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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 4, December 2012


Ray Rasmussen
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

But Don’t We All

Sometimes I find myself counting this and that . . . stairs as I climb or descend, the red cars I pass, the lines on a page. (two so far). A medical dictionary lists this as an Obsessive Compulsive Tendency. (That’s twenty-seven letters).

And isn’t counting pervasive? Governments with GDP, Personal Income by State, Unemployment; Banks with account balance (or lack thereof) and interest rates; Baseball with batting averages, runs batted in, home runs, errors. Visit the World Odometer Website, and you can learn the world population count (7,016,261,698 when I last looked—that’s 10 figures in case you didn’t notice).

We even count the frequency of making love. We men can learn how we stand up (excuse the pun) to a stodgy Englishman or a lusty Frenchman. And perhaps you’ve encountered that compelling statistical ditty: If you put one bean into a jar for every time you make love in the first year of marriage, and remove one for every time in the ensuing years, the jar will never be emptied.

gathering dust
in the dark cupboard
bean jar

I tell my therapist that I don’t actually count everything. I had lost track of anniversaries long before the divorce. And I had given up numbering birthdays. Unfortunately, friends and family insist on counting them for me.

three fewer this year
than last
dinners with friends



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