5 letter C words are going to be the reason I have a heart attack!
I haven’t shared this… because it’s insane and super OCD (or something crazy)… but my entire life I’ve memorized how words are spelled by the following rules:
– The letter they start with (‘C’ above)
– How many letters are in the word (‘5’ above… but that’s just the C part of the words…)
I literally nearly won a spelling bee in elementary, with zero studying, from spending ungodly amounts of hours “counting” words…
Cereal boxes every morning… entire pages of the newspaper…
but if you think the above is crazy… there are 2 more parts where the rabbit hole goes even deeper…
I’ve only explained this to a few people in my life… and this approaches “Rain Man” type of shit…
I can’t control it… it’s how my brain is wired…
and I’m actually convinced it’s both a gift and a curse… just like anything that’s outside of the “lockstep fit in with society” stuff.
Now what it’s a gift for… I honestly don’t fully know aside from making me a spelling phenom.
(and that doesn’t mean anything in our current world anyway… it’s a dying art)
What it’s a curse for? ANY word, especially people’s names… that start with the same letter and have the same # of letters in them…
= nightmare memory.
(I actually may have a subprogram that also peeks at the 2nd letter or looking for special cases like double letters within the name… I’m not sure as I haven’t played in this corner of my mind, consciously, for 15+ years)
I don’t know why I’m even sharing this now… I guess to say… those damn 5 letter “C words” are going to freaking KILL ME! (at least they could do something like “FunnelClick”… that would make a world of difference in my crazy ass world.)
So I’m with one of my brother’s friends, and we’re high school/college ages.
I share the above with him… and I tell him how I can tell him how many letter are in any… nearly every, common word/name… within a split second.
He laughs… as he then gets out his yearbook.
About 3-4 minutes later… he’s freaking out and running around his room… it’s unbelievable to him.
“Melissa” – 7 letters.
“Mike” – 4 letters.
“Stephanie” – 9 letters.
“Jeffrey” – 7 letters.
and then he moves onto other stuff…
“Elevator” – 8
“Machine” – 7
“Budweiser” – 9
“Fireworks” – 9
Now there are few, less common words, that take me an extra second to spit out…
and while the above is insanely obvious when “typed out”, because you have time to count, etc…
all that stuff is autopilot in my brain.
Here’s what’s really happening… and here’s where some kind of OCD/ADHD or other amazing gifts are revealed.
(or maybe full on insanity?)
I count things…
I count things in groups of 4…
it’s not just letters…
it’s telephone poles I drive by… always must be in 4’s…
sides of window frames…
Books on a shelf…
Tires on cars…
Dashes lines in the road. (yes it gets crazy when on the highway… well… it seems like it does… it only gets crazy when I’m counting tires we pass by, and lines, and telephone poles/streetlights all on their own 4 counts… that’s when it stretches.)
I used to play a game where I would have these little imaginary sensors, going out at 90 degree angles from where I’m sitting in our vehicle…
from both sides of the car…
and every time they intersect with a telephone pole, for example… the counter moves to “1”…
and the next pole, “2”…
and then when it gets to “4”…
We “get” something… somewhere over the years it turned into imaginary gas… as if the way we all fuel our cars is to get to counts of 32, 64, 128, etc…
and when we get to certain amounts… the car auto-fills with gas.
and then… we get enough gas and I can stop, right?
I wish…
that’s not how it works…
It used to be very hard to “shut off”… so I’d just keep playing the game…
and the crazy part?
It never gave us any gas!
So whether it was poles, tires (semis and “dueleys” make it more fun), or letters on a cereal box…
always 4’s…
and then…
with letters… I could never stop unless it was a multiple of 4…
So here’s an example of what I would do with a tiny word… like “there”.
BOOM! That’s when I could complete. (I always knew how many “iterations” it would take for a 3, 5, 6, 7 letter word, etc.)
and then… it was “too easy”… so I added fun rules like…
“Capital letters are worth 2”
and “punctuation is worth 1… or at least ‘.’ and ‘,’…
but ‘!” is worth 3. Why 3 you ask? Because the “dot” is worth 1… and because a colon “:” is clearly worth 2…
because it has 2 dots…
the line is long enough on an exclamation point to be worth 2… so an exclamation point is worth “3”…
The = 4 counts
(“T” = 2 and “h” and “e” are 1 each)
y! = 4 counts
(“y” = 1 and the exclamation point is worth 3 as described above)
Photo Shoot
but here’s the “subvocalization” in my head for the above “Photo Shoot”
(because the capitals count for 2… so I literally sub-vocalize them twice)
and now… all of the above have been done so many times… it’s kind of like just driving your car or riding a bike… they just happen unconsciously at this point.
Here’s what I would do with cereal boxes & newspapers…
(Here comes the John Nash-ishness… LMAO!)
“This cereal is amazingly delicious!”
It depends on what “game” I was playing that day… 2 versions (of many) were:
“don’t count spaces” and “count spaces too”
Thi (actually “TThi”)
ous(bottom dot)
and the “|” in the exclamation is worth 2… so then I knew I had to run through it only 1 more time. (because we aren’t divible by 4… we’re still on 2)
so continuing…
s! (dot, dot, dot in my mind… 1 dot for counting each part of the exclamation)
and now the version with spaces:
“This cereal is amazingly delicious!”
ous(bottom dot)
and again… 2 leftover.
This one happens to be exactly the same, with the spaces or without… because there are exactly 4 spaces. (So I again, have to run through it one more time to make it even out and end in a group of 4)
and then I would move into the next sentence…
but most of the time… I would just keep counting entire paragraphs… and if the “whole paragraph” or “whole page” didn’t end in an even “4”…
it was just like the damn “gas in the car” game…
I would have to keep on going. (and I always preferred it to end in just “2”… because that’s only 1 more repetition… as long as I didn’t miss any characters or counts the 1st or the next time through…)
When it ended in 1’s & 3’s… that meant 3 more times through before it would end on a 4.
Oh… and the entire system transfers to work with other “objects” like times:
4 = 1, 2, 3, 4
colon = 1, 2
1 = “3” (continuing from above)
The 1st count of 5 = “4” (continuing from above for the 1/5 counts in “5”)
and then the last 4 counts of 5 = 1, 2, 3, 4. (because “1” was already used up above in that group of 4… so very satisfactorily… there are exactly 4 left so we’re DONE!)
or if we broke it down to:
“Four Fifteen”
or “Four : Fifteen”
…Those are both 2 more ways to “run through the counts” for 4:15.
So… there you go… pretty insane… not fully sure why I shared… probably mostly because I’m avoiding doing some technical work that I should’ve outsourced… but it’ll be done in 1/2 the time it would take to explain to an outsourcer…
and since time is the most valuable asset… I’ll choose the 1/2 time option.
(although too bad my unconscious mind hasn’t “wired up” the countless 1,000’s of hours it’s spent counting shit on this planet… and realized that same time could be invested into solving even more of the world’s problems than it already has…
or maybe just stating this starts to wire new circuits… and maybe I already have wired new “mindset” and “programs” since I ‘count’ at most 25-33% of what I used to when I was younger…)
So what weird shit do you or have you done in your life?
maybe we can start a club, “Entrepreneurs who kick all ass and change the world and still have time to have side hobbies like counting shit”
PS – Yes I count way more than I explained above, or at least I have at times in my life…
pieces of sushi, marshmallows left in a bowl of Lucky Charms… and yes… I DO also eat in groups of 4…
(eat 4, 8, or 16 marshmallows at a time… although I don’t eat marshmallows anymore… and I also don’t count my food nearly as much as I did when I was a kid.)
PPS – Wouldn’t it be interesting if the REASON I love sushi so much… is because my rolls always come in groups of 8? Things that make ya go “ummmmmmmmmmm”.