Rick's List — Going down the rabbit hole edition

Confucius mentioned the "Rule of Three" back in 500 B.C. He was a smart person famous for being smart (although it's worth noting that "confusion" is an etymological derivative of his name, so bear that in mind).

The point is, we as a species are conditioned to associate both good and bad things as happening in "threes." But folks who work in algebra, the sale of lottery tickets and, most importantly, the deaths of celebrities tell us that believing like-occurrences happen in series of three is a fallacy.

In fact, archaeologists rooting around in a dwelling later authenticated as Confucius' "home office" found notes that translated to, "Boy, that Rule of Three thing is really stupid."

Last week — I'm not sure whether this falls into the "good things happen in threes" or "bad things happen in threes" category — I experienced my own Three Thing.

1. We walk our dog Virgil every day passed a public grass pathway, bordered by shrubbery and laid out between two separate houses, providing citizens who have beach rights and live on Admiral Way with a short-cut to the shore. Over the years, we've noticed numerous rabbits who apparently live on the path. We saw one last Sunday, hopping about.

2. I was reading a book later that day in which the narrator, a cautious detective, spent hours on his computer, trying to establish a miscreant's online trail of evil. The detective said he'd "fallen down a rabbit hole" in his research.

3. Finally, a political commentator on a radio station, worried about one conspiracy or another, rued the amount of time he invested spelunking "in rabbit holes," trying to provide us with shocking truths.

And so we see that I've had three significant "rabbit" experiences all within a short time. Rabbit references come in threes, you might say. I won't say I'm freaked out by this, but I'm a bit anxious. Here are my thoughts:

1. I went to the rabbit path and futilely searched for a rabbit hole. It might have been hidden, with a punji stick to ward off invaders.

2. In that spirit, if a rabbit spends too much time trying worrying about invaders, do the other rabbits say, "Hmm, he's going down a People Hole with this stuff."

3. Is a hare the same thing as a rabbit? I prefer "hare" to "rabbit" but ...

4. Other hole-digging animals: chipmunks, rats, foxes, squirrels, skunks, crawfish, badgers, peregrine falcons, and even coal miners. Why is a "hole" ascribed only to the rabbits in the pejorative context, as though they're the only creatures who dig frantically and obsessively, for presumably nutty reasons?

5. Admittedly, it's rare for a falcon to live underground, but it does happen.


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