So what’s with the number 52? Here is the best explanation I can come up with, with the caveat that I might be completely wrong about this. This is only my understanding of why we did these things, like a five year old explaining Christmas presents. He might not know why they’re there, but they’re still there.
Fifty-two is the coolest number on earth, namely because it is an amalgam of the two numbers which are tied for second place: fifty, and two. Fifty is a cool number because, when used as an adjective, it succinctly describes anatomical conditions present in both sexes: pointy boobs and uncircumcised penises. This is because both of these conditions were prevalent in the Fifties. My circle of high school friends had need to discuss these things because my one friend Jon briefly dated a girl (known as Dead Rat) with pointy boobs (also known as torpedoes, or bananas) and one guy we knew was famously uncircumcised, which we needed to talk about frequently. Don’t ask why; this was high school.
Two is a cool number because it ends in an “oo” sound. Any word that ended in “oo” (or, “ool,” which we shortened to “oo’,” as in “schoo’”) was said with a particular style, sort of like a drunk guy trying to moo like a cow, but more belligerently. It helped to achieve the right voice by raising your eyebrows and elongating your face while you said it. Actually, any one-syllable word became cooler when said that way. For two-syllable words, you would say the first syllable that way, but then say the last syllable in as high a falsetto as possible. We were, in retrospect, quite bored.
So if fifty is cool, and two is cool, it is self-evident that fifty-two is even cooler. What cinched it, though, was when we found out that Jon’s dad was born on 5/2/52. It was almost like a sign from heaven.
Thus, to show Jon I am still his friend, even though I do not talk to him much, I take pictures of every State Highway 52 sign and mail them to him. Not every state HAS a Highway 52, though, so I have not gotten Nevada or Arizona, but I have gotten California, Utah, Kansas, Missouri, and now New Mexico.
As a PS, Jon has often-times bemoaned his role in beginning the fifty-two crazy. People he hardly knew would steal the table numbers from Carl’s Jr. because it had 52 on it, and then present it to him. He said it came up too frequently for his tastes.