6/03/2005

If you have THE TIME, read this.

We’re obsessed with time. Everywhere you look, something’s telling you what time it is. You’ve got your watch, of course. Then there’s the clock on your radio. As if that weren’t enough, the D.J. on your radio tells you 8 times every hour exactly what time it is in that smooth, DJ voice:

“You’re listening to the Disco Volcano on 98.3 FM, where it’s currently 3:45 in the AM and I’m being serviced under the console by an intern who thinks I can get her a record deal.”

My PDA has a clock. There’s a clock on my computer screen. Even my MP3 player has the time. Billboards, clock towers, the on-line cable guide, the microwave oven, Morris Day -- they all want to show me the time. It’s no wonder we’re all stressed and rushed. The whole world is reminding us what time it is!

There is one hour of the day when I’m obsessed with the time: my lunch hour. We’re all pretty stingy with time on our lunch hours. Our lunch hour is OUR time. I cherish each and every minute of my lunch hour and God help the poor bastard who cheats me out of a portion. I will hold him to account. That burger flipper who “forgot” to include my fries -- his name is going down in my little notebook. The clerk at the bank who can’t seem to pull my data up from my account number -- it’s coming out of your ass, pal. I’ll exact my revenge as soon as I find the time.

Our lunch hours are precious time. A lot of us blog from work, but I’ll bet none of us does it during his/her lunch hour! Am I right? Let The Man pay me for my blog time! Speaking of The Man, a policeman once pulled me over during my lunch hour and spent MY time writing me a ticket. I considered doing something that would have me locked in prison -- where, ironically, I’d have plenty of time.

I think that’s why we look back on childhood with nostalgia. It was the one time in our lives where time didn’t matter. In a child’s eye, there are only two times: daytime and nighttime. Other than that, time didn’t matter. Kids don’t even wear watches. After all, what difference does it make whether it’s 2:30 PM or 4:15? The itinerary still reads the same: play, play, play, eat something, play, play, sleep.

In adulthood, we measure time in man-hours, work-weeks, product “life-cycles,“ etc. In childhood, a valid increment of time is the time it takes to eat a jawbreaker. The park on the other side of town was two Blow-Pops away by bicycle. Wouldn’t it be nice if that remained the case? If we still measured our time by eating candy? You’d have to stay at work long enough to finish say, 10 jawbreakers. Then you go home. I just hope my job would have a good dental plan.

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