my list.

      My point exactly! There's just something about 4 minutes that's not quite right.

      Delete
  2. What about the four horsemen of the apocalypse? Oh, wait a minute! That kind of proves your point. Or, does it?

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    Replies
    1. Aha! See! It proves my point exactly. Doom and gloom is associated with the number four.

      Another point of fact: nobody likes to see that there are only four cookies left in the box. If there are 3 or 5 left, people think they are lucky to get the last ones. But if it's four you say, "Darn, I got to go buy another box."

      Delete
  3. Well, 4 minutes was a pretty big deal when they were trying to run a mile in it.

    In baseball, a home run that scores four is called a Grand Slam, which sounds pretty, um, grand. To say nothing of the four 'major' golf/tennis tournaments.

    My Tigers have won 4 World Championships. . .

    Four. . . also the number of limbs on virtually all vertebrate animals. . .

    And the number of members of The Beatles.

    Or the classical 'elements' - earth, air, fire, water. . .

    Leap years come every FOUR years. . .

    The simplest three-dimensional solid has. . . FOUR faces and FOUR vertices. . .

    We live in FOUR-dimensional space-time. . .

    And, finally - when Jen and I had four kids, we were havin' so much fun, we decided to have four more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me make the following rebuttal, Craig:

      In baseball, a home run that scores four is called a Grand Slam, which sounds pretty, um, grand. To say nothing of the four 'major' golf/tennis tournaments.

      But having two grand slams would be better, and that counts as 8. As for golf/tennis, there are 12 days in the Sony Ericsson Open Tour. I would rather recognize the days of yawning through the sport than how many there are, which proves my point that 4 for each is one way too many.

      My Tigers have won 4 World Championships. . .

      But, in all honesty, you would rather have 5 championships. People like the number 5 better as if cresting an uphill battle.

      Four. . . also the number of limbs on virtually all vertebrate animals. . .

      And yet when I went to the store today, arms loaded with baby and groceries, someone said I needed to have an extra arm or two...

      And the number of members of The Beatles.

      Yoko Ono doesn't like hearing that. You know she was always the fifth Beatle until the breakup.

      Or the classical 'elements' - earth, air, fire, water. . .

      Soul. I consider the soul as an important element in all living beings.

      Leap years come every FOUR years. . .

      Which is why my biological clock gets all screwy in February.


      The simplest three-dimensional solid has. . . FOUR faces and FOUR vertices. . .

      Vertices? Are you talking dirty to me?

      We live in FOUR-dimensional space-time. . .

      But people are so two-dimensional in their thoughts that they are always right and everyone else in the world is wrong.

      And, finally - when Jen and I had four kids, we were havin' so much fun, we decided to have four more!

      And this proves that love should never be restricted to just 4.

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The 4th of July (and the move, born on the...)
    There were actually 4 Musketeers...
    The 4 seasons
    The 4 Tops
    The 4H club
    4 Leaf Clovers
    Kids play 4 square
    The four winds
    Most cartoon characters only have 4 fingers.
    Cars have 4 wheels, usually four doors
    most chairs have 4 legs
    Most animals have four legs
    Bass guitars have 4 strings
    Four quarters in football and in dollars... um, and anything else that has "quarters..."
    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
    John, Paul, George and Ringo
    Forks have 4 tines (usually)
    Diamonds, Clubs, Hearts, Spades

    That's about all I got. I really had to stretch for a lot of those... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 4th of July (and the move, born on the...)

      Actually, we legally gained our independence on July 2nd. We celebrate on the 4th because that is what it says on the actual document. It's not my fault they wrote so slow it took them 2 DAYS.

      There were actually 4 Musketeers...

      No, there were 3, with 1 in training.

      The 4 seasons

      Not to farmers. There is the first frost, which is a season all its own when it comes to growing crops.

      The 4 Tops

      8 Tops. Past members include Levi Stubbs, Renaldo "Obie" Benson, Lawrence Payton, and Theo Peoples. They all contributed something to make the 4 Tops what they are.

      The 4H club

      Was started as a goodwill gesture when Oscar Benson was presented with "7" four-leaf clovers. So they should be called 7/11 Club, but people would consider them as a gambling club.

      4 Leaf Clovers

      Until I see one, I'll continue to think they are myths, like leprechaun.

      Kids play 4 square

      They also pick boogers from their noses and eat them. Besides, they only played four square because they were always picked last for dodge ball.

      The four winds

      5 winds. We just take Beano for the other one.

      Most cartoon characters only have 4 fingers.

      Yeah, and the cartoon characters also think that strapping rockets to their backs to chase after running birds is a SMART thing. I'm thinking a lot of those cartoon characters had their fifth finger blown off due to stupidity.

      Cars have 4 wheels, usually four doors

      No, cars have 5 wheels when including the spare and 5 doors when including the trunk.

      most chairs have 4 legs

      Not in the chairs I've sat in. They've all had 6 legs, when you include my 2 in the count.
      Most animals have four legs

      Depends if they have a tail that they use as a leg, like kangaroos.

      Bass guitars have 4 strings

      They can also have 5, 6, and 8 strings

      Four quarters in football and in dollars... um, and anything else that has "quarters..."

      Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

      Ruth, Ezra, and Solomon

      John, Paul, George and Ringo

      Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best. Include them all.

      Forks have 4 tines (usually)

      They started out with only two, and the human race survived.

      Diamonds, Clubs, Hearts, Spades

      The Joker, and I feel like putting on my best Heath Ledger.

      Delete
    2. I skipped one.

      Four quarters in football and in dollars... um, and anything else that has "quarters..."

      Change is being phased out to credit cards/debit cards. As for football, there are only 2 periods in the game when the player kicks the ball into the soccer net.

      Delete
  6. But just think, without the four points of the compass, we might never know which way we are going? LOL ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Compasses are being phased out by GPS. Besides, not knowing where you are going let's you discover new things off the beaten path. :)

      Delete
  7. Yoko Ono the fifth Beatle?!?!? Oh, no you dih-unt! (Besides, in your answer to Matt, you forgot Billy Preston. . .)

    And you never did address the 4-minute mile. . .

    Vertices, vertices, vertices!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. 4-minute mile is a cliche since runners are actually suppose to run it in less than that time. Might as well call it the 3 minute and 59 seconds and 4 milliseconds mile ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. 4.0 is a perfect score in some situations.

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    Replies
    1. I was thinking primarily of personnel inspections in the service. "Four oh" was the highest score available.

      Delete
  10. When I was in college, I wanted nothing more than a four-point grade. As many of 'em as I could get. . .

    Three, or even 3.5, just wasn't as good as four. And there was no such thing as 5. . .

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    1. I got a 4.0 in Accounting 1A and Econ 1A. Unfortunately those didn't make up for the incomplete in Poli Sci.

      Delete
    2. Colleges charge up the butt for tuition. Wouldn't it be nice if they only charged as high of an amount as the grades they give?

      Delete
  11. I love your surly humor. I just found your blog and I'm glad I did. I think you're right about numbers--some are prejudiced against more than others. This was a clever and funny post and I know I'll be back for more. I hope you'll visit me sometime at Chubby Chatterbox. If you visit and like what you see I hope you'll press the Join button and I'll return the favor. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey! It's been one hell of a lot longer than four minutes since your last post!

    ReplyDelete

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