Nine Percent or Nine Point One?

Recently, the unemployment rate dropped from 9.1% to 9%. People keep asking me, "Dan, are you going to change the name of your blog from 'I am the 9.1%'?" Of course, by "people" I mean "the voices inside my head." Let's be honest, I'm sure I'm the only one who cares about the name of my blog. No one in the real world, physical or electronic, has so much as suggested that a name change might be in order. And yet, here I am, writing an entire post about just that.

That opening paragraph is so compelling, I'm positive everyone within a 34ms ping-response is now consumed with a need to know. Certainly, every single one of the voices in my head simply can't go on without an answer. The suspense is intolerable.

Changing the name has all sorts of implications. Sure, it would demonstrate timeliness on my part and an awareness of the immediate conditions of the economy. It would lend credibility to my message and contribute to the exposure of my blog to larger audiences. Indeed, staying current and accurate with the name of my blog might even get some recognition from the mainstream media, the dream we all dare to flirt with.

Not all of the implications are beneficial, though. My URL would have to change. I'd lose whatever meager Google juice I've built up here. The Chicago Now Community Manager would come and jab me with a pointed stick. New scientific evidence might come forth suggesting my posts cause night blindness and occasional overactive bladder. The schefflera plant in the corner of my dining room would droop even more than usual. The Greek debt crisis could spread to Macedonia and Azerbaijan, in turn causing the collapse of the rare earth element industry which triggers Russian oligarchs to drive oil prices to previously uncontemplated levels and drives Macronesian rebels to launch surgical strikes against Cuba, igniting World War Three.

That's heavy sauce, people. Some seriously creamy béchamel. No, I'm not going to change the name. It represents my particular story, which begins when the rate was 9.1%. Ironically, by the time the rate changed, I'd also become employed again. To me, these two reasons represent a certain serendipity, and I take my license to be sentimental about it. I am the 9.1%, and I'll always remember things in those terms.

Also, the number 9.1 has other significance to me:

  1. I have 9.1% of my original hairline remaining, which consists of 9.1 total hairs.
  2. 9.1% of the jobs I applied to contacted me for a phone screen or an interview.
  3. My entire readership of this blog consists of 9.1% of my Facebook friends.
  4. When I do stand up comedy, exactly 9.1 angels get their wings. Every time.
  5. I read 9.1 pages of Team of Rivals before I decided I just plain didn't give a damn. Twice.
  6. Of all the furniture in my living room, only 9.1% of it isn't hand-me-down.
  7. My cat uses her litter box 9.1 times a day. The rest of the time, she uses my bathroom rug.
  8. I average 9.1 sliders every time I visit White Castle.
  9. My HTML skills are extremely meager, or I'd make this list end at 9.1.


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