There is nothing I like more than a challenge (well, there is probably something I like more, but I needed a lead-in). After my posts “FIVE DAYS HATH NOVEMBER” on Nov. 5 and “TEN” on Nov. 10, it occurred to me to keep the gambit going with a “FIFTEEN” post on Nov. 15. However, other than the famous “Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes,” it’s hard to figure what else 15 is iconic for that I could build a post around. So I challenged myself to compile a list of 15 famous fifteens, knowing that although most of what I come up with may not yet be famous, the mere mention of them here will make them so — thanks to you, my many adoring readers and viral instigators.

Without further ado, then, here are 15 things that 15 has been (or soon will be) famous for:

1.  15 minutes of fame
2.  15 minute coffee breaks
3.  15 humble politicians (coming soon to a universe near you)
4.  15 days of darkness beginning, coincidentally, Nov. 15 (another of those social media apocalyptic rumors, apparently started by someone who had been out in the sun too long)
5.  15 gun salute (for credentials rated six guns beneath the warranting of a 21 gun salute)
6.  15 things that look like Donald Trump:
7.  15 flavors of prunes
8.  15 minutes of unforgiving flatulence
9.  15 temptations (Satan’s answer to God’s 15 Commandments, of which Moses dropped five, while Satan’s temptations have multiplied like wildfire)
10. Etcetera
11. And so forth
12. And so on
13. And the like
14. Whatever
15. Last but lust, pure gold — this 15 from Robert Louis Stevenson’s TREASURE ISLAND:

NOTE: The Dead Man’s Chest referenced in the song is DEAD CHEST ISLAND (aka DEAD MAN’S CHEST ISLAND), a small, uninhabited island in the British Virgin Islands. The pirate known as “Blackbeard” is said to have punished his mutinous crew by marooning them on the island, each with a cutlass and a bottle of rum, with the expectation that they would kill each other. But when he returned after 30 days, he found that 15 had survived; thus —

Fifteen men on the Dead Man’s Chest–
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

Robert Louis Stevenson, by the way, was born on November 13, 1850 — two days shy of coming to this post on his 165th birthday….a shortcoming for which I absolve posthaste the author of such admired works as the STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, KIDNAPPED, and TREASURE ISLAND.

ADDENDUM: I was writing the first draft of this post when I heard of the terrorist attacks in Paris. To my friends/readers in France, may I express solidarité. In the aftermath, humor can seem out of place — but life marches on through (and past) the madness that does not know how to laugh. We cry at the mindlessness of it all, but we are human; we will laugh again….and we’ll always have Paris.