The Exile of Number Two - & Other Matters


By: Jigga matic
Photo By: Warlington

SnowCone-Temperature.jpgQuick, send a 'she-mail' to Pythagaros, the Father of Mathematics. Tell him that the number two is dead. Well, at least in Jamaica.

Here on the rock, the Arabic number two (2) has somewhat of a bad rep.

"All things are numbers," said Pythagoras who laid the cornerstone of scientific geometry. However, Jamaicans have taken this idea a bit too far to the extent that the number two has become the victim of nasty smear campaign, perpetrated by the Cash Pot, Bingo and Drop Hand games that Jamaicans have played for decades.

Here, the number two has all sorts of terrible connotations and has become a euphemism to suggest homosexuality, immoral men, or suspected gaydom, and in the Cashpot game, 'small fire'. As such, most artistes, producers and managers have summarily banned the word, and now use word twice instead.

This weird development changed the fast food experience for many a young man. Since it is strictly verboten to say '2', you cannot walk into KFC, or Burger King and order a 'number two' on the overhead display board. No, you order the 'twice', 'the 1 plus 1' or the meal in between 1 and 3, or something else which is a euphemism for a number that is now vilified more than those two retards, 6 and 9.

A few weeks ago, YardFlex called 'Applause' producer Rohan 'Sno Cone' Fuller, on the rise of Sean Paul's 'Temperature' to the #2 spot on the Billboard charts. The conversation went something like this:

"Big up Jah Sno Cone pon the Billboard hit, but how the number two ting drop in?'

"Is not number two, is twice it de (laughing), and it not going to stop at that position (more laughing) ah go straight a number one (more laughing."

In the week of March 19th to 26th, the song hit the pole position on the Billboard Pop 100 charts, Sean Paul's third number one song, and Rohan 'Sno Cone' Fuller's first chart-topper. Yu lucky Jah Cone!

The good-natured diligence being taken by members of the fraternity in what they articulate has changed the local vernacular so much so that some phrases are now outlawed. You cannot say, 'come we go down ah de place', instead, you have to say, 'mek we forward'. You ought not to say, 'I forgot...', instead you say, 'mi neva memba...". You should not utter 'soon come back', say 'link up, little bit', no come ting. You cannot even say that a girl has 'killer legs' or 'killer lips' because that could mean she has Bounty Killer's legs or lips, so bulletbulletbullet fi dem speech de!

Even local geography has been forever changed by this new age thinking. There are newly christened locales such as 'Gallings Hill road' which is now the new meaning of Mannings Hill Road, 'Womantego Bay' replace Montego Bay, that new parish, 'Galchester' and its capital, 'Galdeville' original name Manchester and Mandeville. Funny, isn't it? Sorry, my bad. I should have said, it's quite humorous, isn't it? It's got so ridiculous artistes are even afraid to eat mangoes.

Pythagoras, the great Greek thinker, who was the first to establish a link between music and maths, was obsessed with numbers and believed mathematics was the key to explaining the ten sides of reality. Jamaicans are just following his beat.