From pop culture to sports to grocery store deli lines, numbers are impossible to escape. Sometimes numbers are hits: the TV series “24″ and the film “Se7en.” Sometimes they’re horrible, horrible failures: Jim Carrey’s “The Number 23.” And the word “number” is the cornerstone of the most important question in a young man’s life: “Can I get your number?”
Most important, though, numbers are the backbone of internet lists. You know, those compilations of everything interesting on the internet from the topical to the insane, inane, funny, cool, hysterical, outrageous and unnecessary. Numbers allow people to express absolute, ordered truths about everything from The Top 5 Everything of the Decade (For Better and Worse) to the Top 8 Most Innovative Pinball Machines of All Time to 7 F%#ing Funniest Signs Ever.
We figured it was time for numbers get their due. So we’ve pulled together this definitive list of the very best numbers between one and 10.
Four is steady. It’s no coincidence that four is the standard for wheels on a car, chambers in a mammalian heart and legs on a table. You know what kind of table has fewer than four legs? A poorly designed bistro table. Ever try to eat at a bistro table with three legs? It’s a horrific experience, and another bad example of the French choosing style over comfort.
Seven is Goldilocks’ pick for internet lists. It’s not quite a “top 10″ and it’s more than five, thus sufficiently comprehensive without being overwhelming and therefore, just right. At the same time, seven reminds us of Josh Hartnett’s “Lucky Number Slevin,” which was terrible. Nevertheless, it’s a common lucky number, and no crappy movie can ruin that.
High fives, reverse high fives and crazy handshakes are a staple of five, unless you had an unfortunate lawnmower accident. Like 10, five has its own bill printed by the United States Mint, although with inflation five dollars is getting less meaningful and can’t even fetch a beer in some bars. Five dollars can get you a foot-long sandwich from Subway, though. So there’s that.
Ten is orderly and complete and the only number between one and 10 with two digits. It’s also the namesake of Pearl Jam’s first and greatest album. Best of all, so many good things begin with a countdown from 10. That excludes, of course, a countdown from the middle of a crowd in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, which is a cold, overrated experience.
Two is a remarkable number even if it’s forever in one’s shadow. Two digits is the symbol of peace, and two is also a vital figure to human survival (it takes two to tango!). If two is good enough for Tommy Lasorda, Noah’s Ark and Dos Equis spokesperson “The Most Interesting Man In The World,” it’s good enough for us.
One is the loneliest number…but it’s also number f***ing one! They don’t sell overpriced foam hands at a stadium for any other number. If you’re ranked number one, reach one on the charts or are currently listening to Metallica’s “One,” that means you’re awesome. Good for you.