Why is Cloud Nine more famous than the previous eight? We all know to be "on cloud nine" means to be blissfully happy. A place to desire being. But why? Where did it come from?
Why not Cloud Seven? That at least rhymes with "heaven." Or Cloud Eleven, then you've got the rhyme and the pop culture reference. Go Spinal Tap.
A quick review of the internet yields contrary reports, yet everyone seems certain they have the true origin. One claims that the US Weather Bureau once described clouds with a numeric sequence, and Level Nine was the highest of the cumulonimbus, which sounds a little too obvious to me.
I also found claims that it has to do with a 1950's radio show called Johnny Dollar, in which each time Johnny got knocked unconscious he would travel to Cloud Nine. But that's hardly a description of a blissful situation now, is it?
In Dante's Paradise the Divine Presence dwells in the 10th heaven, making the 9th the heaven closest to the divine you can come. This sounds plausible as an origin story but c'mon, who reads Dante? I'm guessing even back in the day it was mostly bought to put on the shelf in the belief that it would make the purchaser look "smart." So I don't think anybody really knows for sure.
My personal lucky number has always been four. So my metaphoric, euphoric place to float to from now on will be Cloud Four. "Wow, I'm on Cloud Four!" I kinda like watching folks faces screw up at the sound of something they feel is wrong, but can't prove why.
Besides if everybody else is going to Cloud Nine, there's bound to be a line, or at least most of the good views will already be taken. Me? I need a lot of spreading out room to enjoy my bliss properly. So when the time comes, I'll be kicking back in peace, waving to you from Cloud Four.
Be with me next time when I'll investigate why people get dressed "to the nines," and go "the whole nine yards."