You Can Count on Me

For the love of beer
The perfect place and beverage to share some casual conversation.

If we were having a beer, you would be wondering about the tab.

“Do you remember who paid last time we were here?”

“No, but I remember offering to pick up the next tab, or something like that.”

“In that case, Cheryl, Dan will have a beer, I’ll have a glass of Bourbon.”

“Wait, now I remember, I promised to pay closer attention.”

“Too late.”

“OK, I’ll get this tab, but I’m keeping track.”

“Wait a minute. Are you entering this into some kind of app?”

“Yes, sort-of.”

“I can’t believe you downloaded an app to keep track of how many times you buy the beers.”

“I didn’t. I’m just color-coding the day in my calendar. Blue means I paid. Red means you paid.”

“Why am I red? Red is bad.”

“Why is red bad?”

“Red, as in wine? Bad? Red wine is good for you. Besides, you ordered Bourbon. That’s what I have for you, Bourbon.”

“I did order Bourbon, Cheryl. I’m just upset cause, in his calendar, he’s using red to indicate the times I pay and blue for the times he pays.”

“Well, there won’t be much red, besides, it’s in his calendar. Why do you care?”

“It’s the principle.”

“I see. Anyway, here are your drinks. You boys want any food?”

“Do you have any specials?”

“I’ll see if they have them ready.”

“So, Mr. Fancy-app, when did you start keeping track of the tabs?”

“I only started after that last time we were here, but I backfilled as far as I could remember.”

“And, what’s the score?”

“Let’s see, red is 1, 2, hmmmm, 3”

“Wait! What are you doing?”

“I’m counting up the red days vs. the blue days.”

“No. Not that, what are you doing with your thumb?”

“I’m counting. The thumb is one.”

“The index-finger is one.”

“I don’t count that way. I start with the thumb.”

“That’s stupid.”

“It’s not stupid. It’s the first little Piggie.”

Little Piggies are toes.”

“Aw, that’s so cute, you still refer to your toes as little piggies. Here’s the specials menu.”

“What? No! I’m not the one referring to little piggies, he is, and he’s got it all wrong.”

“I figure it applies to fingers, too.”

“Oh, and if your precious Steelers were to win the Super Bowl, would they be number one? thumb-54Or, would they be number one?” finger-s

“That’s different.”

“How is that different?”

“One, in that context implies ‘first’ which is an ordinal number. One as in one, two, three… implies quantity and is therefore a cardinal number.”

“That’s cockamamie. Who taught you that?”

“Mrs. Richardson, fifth grade…ordinal number, by the way.”

“How can you remember that but you can’t remember how to count?”

“Can you guys stop arguing long enough to order?”

“That first one…”


“…looks good – I wanted to say before being interrupted by nonsense.”

“I’m just sayin. I didn’t make this up.”

“Fine, the item at the top, the Fried Sausage Ravioli. That looks good.”

“You want two orders or are you girls going to share?”

“I’m not sharing anything with him, two…”

“Implying quantity…cardinal…”

“Enough already with the math lesson. Two orders, please, Cheryl. And fill that glass of his with another beer.”

“That will be my second, so…”

“OK, OK, I get it. I don’t remember fifth grade math. But, I still say you start counting with your index finger.”

“Let’s get another opinion. Cheryl, how do you start counting if you’re using your fingers?”

“I start with my index finger.”

“There! That’s two for the index finger.”

“Hardly a statistically significant sample.”

“What about that guy? Sir, I’m not sure if you’ve been listening, but…”

“I’m from India. I was taught to start counting with my pinky.” pinky-64

“See genius. You may know all about numbers, but I was right, you don’t know how to count.”

“Let’s ask two more people. Cheryl, can you ask the chef and the waitress?”

“He uses his index finger. She says ‘I use my pointer finger to start up the calculator app on my phone’ – Dan, the thumb isn’t even a finger. I think you need to let this one go.” Oh, and in this case, ‘one’ is a pronoun, but if I could to point at it, I’d use my index finger.”

In addition to our usual bar-banter, this post is part of Linda G. Hill’s super fun Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday and Just Jot It January is: “glass.” Use the word “glass,” or find something that’s made of it and use that in your post. Have fun!

I leaned on my Flickr account again today to find photos related to glass (not too many) and count (more than I suspected). These are in the gallery. Below that is the song that the title might have stuck in your head – unless you were thinking Bruno Mars, ‘cuz, no. I’m talking about Jefferson Starship, after Grace Slick came back.

Also, thanks so much to Cheryl, Sharukh, Mary, Peter, Damyanti and Kate for their opinions on counting.


  1. This was fun. I’ve been known to start counting on either digit, but the pointer is correct. Otherwise, the giant foam-finger industrial complex will come crashing down and then where would we be?

    Cheers, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOL, Dan! Thanks for making me a waitress with no experience in real life. I will have to point to the app at the end of the day to count the number of glasses I break.

    Awesome post. Sorry you were outnumbered, but Linda should give you bonus points for content and the Steelers mention.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I will go with Judy’s explanation. However it is much too early for this kind of philosophical discussion. I am going to go grab another cup of coffee drowned in significant amounts of moo juice. Later today when there are cerebral emollients I will reflect on this ponderous subject. And only after the emollients have been liberally applied. This one ( index finger ) is way too early in the day…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I always get into trouble for making people ponder on Saturday morning. I’m on my third cup of coffee. This post is better suited to the second beer, but if I start having them before 6:00 am, I’ll be pushing up daisies instead of looking for daylilies.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. This a subject better pondered with adult beverage in hand. However you are not, repeat not, in trouble. Much the opposite. I positively detest drinking without a reason. Having a good subject to ponder guarantees such will not be the case. Having survived a theatrical journey Into the Woods this afternoon there is now plenty of things to consider. Thanks Dan.


  4. Brilliant dialogue! Two thumbs up! Personally, I can go either way when finger counting but I do find when you start with the thumb by the time you get to four that ring-finger is reluctant to stand up and be counted. It depends how high you’re counting maybe. Start with the thumb if you’re only going to three but start with the index finger if you need all 5 digits involved. Or maybe the answer is to do ring-finger sit ups to strengthen the muscles. God. I had no idea how much brain power went into finger counting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You had a nice little SoCS comment going there – well done. Maybe that’s why they start with the pinky in India. My ring finger goes up OK, but the little guys tries to tag along. So, I guess I count 1,2,3,4 1/2, 5. thanks for the comment!


  5. I was surprised to learn that the French always count using their thumb as number one, so when learning to count in French I learned to use my thumb or I’d be called out by my French teacher. That was like a BIG RED wrong check mark! Red Bad! :)

    Now I use both my index finger or my thumb, but I must use my thumb more than my index finger b/c He-Man asked #1 Grandson a few weeks ago why was he using his thumb as number one? #1 Grandson ran to me and asked, “Grandma, Poppa wants to know why I use my thumb for number 1!” He-Man said it wasn’t right. I argued that both are right it just depends on where you’re from and how you learned it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Commenting on the table saw incident. DAN! Please use the guards. My brother was not as lucky and has several fingers gone down to the knuckle. Loved your banter thank you!! I tested the waters to feel the climate at WP and I do believe I’ll be here tomorrow with a post. Really enjoyed your gallery! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy. I have a new table saw, with functional guards. I also have some high-tech push-sticks for those cuts where you can’t use the guards. I try to keep it safe.

      I’ve enjoyed your pictures this week. I don’t blame you for keeping a low profile.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Dan. Stay safe. Those table saws scare me. I also have an idea for a post together but it’s multiple pics so not sure if I will have time to pull it together. My priority is taking a long hike in Silence today.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I was taught to start with the index finger, but that’s dumb, unless you have four or fewer things to count. If you have five or more things to count, it makes more sense to start with your thumb. Or, if there’s only one thing, you should use your index finger because it’s also your admonitory finger, so you can say, “You left me one cookie. ONE,” and indicate the number and admonish the greedster all at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Okay I know I weighed in before, but I have to amend, because as you’ve entered my consciousness I was counting on my fingers the other day and low and behold I started with my PINKY! Thank you for this important silliness on the day after. I’m counting.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a great post! I’ll take Jefferson Starship, by the way. To add more confusion, in my preschool classroom I use my pinky to begin counting; children looking at me can understand the concept of left to right. Reading readiness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll add you to the list of people with well-reasoned answers to what I thought would be a pretty simple thing. Do you do other things in a way that they see it correctly but which might be backward for you. that would seem hard, but I think it might be better than facing away from them pointing to a board.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All the time, but that comes naturally after three decades. Good thing, or I wouldn’t be a very good preschool teacher. Reading upside down so children can see the pictures and words- that is a natural flow, too. Fun!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t know that someone TAUGHT me to count with my fingers. I feel weird about it, but I can’t remember. I count starting with my left thumb and then all the left fingers and then the right thumb and any subsequent fingers.
    I am glad I still have all my fingers and that your table saw didn’t take yours!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have the same approach, but I tend to go right to left. I came very close to stopping at 9. My left index finger is a little thinner than the right one, but it types just as badly. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t count like this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Me either. I just asked The Mister and he started left index finger. Moo starts on her left thumb and Sassy starts on her right thumb. Hah. This will be entertaining for me for a good long time, thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I never learned to count on my fingers , so I don’t have any dilemma in that regard . I use small objects to count with if I can’t locate a pencil , in which case I make little dots . Oh , yeah , old Einstein had nothing on me ! And I don’t seem to have any app collection , either , to complicate my life . Someday I may , as friends have suggested , join the 21st Century . Well, at least the 20th. Those finger bandages might come in handy when you order 2 fingers of bourbon .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like that you lol on the bright side of those bandages. Fingers are only good for one set of things. The memory function of that counting device is flawed. Thanks Albert, I mean Dan.


  12. hahaha – so funny to see the pic of you on the hospital bed – and your gallery aligns so nice with the post.
    and have not heard the song in so long, D.
    and tied in so well.
    by the way – I count with my thumb….
    and in banking, isn’t red the way to note debt in the ledger – and black is in the plus?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed this. That picture was taken after some fancy sewing was completed. Red is usually used to indicate negative numbers, which works for my buddy (well, the fictional one). I hadn’t heard that song for a long time. I was worried when I found so many other groups associated with the title. Thanks for one more vote for the thumb.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I cringed at the table saw incident and am scratching my head as to how numerous bike related photos would be tagged “count”. I’ve often puzzled over similar tags in my own photo library wondering what was going through my head at the time.

    I must have skipped school on the day ordinal and cardinal numbers were taught. Either that or the related brain cells have long been dead. However, the random stuff you come up with from your bar dates makes me laugh. Let me add to your informal poll – I start with my thumb, Gilles starts with his pinky. It seems that the correct answer is – whatever feels comfortable for you.

    Having said that, Gilles – who is always suspicious of my random questions – wanted to know why I was asking :D

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I looked up those photos, Joanne. I think it’s a search error by flickr (or me). Each of them says that “Pittsburgh is one of the most bike friendly cities in the country” – it think it’s counting, no pun intended, the ‘count’ in country – but I liked the photos, so…

      At least the index finger didn’t get a vote from you guys. Tell Gilles, nothing sinister, just random stuff.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I love the Jefferson Starship song, Dan! I count starting with my thumb, also. I loop the pointer finger down onto the thumb (it is the base) then the second finger over from the thumb down onto the thumb,until the baby finger “counts” #5, by touching the thumb. :)
    The keeping track of drinks would drive me crazy. I would probably end up saying, “Separate checks, please.” :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you like that song, Robin. I was shocked when I saw how many artists have a song by that name. One more for the thumb crowd, I like that too. “We” keep track of the tabs pretty well, but it’s fun to push back and forth. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

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