Tuesday, October 18, 2011


This post has been brought to you by the number 73.

Vaguely reminiscent of Sesame Street, right?  Well David certainly wouldn’t know because he has never watched that program—not even once.  Apparently, it is too educational and he immensely prefers more mind numbing shows such as SpongeBob Squarepants.

So, what is the significance of the number 73, you might ask?  The answer is that I have no earthly clue.  All of my considerable googling capabilities could not unearth any great Biblical significance.  It was not a number of great import for ancient cultures, either.  It is the 21st prime number and only vaguely interesting because, with 71, it forms a twin prime pair.  (Ha, if anyone knows what that means without also having to consult a search engine, you win a prize.)

Occasionally, David becomes fascinated with a certain number.  He still insists that, when we are cooking, the oven be set at 300 degrees—a demand that developed about a year ago.  Thankfully, we have two ovens so we can usually comply with his request at least until he loses interest in peering around the corner to check the oven temperature.

For the past several weeks, David has also been fascinated with the number 73 and certain variations of that number including 730 and 370, and sometimes throws in the letter “S” either preceding or following the number.

How does this fascination manifest itself?  Well, he can often be found carrying around the foam numbers, part of a bathtub toy.  He also insists on having the car temperature set at 73 degrees, which is a little toasty for my taste, but bearable.  He even asks to check the temperature when the car is safely tucked in the garage for the night, just to make sure that I didn’t surreptitiously adjust the dial to perhaps a more comfortable 68.

I guess I should be thankful that he requests the oven temperature be set at 300 degrees and the car temperature 73, and not the other way around.  I suppose he could try to set the television volume to either number and we would really be in trouble.

As always, I just wish David could explain.  I, too, would like to be seduced by the charm of the number 73, if only I could understand.  Is it a part of the next significant mathematical principal?  Did Mama Fibonacci complain in her personal journal that young Junior was always carrying around the numbers 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8--in that order--and that she just couldn’t figure out why?  Have I, in fact, limited David by only providing him access to combinations of the numbers zero through nine without repetition?

Well, for now, I will resign myself to lifting David’s dust ruffle each morning, looking for the wayward number 7 that got lost during the night.  But just remember in about 15 years when you hear about the new breakthrough in number theory called the SpongeBob series, you heard it here, first.


  1. I think we should get you 73 comments on this post :)

  2. GREAT idea! Only 72 more to go....
    And by the way, it's me, Kathy. For some reason I cannot even post comments on my own blog.

  3. Hi I found you from Marfan Mom's Friday Favorites & really glad I did. Love your post and I did understand the 2nd paragraph without a google search. I think I already have my prize though- it is 14 year old aspie that has rattled off random math facts since he was 4!! :)

    My son has always been obsessed with the number 5 and now I am glad he doesn't make us set the temp to that!! He does like it is cold & snowing outside! When he was much younger he did once turn our thermostat down really low to try to make it snow inside. Funny I had forgotten until just now- my husband and I just had a good laugh remembering that day!

    I will definitely stop back & hope you check out our blog at www.aspieside.com

  4. It's interesting wat our kds decide to fixate on! M has decided 999 is his number right now...no idea why. It doesn't carry over in mandating that we do things in 9s, but he chants it a lot as he runs laps around the living room :-)