Welcome to September. Yikes. Time flies when you’re having a good time, and even when you’re not. September is the ninth month, and nine is a beautiful number. Three threes.
The number nine signifies completion. After nine, in our counting system, you hit 10, and you have to “carry over” and start a new column. From there, it’s just a matter of recycling the same nine numerals ad infinitum. Throw in a zero, some decimal points, a couple of operations like adding and subtracting……And voila: From just nine numerals, you wind up with modern civilization. Personally, I’m not sure if it was worth it.
Nine is a wonderful number, but there are a lot of things about the nine that I don’t understand. There are nine Graces and nine players on a baseball team. I get that. That’s all fine and good. But still there’s just a lot I don’t understand about the nine. For instance, I just can’t understand the expression “the whole nine yards”. I can get a handle on the whole enchilada (sloppy, but tastes good). I even understand the expression ‘the whole kit and kiboodle’ (it’s a railroad term) But where does the expression the Whole Nine Yards come from? The etymology of the Whole Nine Yards is decidedly murky. No one knows exactly where it came from. Not even the etymologists. It’s a mystery. Likewise, the expression Dressed to the Nines is a puzzle to the etymologists. Not just to me. Its origin, its parentage is unknown. Ditto the expression Cloud Nine.
So, what’s up with this nine? Bumba’s hypothesis is that the numeral 9, being the last numeral, the final word, simply indicates a high level of excellence. 9 is premium grade. No better illustrated than by our beloved Marina Kanavaki who always goes the whole nine yards when it comes to the nine. Thanks to Marina!!!
Here’s a cute, drunken sort of country western song from the pen of Hank Williams Jr., sung here by Maybank and Bumba, in order to cheer you on your way. We went the whole nine yards on it.