Three little digits

Today’s Wayno/Piraro collabo, another little exercise in cartoon understanding:

(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.) Wayno’s title: “Number, Please”

No doubt you recognize the speaker as Satan / the Devil / Beelzebub, but the cartoon will still be incomprehensible unless you know that there’s a particular three-digit number that’s sometimes said to belong to Satan.

Pursuing this topic on my man Jacques’s birthday, today, will lead us, through a favorite verse of his, on a circuitous route passing through a mysterious British village, Chicago, and Santa Monica, on its way to the Big Gay Village, where men hug, spoon, and screw. (There will eventually be a content warning. I’ll warn you when the screwing is imminent.)

Satan’s three-digit number. From my 11/7/13 posting “The word for the day”, quoting from Wikipedia:

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia (derived from Ancient Greek roots ἑξακόσιοι [hexakósioi, “six hundred”], ἑξήκοντα [hexékonta, “sixty”], and ἕξ [héx, “six”]; literally meaning “fear of [the number] six hundred sixty-six”) is the fear that originated from the Biblical verse Revelation 13:18, which indicates that the number 666 is the Number of the Beast, linked to Satan or the Anti-Christ.

The link between Satan and the Beast of Revelation seems to be spurious, but it’s caught on in the popular imagination, so that 666, the Number of the Beast (a matter of biblical numerology) has come to be associated with Satan. And is now available for play, as in this Bizarro from a 10/12/13 posting of mine:


So the three-6 number is the Beast. A fact that led me ineluctably to one of Jacques’s favorite bits of humorous verse, Ogden Nash’s “The Lama”:

The one-l lama,
He’s a priest.
The two-l llama,
He’s a beast.
And I will bet
A silk pajama
There isn’t any
Three-l lllama.*

*The author’s attention has been called to a type of conflagration known as a three-alarmer. Pooh.

(Over the years, J had memorized, mostly inadvertently, a gigantic catalogue of humorous verse, children’s books, quotations long and short, and song lyrics, including an amazing array of show tunes. I’m not particularly good at verbatim recall, and I came to rely on him as my auxiliary memory bank. Which then shriveled up and died with him, so I was left not only alone in life but also minus some of my mental faculties.)

My parody version of the Nash, in which the Beast is the payoff:

The one-6 number is no priest.
The two-6 number goes to the beach from the east.
And the three-6 number is the Beast.

Number 6 from The Prisoner. US Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica; plus sixty-six with affectionate (hugging, spooning) and sexual (screwing) meanings. And of course 666, the Mark of the Beast.

Number 6. From Wikipedia:


The Prisoner is a 1967 British science fiction-allegorical television series about an unidentified British intelligence agent who is abducted and imprisoned in a mysterious coastal village, where his captors try to find out why he abruptly resigned from his job. It was created by Patrick McGoohan and George Markstein with McGoohan playing the main role of Number Six. Episodes covered various plots from spy fiction with elements of science fiction, allegory and psychological drama.

Route 66. From Wikipedia:

(#4) On our commute between Columbus OH and Palo Alto CA every winter (roughly from 1985 through 1997), Jacques and I followed fairly close to historic Route 66 between St. Louis MO and Barstow CA (on I-44 and I-40)

U.S. Route 66 or U.S. Highway 66 (US 66 or Route 66), also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System. US 66 was established on November 11, 1926, with road signs erected the following year. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in the United States, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending in Santa Monica in Los Angeles County, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km).

The highway plays a substantial role in American popular culture. For some discussion of the highway, the 1946 song, and the 1960-64 American tv show, see my 8/25/18 posting “But is it a cartoon?” — with the crucial lyrics from the song:

Travel my way, take the highway that’s the best
Get your kicks on Route 66

and, in #1 there a wry photoon:


The gay footnote. The original stars of the tv show were the dark, steamy George Maharis and the sunny, solid Martin Milner:

(#6) Maharis on the left, Milner on the right, their Corvette in between

Maharis left the show in part because too many people in the industry became aware of his closeted gay life; later, he was twice arrested for mensroom sex (this was well before George Michael’s t-room adventures) but still managed to have a long and unflashy career; details in many sources, for example on the GayCultureLand site for 11/12/16 .

66 as a bodily icon. We are now moving steadily into mansexual territory; this would be the time for kids and the sexually modest to leave.

Urban Dictionary has some cites for 66 as bodily iconic, for reference to spooning, as with these two men in their underwear:

(#7) From

66 would also be a natural label for hugging from behind, as this act seems to be known:

(#8) An affectionate muscular hug from behind, with a nipple pinch thrown in (photo in my files from 2006, source not identified)

What (7) and (8) share is the back to belly positioning of the two men (both facing in the some direction): iconically, 6 + 6. The same arrangement as in all the positions for anal intercourse in which the receptive partner is facing away from the insertive one. From GDoS:

noun sixty-six: … anal intercourse … [1966 cite] … 1972 Bruce Rodgers Queens’ Vernacularninety-nine or sixty-six (the numerals 99 and 66 serve as ideographs in showing the whole story of two men going at it …

In my 2/12/16 posting “Sex positions for gay men”, there’s a catalogue of positions for fucking, from the bottom’s point of view — including

(1) bottom lying on his side (a lateral fuck), common called a spoon-fuck or Spooning

and moving through other 66-style (or “rear-entry”) positions, including prone (bottom lying on his belly) and doggie-style (bottom on all fours), plus more complex alternatives, like this one (doggie for the bottom, a standing fuck for the top):

(#9) Jay Roberts fucks Steven Daigle on a mensroom sink (AZBlogX, “T-room action” from 2/5/11); a bit tricky for the pros, not recommended for amateurs

66-style fucking contrasts with positions in which the two men face one another, as in various forms of “missionary” fucking — iconically, 6 + mirror-6, or b + d (or, since the receptive partner has to spread his legs to accommodate the insertive partner, 6 + V, or 6 + Ʌ).

Then, as an excellent bonus: if two can do 66, three can do 666 (the Fuck of the Beast). From my 3/31/13 AZBlogX posting “Threesomes and more”:

The spitroast is one type of threesome. On to the three-man fuck chain, or fuck sandwich, also known as Lucky Pierre, from the slang term for the man in the middle.

(#10) From TitanMen’s Swelter: David Anthony fucks Bryan Slater fucks Gio Forte (all standing, but with Forte bracing himself on a support)

(Just to note that it took some considerable doing to find good images of fucking in which no dicks are visible. It’s my understanding that these are allowable in WordPress — but not, of course, in Facebook, so don’t reproduce these images there.)

On a personal note, I find the fitting together of bodies in 66-style hugging, spooning, and screwing (in its more pedestrian forms — #9 and #10 are mostly stunts) to be immensely satisying (just to view; I’m decades away from the actual acts, but I have both memories — oh, my man Jacques — and a powerful imagination).

3 Responses to “Three little digits”

  1. Mark Mandel Says:

    When I lived in Massachusetts 20 years ago, my phone number was XXX 877-6666. When it was assigned to us, my wife said “Probably someone at the phone company looked at our name and said, ‘Mandel– looks like a Jewish name. Maybe _they_ won’t scream at us for giving them the Number of the Beast.'” That seemed likely, especially considering that our kosher butcher’s number also ended in 6666.

    I had fun with it in our voice mail recording: “You have reached XXX 877-6666. To leave a message for the Mandels, wait for the beep. If you’re trying to reach anyone else, you have the Wrong Number of the Beast.”

    But then we started getting prank calls every week or so from some teenager, asking “Is Satan there?” We asked the phone company to trace them, but they said they couldn’t because they came from out of the area. (WTF?)

    Of course, the standard advice for dealing with prank calls is to say nothing and just hang up. But week after week they kept coming, and I was getting more and more annoyed, then angry, then furious. And eventually I yielded to temptation…

    I should mention here that I was in the habit of using many different voices when appropriate. I played Dungeons & Dragons as Dungeon Master with our children in an ongoing adventure, and in reading to them from _Lord of the Rings_ I had about 20 distinct voices for the main characters. So the next time that prankster asked “Is Satan there?”, on sudden impulse I answered him in a growling bass: “Yes, and he’s coming for YOU!”

    And I never heard from him again.

  2. Mark Mandel Says:

    Oh, I’ve seen a button saying “665: the number of the Wanna-beast..

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