Monday, June 22, 2009


Knots start twisting in my stomach when I hear that odious expression.

Those two little words fill me with dread, contempt, and an urge to curse at anyone who aims them in my direction.

When someone suggests that you go back to SQUARE ONE, they're really saying you're a loser and that your plans and hopes are idiotic and pointless. All of which may be true, but they don't have to wave it in your face and rub your nose in it.

And it wouldn't surprise me if they shamelessly borrowed the lyrics from a popular old song just to finish you off and reduce you to an inert lump.

So take a deep breath,
Pick yourself up,
Dust yourself off,
And start all over again.

For centuries, mathematicians have used the term, “Squaring The Circle.”
Years ago it was proven to be a mathematical impossibility. The term now refers to someone undertaking a futile task-- like Don Quixote and his arch enemies, the freaking windmills.

While all this has little to do with my SQUARE ONE story, I thought the diversion might be of interest to those captivated by SQUARE trivia.

And just so you know, I have no problem with SQUARE JAWS, SQUARE KNOTS, SQUARE DANCES, SQUARE DEALS, SQUARE MEALS, being ON THE SQUARE, SQUARING off, or even being a SQUARE.

But now let's rejoin SQUARE ONE. What does it really mean and why are we always going back to it? The term originated with board games that had numbered squares. When a player made a mistake of some kind, he was advised to return to his starting point, or SQUARE ONE.

Naturally, this is a lot easier to do in a board game than it is in real life.

Let's suppose the shape on those aforementioned board games--instead of being square--had been triangular, rectangular, or circular?

Would we be going back to TRIANGLE ONE? RECTANGLE ONE? Or ROUND ONE?

My money would be on ROUND ONE, given that starting over is a battle and you could easily get hurt. Speaking of boxing rings, why is it called a ring? Obviously, it's a bloody SQUARE !



Howard Portnoy said...

And why is something you transport on a ship called "cargo," while something you transport in a car is called "shipment"?

Bernie Most said...

Mr. Thistle. I suggest you stay away from Times Square as well.
(Also steer clear of Union Square, Herald Square, and Gracie Square!)