Counting is as easy as 1,2,3 – unless you’re trying to count things like endangered species, wasted money and niceness, says Michael Blastland in his regular column.
This week, Go Figure sinks – without trace probably – into the weird world of trying to count. 1,2,3 and all that. How hard can it be? That’s our point. To count in the real world can be to flail in custard especially, as in these examples, when trying to count stuff that’s missing, or lost, or didn’t happen.
Such as? Here are attempts, past and present, somewhere between madness and genius, to try to count the more slippery stuff. They include congestion (cars not noses), lost money, fish and, with wonderful topicality, wasteful spending.
See what you think of the ingenuity of each, then test your own powers of invention on our counting challenge. But beware, one of the examples below is a hoax.