# Eleventeen

Eleventeen is a number, or would be a number if it existed. Its true name is twenty-three, or would be if it had a true name. Twenty-three exists, however, whereas eleventeen does not. As you know, children, everything that is not explicitly allowed is forbidden, and nowhere in the sacred book of rules does it say that eleventeen exists. I should not be telling you about it now. You did ask, however, and to refuse to answer a question is not explicitly allowed either, so we must not refuse, for fear of becoming – now then, we don't talk about that; it is not for your delicate ears.

You know, even the so-called experts at a second-rate site like Wikipedia have the sense not to have an article with the title Eleventeen. Really, why would they?

## History

Before we tell you the origins of eleventeen, you must keep in mind that it does not exist, and therefore it did not originate. Anywhere. I am simply explaining what (not where) its origin would be if it did exist, rather like those stories you sometimes hear of a moon made of green cheese.[1] But you are getting impatient – very well then.

Eleventeen is a relic of a time when we used a different number base. A number base ... well, see, we use base ten, and that's why there are ten digits and why multiples of ten are "round" numbers. But once upon a time, we used base thirteen. There were two numbers whose names nobody knows between nine and ten, and tenteen came between nineteen and twenty. Thirteen is an unlucky number, however, as you all know, so it brought bad luck and we had to give it up. Specifically, a few were benefitting at the expense of the many, and the many realised that something had to be done, so they rose up and created the wonderful world we live in today; and the seventh thing they did to it was replace base thirteen with base ten.

## Eleventeen today

You want to see a picture of eleventeen? But that's impossible. It doesn't exist, and we wouldn't corrupt your innocent minds with a picture of something that doesn't exist, would we?

We don't use eleventeen today, of course. After the tyranny of base thirteen was overthrown and the people were saved, it and the evil numbers that came from it were banned so that they would not rise up again and divide us. The pink people of the far north still use eleventeen and base thirteen, though, which is why they have been so unlucky as to become dominated by our country stupid and unfit to govern themselves, so we snitched away their culture took them under our wing and now we are teaching them to be good, wholesome, lucky purple people.

## Can we use eleventeen? It sounds fun and ...

Certainly not! It does not exist, and using nonexistent things is forbidden because it makes no sense. Things that make no sense cannot be understood by all and would divide us into me and I and other such awful things.[2]

## Conclusion

Remember – numbers are useless. There is no need to count in the real world, and the real world is the only world there is. Instead you should spend your valuable time and energy learning real and useful skills, such as street sweeping and reading, e.g. the Bible.[3] Learning the intricacies of counting is not something the common people need to know, and it can benefit only the few, not the many. Do what is good for all, and put eleventeen out of your mind forever. In fact, even as we type this, we see that the spell checker does not recognise it as a word – because it is not a word, it does not exist, and you will forget it. You have already forgotten it. What are you looking at? Run along, you look silly.

## Notes

1. Everybody who believes such stories meets an unspeakable fate as well.
2. wem, them, us, thus – and werse
3. These are the things upon which successful careers are built.

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