Aug 312014

One, the term sounds like testicles. Which can only recall for us, quite sordidly, that chapter in Philippine impeachment history when a lawyer kept pirouetting with his perorations on the tes-TI-mony of a Madame Wetness.

Two, the number involved keeps getting arbitrary. From good old 10 (… Spectacular Philippine Beaches You’d Best Bring 20 Bitches To) to the equally solid if expanded 30 (… Ways to Leave Your Lover), now the number can be anywhere between single-digit (except for 2 or 3 or 4) to double digits, prime or not. Which leads us to the next reason…

Three, whichever number you use, it will always take you to ye olde association game.

The prime 5 is dynamic and a basketball team’s first contingent oncourt. When the La Salle Green Archers play the Ateneo Blue Eagles, they’ll always be at “sixes and sevens” with us; the 6 of course also reminding us of the Star of David, which has one point more than our trad parol, while 7 isn’t just luck with the dice but also partners and rhymes with heaven. Eight suggests infinity, thus the number requested by wealthy Chinese for repetition on their car plates, 9 is the number of lives of that arrogant animal that we now find to have been misrepresented by a false icon we’ve been greeting Hello Kitty. Ten is the usual cardinal demarcation for a top-something list. Eleven is another prime number, usually partnered with fellow-prime and rhyming, dice-y 7. Twelve would be the dozen apostles at the Last Supper, or a full basketball team. Thirteen is the baker’s dozen, the first teenage year, and my fave poet Wallace Stevens’ inspiration for his famous poem, “13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, “ which I in turn spun off from for my “13 ways of Looking at An Assassin,” occasioned by Ninoy Aquino’s fall at the tarmac in 1983. And 14 was Carlos “The Big Difference” Loyzaga’s basketball jersey number with the Zamora Cup winners San Beda Red Lions (NCCA Champs of 1951, 1952, and 1955.)

Which brings us to 15 (recalling that billboard that got banned cuz it asked: “Nakatikim ka na ba ng …?), and so on. Anyway, back to our (other numbered) reasons…

Four, bapor, as we used to say in childhood.

Lifestyle Feature ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

Five, listicles are meant to grab a reader’s attention not so much via the number that precedes the topic, but the topic itself, which can be anything from the sexy to the ridiculous.  

Six, listicles promise so much but eventually offer some blanks, not just a few. Like, say, “Ten Unknown But Must-go Resorts in the Philippines” suddenly includes an off-Marinduque isle that doesn’t have much but white villa walls a la Santorini in Greece.

Seven, oftentimes my own day-to-day To-Do Lists (grocs, pass by bank, e-mail reply to Anne Curtis’ “Good morning!” etc.) read more engrossingly than most of these listicles, especially those that are similarly titled as “17 Ways to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s” or “19 Fruit-Juice Combinations to Make You Sleep Better Without Having to Worry About Prostate Cancer.”

Eight, some listicles run out of fizz well before midway to the final item. 

Nine, I have yet to see a listicle lining up the most outrageous remarks made by a Senator of the Republic, that is, without having all of them attributed to a certain Tito Sotto.

Ten, okay, sure, I appreciate learning about the “10 Best Pancit Canton Orders You Can Have in MetroManila,” but did they have to stop at that number, thus avoid including the one at Dahlia Inn of the Flower Group motel chain in Pasig? 

Eleven, that’s Manny Pacquiao’s PBA rookie draft pick number, first round. But what if another team had drafted him earlier, and held him hostage till the team he’s supposed to coach gives up its three best players” Now, that would have been a fun listicle, so how come no one did it?

Twelve, apart from the conventionally cardinal numbers used, should I really take time to read something like “10 Ways to Warm Up Your Bedroom in Winter” or “25 Hairstyles of the Last Hundred Years”?

Thirteen, okay, no elevator floor of that number in most high-rises, but I understand that listicles have been classified by Wiki into: ranked, thematic, and random. And as further compartmentalization, there are those assigned to Media and those deemed Collaborative online.  

“The 100 Best Albums of the Last Twenty Years” as presented by Rolling Stone magazine is an example of a ranked listicle. Per Wiki, it “implies a qualitative judgment, conveyed by the order of the topics within the text. These are often presented in countdown order, with the ‘Number One’ item actually being the last in the sequence.

Hmm. I’ve often disagreed with FHM’s yearly ranked list of 100 Sexiest Women, especially when it doesn’t dramatically end with Miss Curtis.

Now, “(a) thematic listicle imparts no such values, instead presenting the topics in whatever order the writer and/or editor deems appropriate,” while “(a) random listicle reflects no structure whatsoever; instead, it embraces an eclectic aesthetic, inviting the reader to assemble one’s own conclusions from an array of disparate facts.”

I ike that: “eclectic aesthetic.” Now if we can have lists and/or listicles with such word combos, and not those kinda forced and cheesy portmanteaus.

Then, too, there’s also the “charticle” — “a combination of text, images and graphics that takes the place of a full article…,” that is, “composed primarily of an image with text used only sparingly to provide additional information. The ratio of text to images is inverted in a charticle compared to a traditional article, essentially making it the graphic novel equivalent of a traditional news article.”

Hmm. Well now, one gets to learn a lot more upon digging deeper into trendy forms of textual infotainment.

That said, should I go on down or up my numbered list of reasons for snorting other than coke, even if it has my name on an unlikely bottle?

Which brings us to 15, again. Naah. Better quit while I’m ahead. It can only get cornier, once we hit that third cardinal, like being reminded of the regular car tune-up after so much mileage. Only reason, after all, that I said or promised 23 is because that’s a mystical number. Sure, I can go on and hit that, but providing nine more reasons would be like scraping the barrel of single-digits all over again.

Better things to do. Like taking a walk in the park, and popping in at the convenience store (not 7-11!) and picking up, to lick and chew on, what else but a popsicle.

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