# Count On

## Numberland

Numberland:

### Eighty-seven

EIGHTY-SEVEN

Some people say :
'Look out for
thirteen.
Thirteen
is an
unlucky number.'
Every time they hear the number
thirteen,
they say:
'Thirteen,
unlucky number.'
Every time they see the number
thirteen,
they say:
'Thirteen,
unlucky number.'
They're always on the lookout for things
that are
thirteen:
like....January
13th,
the score in the game when it's 11-
13,
the number of times they've been to the
park is
thirteen,
when the money they've got adds up to:
thirteen,
they say: 'Aha!
Thirteen.
Unlucky.'
But if you believe this sort of stuff about
thirteen
and I don't, but if you do and
thirteen
is
unlucky
then I'm getting the feeling that it's all kind
of obvious
isn't it?
I mean, it kind of announces itself
doesn't it?:
'Hi, I'm
thirteen.
don't you?
You know what I am,
don't you?
I'm
unlucky,
aren't I?
You know that.
I know that.
We all know that.
You can see it written all over me.'
I mean it doesn't disguise itself,
does it?
You don't see
thirteens
going around pretending to be
nineteens,
do you?
You don't walk past a 46 and just as you
think it's gone
it jumps on you screaming: 'Got you!
Really I'm a
thirteen!!!'
You know a
thirteen
is a
thirteen.
It says it's
thirteen
and it is
thirteen.
So doesn't that make
thirteen
not-unlucky?
Aren't all the people who believe that
thirteen
is
unlucky
ready for it? They think: 'Look out, here
comes
thirteen.'
And they're very very careful
In fact, they are so careful
I'm beginning to think that
thirteen
isn't
unlucky.
No, it's just the opposite. It's
lucky.
Thirteen,
the lucky number,
the number everyone is careful about,
the moment when everyone takes great
care.
If you're going to believe in
unlucky numbers,
if you're going to believe that there really
is some number that is
unlucky
don't you think it would be a kind of
secret?
Don't you think it would be so
unlucky
you wouldn't even know
that it was being
unlucky?
It would just do all its horrible
unlucky stuff
and no one would know why.
Maybe....seeing as so many people
reckon that
thirteen
is the Big Bad One, there would be
something
thirteen-ish
It could have something to do with
thirteen
but not actually be
thirteen.
I've heard it said that some people
who live Downunder in the Southern
Hemisphere
reckon that the one you have to look out
for is
87.

Michael Rosen

To score snooker's maximum break
You must always pot blacks, no mistake
Between every red
EIGHTY-SEVEN is what you will make

A Stanton

The world's two largest meteorite craters are both 87 miles in diameter. These are Sudbury, Ontario in Canada and Vredefort, South Africa.

Italy, France and the UK each have 87 members of the European Parliament, reflecting their similar populations.

The US space station Skylab travelled 87 million miles between its launch in 1973 and plummeting back to Earth in 1979.

87 is traditionally an unlucky score in cricket (perhaps because it is 13 runs less than a century).

A catalytic converter can reduce hydrocarbon emissions by 87% over the lifetime of a vehicle.

The largest Roman aqueduct was built in Tunisia in the second century AD and measure 87 miles long.

In a single year 87 ft of rain fell in Cherrapunji, northeastern India.

There are 87 greyhound tracks in the UK.

The river Dee in Scotland is 87 miles long.

In America one birth in approximately 87 is a twin birth. Triplets are about 87 times rarer than twins, and quadruplets about 87 times rarer than triplets.