Tuesday, November 22, 2022

A jiffy moment or two about time

(587 words)

I’m a guy with plenty of time on his hands so I wonder about the passing of time pretty much round the clock.

Speaking of clocks, historians say the first one was built in the year 1270. Catching a bus before then must have required infinite patience.

It sounds simplistic, but I wonder how they decided clock hands ought to go clockwise. Really, how would they know?

If anyone has time to study time, it ought to be me. It’s not like I’m one of those guys who has to punch a clock, a phrase that always reminds me of Henry David Thoreau who wondered (or should it be “pondered?”), “Is it possible to kill time without injuring eternity?”

Remind me to invite him to my next seance.

If I could only find the time. It just goes by so fast.

Like in an instant. A moment. A jiffy.

Each of those examples, by the way, is an actual unit of time.

A moment is a pre-clock medieval time measure that lasts precisely 90 seconds. I wonder how in those pre-clock days they timed 90 seconds. I guess they could have said, “A-one Mississippi! A-two Mississippi! …”

But knowing a moment is 90 seconds is useful to me and now, I hope, to you. You can now tell an annoying caller you'll "be one moment" and really take your time. I thought a moment was like 4 or 5 seconds, like within the realm of a winking flirtation.

In fact, an open-minded couple could go in 90 seconds from perfect strangers to being partners in an act that could conceivably result in the birth of a child. I’ve seen it done.

A friend of mine in college made meaningful eye contact with a girl he saw on the sidewalk and asked her if she’d like a house tour. I wondered later if she was from a different country where “house tour” translates to “instant sex.” But he really did get a girl in bed in 90 seconds.

I doubt he could have accomplished the same feat in a jiffy.

From Wikipedia: To physicists, a jiffy is how long light takes to travel a distance of one femtometre, which is a millionth of a millionth of a millimetre. That means that there are about three hundred thousand billion billion jiffys in a second.

Yet it takes at least 30 interminable minutes to get a basic suite of services at a vehicle maintenance shop called Jiffy Lube.

As for two shakes of a lamb’s tail, I become uncomfortable speculating about the origins of the phrase that certainly involves prolonged staring at the hind quarters of these gentle beasts.

I’ve heard too many stories of love-starved men succumbing to the carnal temptations of cattle and ‘round these parts we understand bedlam is an uproarious situation, but bed lamb is a rural scandal.

I’d like to see a judge sentence a bestiality convict to 50,000 shakes of a lamb’s tale.

Lesson: do sheep, do time.

Or does time do you?

It’s kind of like one of my favorite lines.

“Foolish mortal. You think you can kill time … Time kills you!”

It can be time for a change. Time goes by. You can call time out and be just in time. In your spare time you can save time. You can try to make time but will eventually run out of time.

Because time flies. It just never lands.

And that’s that. I’ve been doing these blogs since 2008, but this is the first one that ever directly took on the topic.

It’s about time.

Subscribe to my “Use All The Crayons!” newsletter — just $5 month/$50 a year — and get all my best stuff delivered twice-weekly to your inbox!


No comments: