Bumbastories proudly (not) presents the official commemorative (re) issue of the February Magazine, a second salute to the second month, a hats off to the number two, and, while we’re at it, we threw in a song.
Firstly – or should it be secondly? a salute to the number two!
The Bumbastories March Through the Numbers continues. That’s right, we’re going to cover them all. Even though the number of numbers is infinite, all of them are expressed by just nine numerals – Anyhow, let’s look at the two… Drumroll…….The Two!
The two – the deux, the dos, the zvei – is the first real number. One is not really a number, because one is unity. It’s all the numbers, it’s everything. So, it’s not a real number. But when you get to the two, hey, you’re counting!
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Our world, the world of opposites, comes into being with this division. Heaven and earth, good and evil, life and death, present and absent, holy and secular, male and female, up and down, true and false, Abbott and Costello.
Life as we know it began when the first organism split in two. Mitosis enables cells to grow. The cells of our body are reproducing (splitting in two) all the time. You’ll notice that if you don’t cut your hair, people will tell you that it’s gruesome (sorry).
Two is the first prime number. It is also the first even number! In fact the two defines odd and even. Numbers are either 2n or 2n +1. The symmetry of the two, bilateral symmetry, is basic to most forms of life, which is good news for the centipedes and millipedes worldwide. The yin and yang, the dialectic, the dynamism of the two is how the world operates, how we see things. We discriminate between figure and ground, things are either there or they ain’t. Two is how it is, my friend.
It takes two to tango. The dance, the interplay – and I’m trying to keep this clean – of the sexes, is the greatest game in town. Hurray for sex. Sexual reproduction, has accelerated the pace of evolution (which may not have been such a good thing you say, but still it’s probably preferable being a human to being a microbe). It was the Good Lord who saw fit to place two of every animal on Noah’s ark, although I’m not so sure how easily they “fit”. The ark, by the way used port and starboard, fore and aft, and also used a lot of mops and pails.
So many things come in pairs! How many can you think of? Personally, I can think of franks and beans, corned beef and cabbage, wine and roses, and burgers and fries. Not to mention peanut butter and jelly. In baseball 2nd base is right there in the middle, and a double is a very good hit.
As for the two in our language, there are just too many twos to mention. And please, don’t mention the ballerina’s tutu
Before we get sentimental about the two, let’s remember that to “speak with a forked tongue” is not a cool thing. Neither are “snake eyes”, second-in-command, or Bi-Polar disorder. To quote Joe E. Brown at the end of Some Like It Hot, “Well, nobody’s perfect”. Neither is the two. It is also incumbent upon me to remind you that “number two” is the well-known toilet euphemism for, well …I won’t waste any more of your time. Except to remind you that 2 is the atomic number of helium, and the second-most common element in the universe. But as Bob Dylan said: “Don’t think twice , it’s all right”.