“Frankly, we were shocked,” admitted Dr. Sue Deaux-Nimm, Senior Professor of Mathematics and Assorted Philately at the moderately prestigious MT University. “We mathematicians, much like you ordinary goons, had long accepted that the song was right — that one was the loneliest number. But we couldn’t have been more wrong.”
After some thought, she added, “Well, we could have been more wrong, in a variety of ways. But we were pretty wrong.”
She and her colleague — Dr. Chuck Waggon, Junior Professor of Mathematics and Various Nonmathematical Uses of Numbers — announced their discovery at a press conference yesterday. Several persons, who could conceivably have been reporters, were in attendance.
“One is the second-loneliest number,” explained Dr. Waggon. “It turns out the loneliest number is 37,505,111.62555555 repeating. The proof is absolutely solid and leaves no room for doubt. But, I mean, it’s just so weird.”
“It’s bizarre,” Dr. Deaux-Nimm affirmed. “Why that number? We can’t think of any reason at all. And we tried for several hours.”
“Several,” nodded Dr. Waggon. “I mean, you look at plain old 37,505,111 with nothing after the decimal point, and it isn’t yearning for companionship at all. So, like, what’s the deal?”
(The question What is the deal? has since been referred to the Philosophy Department, which evidently has already been working on that problem for some time.)
Both mathematicians, however, were quick to reassure their listeners that the loneliest person still is — and will continue to be — you, the person reading this article.
Have a good weekend!