Less Than Three

I have been seeing math in comments of late. No, I’m not thinking outside the quadrilateral parallelogram and seeing a potential solution to the Riemann  hypothesis in comments about the random goings on in Blogland. I don’t even know what the Riemann hypothesis is but it may have been what Good Will was Hunting. What I have been seeing is a math equation or a partial equation.

I’m not a math person despite my tendency to throw an occasional fraction into a post about pancakes.  I toss fractions because it is more socially acceptable than tossing dwarfs and fractions don’t weigh as much as dwarfs. I avoid places where dwarf tossing occurs as I might be mistaken for a dwarf though I believe that my sixty inches of height put me above the height requirement for dwarfs but still under the requirement to be a Rockette, and while it saddens me that I cannot be a Rockette despite a marvelous high kick, it frightens me that I might be mistaken for a dwarf and casually tossed about. I will say that being scooped up in the strong arms of a pirate and carried to the bed chamber and tossed on the bed so he can have his way with me is not just enjoyable but downright hot!

But enough about pirates and dwarfs and the fractional pancakes they fantasize about, I want to solve the math mystery. So what is this partial math equation that befuddles me? I’ll tell you or I’ll type it out so you can see and better understand my confusion.

Less than three! What the puck? No, there wasn’t a typo in the preceding question, the hockey was implied or inferred or I implied and you inferred or you should have inferred from my implication which is not at all like multiplication, but it might be exponential in an existential sort of way.

I spent an ordinate amount of time trying to mathematically decode the mystery equation since I save my inordinate amounts of time for wine consumption though it’s possible that I confused time, wine can do that to me. I was unable to come up with a single satisfactory answer as I was able to think of many numbers or ways of arriving at numbers that might be considered less than three.

Then while I was adrift on the Sea of Insomnia which should not be confused with the Sea of Tranquility as only one of them exists on the moon, it occurred to me that perhaps ❤ was not being used in a perverse algebraic way, but was a new symbol of solidarity with that arbiter of the right way to have sex, Rick Santorum. In Mr. Santorum’s sexual math world, the only acceptable number is 2 and only if 2 is made up of two ones from different sexes.  He seems to have given quite a bit of thought to what constitutes the right way to have sex, though perhaps if he spent more time experimenting rather than just thinking about it he might lose that slightly constipated, deer in the headlights look that plays across his face.

Obviously, I am not a fan of Mr. Santorum’s narrow-minded, theocratic world view and I would prefer to be oblivious to it, but his fervent desire to impose his views on the rest of us and not be content until we all reside in his dystopian Eden means oblivion will have to wait. And once I started considering who was leaving the strange math equations in comments, I realized that ❤ was not a political solidarity symbol, but I was still baffled as to what the true meaning of less than three might be.

So I did what any person who averages less than five hours of sleep a night would do when faced with a less than three conundrum, I googled it. Then I googled when “googled” became a verb, because that’s what I do. The answer was not 42, but July 8, 2006, though neither of those was the answer to less than three.

I discovered that less than three or ❤ as it appears in comments is shorthand for love or I love you because ❤ looks like a heart. If you’re 14. And lying on your side, but only on your right side since if you were lying on your left side the heart would be upside down and who needs upside down love? Mr. Santorum, that’s who needs upside down love, though upside down love is generally notated as 69 and while it only takes two, 69 is not less than three. I think they call that new math.

My reluctance to embrace ❤ as a declaration of love is rooted in this simple idea: We’re writers, people! Or we’re people who write or we think we can write. If you use two symbols, neither of which is a member of that exclusive club known as the alphabet, to proclaim your love for another self proclaimed writer, perhaps you should rethink your approach to writing.

I also take issue with the whole look of the heart as expressed by <3. It’s broken! It appears to have been torn asunder and cast aside like yesterday’s newspaper with all of its hopes and dreams seeping through the cracks and pooling beneath it as it lies tragically on its side wondering if the Bee Gees ever figured out how to mend broken hearts and if they did why didn’t they write a song about it because now that other song is playing in my head.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have not been the recipient of this new math love, at least not the ❤ kind of love. And this is not a plea to send some less than three love my way, rather it is a challenge to leave the mathematical notation to the mathematicians and embrace the world of words. By combining letters to spell words that convey your thoughts to the rest of us, you, too, can be the writer of your dreams.

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20 thoughts on “Less Than Three

  1. This a really funny piece, and only partly because I didn’t understand ANY of the numbers reference being math deficient. I too, once Googled ❤ when my son included it in a text to me and I didn't want to look stupid in front of my son. Google let me down, and I was forced to look, not stupid, but VERY OLD in front of my son.

    I'm with you on these symbols and shortcuts. LOL makes me particularly crazy in a way that normally only Rick Santorum does.

  2. I am so relieved to know that I am not the only one who has had to google <3. I am old, tired, and hungover from too much Nyquil so math, which I normally love, is beyond me today.

  3. So what is the answer? Use Piers Anthony’s Isle of View? Or get original with Aye Lav Ewe? Perhaps, with still going for mathematics and being writers (all cultured-like) one should go with ‘How-do-I-love-thee-let-me-count-the-ways’? Or go with a sort of Tweeting-type iluvu? Or get literary and verbose, with, ‘You fill me with profound adoration’?

    Phew, you really did set me off!

    • Please, this is a tweet-type free zone. I prefer words to abbreviations. I adore puns and original thoughts, though sometimes the simple and direct approach is best. I like your comment, Colonialist! Thanks for stopping by.

    • My interpretation is rarely what the abbreviating texter is trying to tell me. One of my early posts was titled The Trouble With Texting that required a sequel after a friend “corrected” the translations in my first post!

  4. It’s broken, symbolic and on its side, which is just like love, in that neither makes any sense. And they both hurt you if you step on them! Like a Lego! Or your sister!

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