What’s So Bad About the Number Four, and Other Oddities

My apologies for the continued lengthy absences between posts, but I’ve been busy doing nothing and waiting for it to flippin’ warm up in Toronto.  Also, I like to keep you guys waiting with bated breath.  Seriously, though — how can I have any Canadian adventures when it’s already June 9 and only 18C/63F outside?!  I trust that all of you “pahtay people” have bePlain 012en busy either a) trying to warm up like me or b) searing your brains in the heat and humidity, and therefore *also* do not have any adventures to report. 😉  Of course, if you do, do me a favour and just keep them to yourself, k?  It makes me feel heaps better thinking I’m not the only one sitting at home watching 30 Rock reruns and watching the sailboats go by.  A-hem.

As some of you know, I recently moved house in Toronto  — literally around the corner and 11 stories up. Because I have so much more time in the elevator now that I’m on a higher floor — you know, like seven more seconds —  I have been able to really soak in the juicy details of my building’s elevator cars.  And I noticed a really odd thing about them: there are no floors with the number “four”.  No four, no fourteen, no twenty- four, no thirty-four. 

We all know the taboo sacred power associated with the number 13.  The reason I know about this number goodness is because I was born on the 13th and turned 13 on Friday the 13th, so it just happens to be my lucky number.  It can’t be all bad, though — it’s a lucky number in tattoo culture and a lucky number for the Mexican Mafia.  So, of course, it must mean something.  😉

But I digress.  When I noticed that my building had floors with three’s (without a 13th floor, naturally), but no four’s, I became Summer Weekend in the City 001concerned.  Had I somehow missed this number’s superstition?  Should I have been avoiding floors with fours all this time?  I mean, isn’t a “four-leafed clover” supposed to be a lucky thing?    I just don’t get it.  I ride the elevators every day, of course, and every day I just shake my head in utter confusion. 

Last weekend, I was tooling around town in the Zipcar I’d rented with my gobs of disposable income (!) and because I really, really, really wanted to become an advertiser for Goodlife Fitness and the Toronto Marathon for the weekend (!), and passed this billboard on Lawrence near Victoria Park.  I did a double take and zipped myself around (heh) so I could take its photo. 

Who in their right mind would vote “NO” to excitement?!!  And even if you wanted to, why would you pay to advertise it?!  Once again, colour me confused.  I wondered if it was one of those coy little advertising campaigns that tease you mercilessly until they finally reveal all of their marketing genius.  (Bonus points if you can figure out the brand without looking at the brand name at the top – heh!)  Considering the paper was peeling off of this particular billboard, though, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the coy little advertising ploy is not in play here.  Weird.Summer Weekend in the City 019

The last odd thing I saw this weekend was also automobile related.  I pulled into a parking garage in Liberty Village and saw these most bizarre vehicles with license plates that said “S Cargo7”, as in “escargot”.  (I know…I didn’t need to say it).  There were about seven of them in different colours lined up in a row.  Was it a truck?  Was it a car?  Was it a plane?!  I’d never seen anything like them and they instantly made me think of the work of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi — sort of oddly spaced, stretched and distorted into places where the human brain doesn’t normally go!

Happy Summer, everyone!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “What’s So Bad About the Number Four, and Other Oddities

  1. JT

    Hey, I stumbled on your blog. Nice to hear so many nice things said about our city from an American!

    As for the lack of the number 4 in your building, my guess is that you live in an Asian neighbourhood as the number 4 is bad luck in Chinese superstition.

    I actually live in the neighbourhood of that parking garage and have also wondered what the deal is with those cars!

  2. Hi JT,
    Thanks for reading my blog! I don’t know how much of it you got through, but I am most definitely American *and* an unabashed fan of both Toronto and Canada. A most lovely place.

    Also, thanks for the tip on #4. I don’t live in an Asian neighbourhood (I live near you, actually), but that makes perfect sense. Who knew — well, besides you. 🙂

    • Bethany

      Not necessarily Chinese neighbourhood, but Chinese friendly, meaning the developers don’t want to risk losing a sale because the only available unit is 404. Telus even has a feature for a Chinese friendly phone number in their activation system.

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