Photo of Stephen McConnell

“Fore!” That’s a word shouted as a warning on golf courses when it appears that a ball might strike a hapless spectator or other golfers. Somebody should have shouted that at us before we included in last Monday’s post a bit of harmless (so we thought) defamation of the number 4. In particular, we quoted the Drug and Medical Device Daughter to the effect that rock bands with four letters in their names invariably — how do we put this delicately? – suck. Well, we received more criticism for that than for any of our musings on, say, why preemption should be universal, or which judicial hellhole is helliest, or why we trust the average mass torts plaintiff lawyer about as far as we can throw the lead singer of Blues Traveler (before he got gastro-bypass surgery) or, come to think of it, about as far as we can throw the average overpaid, overfed, mass tort plaintiff lawyer.

Our good friends at Abnormal Use applied brute force against us today with a formidable list of four-letter bands. We don’t love all of them, but Love brought us up short. Love’s “Alone Again or” was part of the soundtrack of our misspent youth (it was also in the great Wes Anderson movie Bottle Rocket). Now we feel as if we betrayed our idealistic, formative days. How could we have forgotten? That’s what we get for listening to a teenaged girl who can’t make her own bed, can’t boil pasta, and can’t walk past a mirror. Unforgivable.

We cry “Uncle” (or maybe “Aunt” for the sake of gender equality and because it is a four-letter word).

On second thought, we adore four. When the Four Tops or Four Seasons are on the radio, we turn up the volume. We mentioned Blues Traveler above. Care to guess the title of their best album? We’re fans of Lou Gehrig, the most famous #4, along with Lenny Dykstra, Bobby Orr, Paul Molitor, Ernie Nevers, Sidney Moncrief, Duke Snider, Jean Beliveau, Mel Ott, Adrian Dantley, Ralph Kiner, Dolph Schayes and Luke Appling – all of whom graced the number four (so did Earl Weaver, but we’re not so wild about him). The LA Rams Fearsome Foursome ruled football in the 1960’s (Lamar Lundy is the one you can’t remember). Now the Phillies will rule baseball with their Four Aces.

With all due humility, we retract what we said and will forebear from further assaults on four. We are ashamed. And forlorn.