Once upon a time, at some point in the previous millennium, Jill and I came across an amusing personals ad in Seven Days. The poster sought other gay men who knitted in the Northeast Kingdom. We thought that his chances of finding someone else who shared all those identities was vanishingly small, and "gay men who knit in the Northeast Kingdom" became a standard reference for a ridiculously specific set of conditions.
Years later, I wonder how many gay men there are who knit in the Northeast Kingdom. Let's do the math, shall we?
The Northeast Kingdom is a region in, obviously, the northeastern corner of Vermont, containing Essex, Orleans and Caledonia counties.
That's a total of 64,764 people. We'll say that 50% of them are men.
That leaves 32,382 men. Let's say 10% of them are gay.
That leaves 3,238 gay men.
But how many of them knit? A 2003 survey showed that 1,300,000 people in the US know how to knit. Dividing that into the total population of the US in 2000, which was 281,421,906, we get a ratio of approximately 0.00462, or, rounding up, 4.6:1000.
Assuming that the ratio of knitters to the general US population remains stable from 2003 to 2010, that's about 15 gay men who knit in the Northeast Kingdom.
Yup, that's a vanishingly small amount. And that's not even getting into the probability that the 14 others will even see the ad that the 1 put in the paper!