The Ecphorizer

The Lure of Peridromophily

Issue #15 (November 1982)

When he entered Harvard at the age of 11 (1909), William James Sidis had the distinction of being the youngest student ever to attend that institution. The son of a professor of abnormal psychology, he amazed the faculty with his grasp of higher mathematics. He graduated magna cum laude, and a brilliant future was predicted for him. Soon out of school, however, he became a recluse and devoted the rest of his life to "peridromophily," the collection and study of streetcar transfers. He published a lengthy book on this subject and died at the age of 46, having never accomplished anything else. 

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Zero Power!
Gregory Grove

Issue #15 (November 1982)

If Zero could talk, what would he say
     In our age of ERA?
Would he tolerate the label "aught"
     Or would he think he ought not?

So this day we'll take time out
     To hear the gent sing and shout
We'll let him set the record straight
     With a parley, not in debate.

"Tell the world I'm important, I'm me!
     I represent eternity
I symbolize unity, love, and much more
     If I were 'nothing,' I'd be such a bore!

"I way not be straight like 1 or as thin
     My feet aren't large as 2's are to him
But I've a spine, as you can see,
     So there, mystical Mister 3!

"Personality's not pointed like 4 or 7
     I'm definitely not a schizoid 11
Neither heady like 9 nor hearty like 6
     Or psychotic like 5 (who's 6 in disguise).

"So the next time you want to discount me
     Look much closer and you will see
I'm important, I'm perfect, as any number can be!" 

Grove, a Mensan from El Sobrante, CA, gives a boost this month to the numeral zero.  Up the null!

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Gregory Grove