Is the magic number? Or so sang De La Soul. Good and bad things come in threes, the rule of thirds in photography, the rule of three in writing etc etc and, erm, etc I suppose. The number 3 seems to pervade in a number of suspicions and designs for life possibly more so than any other number.

There may be lucky 7, unlucky 13 and the answer to life, the universe and everything as being 42 but, for sheer all encompassing domination, 3 leads the way. It may be the first odd prime number and it may apparently be more satisfying if things come in threes in pictures or text but does it really warrant its dominance?

The number 3 has been around longer than most numbers I suppose but somehow numbers 1 and 2 have been left as signifiers as to what we’ve done in the toilet. 3 is the first number not to be besmirched with such derogatory assimilations and so maybe that’s where its smugness originated.

Seriously though I usually hear of people saying that, once they’ve reached 3 bad things happening to them that that is enough now. They can then utilise the superstition to make them feel better that whatever fantastical entity is handing out this apparent bad luck will think again and leave them alone for a while. I’m not knocking this as it can be quite comforting to think that your run of bad luck is over, although my current run of illnesses is at 4 so does this mean that the cycle has begun again and I still have 2 to go? No thanks! I’ll choose to forego the superstition now it doesn’t suit me anymore thank you very much.

They say that good things come in 3s as well but usually only on the build up so that 1 and 2 still have something to give and there is more fortuitousness to come. And why not? Reaching 3 on this scale warrants a regurgitation of the whole process as another 3 is surely about to begin. Here are a number of apparently wonderful things that come in 3s….but number 2 is a number 2 for a reason surely…. Also number 18 is ridiculous for a start and Claire will like number 20. And as for number 29….I despair but someone at least went to the trouble of creating the list so I can tear some of it to pieces whilst concurring that they have put some effort in to most of it.

Apparently it’s also a phone company. I wonder why they chose 3 and not any of the other amazing numbers available? 3 has some negative connotations as we’ve seen whereas good old 7 for example sits there as being lucky and that’s it. Maybe it was because of the bus idea, you know the one about waiting ages for a bus and then 3 come along at once. Taking that to mean we’ve waited ages for a phone network with a good signal to come along and then 3 comes along. Hmmm, maybe not. I’d call up 3 and ask them but I’m guessing I’d be on hold for hours and then there wouldn’t be an ‘option’ suitable…

Crikey, I’ve just looked on Wikipedia and found 3 the number which shows I’ve hardly touched the surface of a number that is dominant in religion, sports, philosophy and even more so in mathematics than I’ve touched on already. I may look up why 3 is the aliquot sum of 4 or I may not but I definitely don’t give a damn that ‘Gauss proved that for any prime number p (with the sole exception of 3) the product of its primitive roots is ≡ 1 (mod p).’ You can though.

Well I’m not sure 3 is magic, lucky or unlucky and I have no idea why a phone company has adopted it so this conclusion is so far inconclusive. However, I do know that 3 is apparently responsible for the song Mmmm Bop (which is unlucky for everyone) and I also know it’s a darn sight better being a number 3 than a number 2. And that’s pretty conclusive I’m sure.

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Fresh from failing to be an actor, a singer and retaining a full head of hair Glyn is now attempting to be a photographer and a novelist. He has taken more pictures today than he has written words of his novel in the last six months. Some of them he regards as okay..

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