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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Power in numbers?

Looking at an envelope addressed to my nephew in suburban Syracuse, my son asked why the house number was four digits long. After all, he noted, there aren't more than about 20 houses on the street. Shouldn't all the addresses be either one or two digits?

I've often wondered the same thing about houses in newer developments. And the only conclusion I can reach is that the builders -- and, by extension, the homeowners -- must think there's some kind of prestige in having a four- or even five-digit address.

Among the house numbers of friends and relatives of ours who live in such developments are 8176, 5810, 10799, 10285 and 5295. There's even a 7200 in the bunch. That house must be really special, ending with the ultra-imporant double zero!

But alas, the number on the front of my house in Kingston is a meager two digits. I feel so inadequate. I couldn't even attain the three-digit status of my childhood house in suburban Rochester. I had hoped to get ahead in life; instead, it seems I've fallen behind.

But at least I avoided the shame suffered by friends of ours near Boston. Their house number is 4. One lousy digit. They probably can't even show their faces in public.



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