494 Just a Second
A new social movement is developing worldwide at this very second. Well, maybe not at this very second, but at the second that WOULD be this very second if they hadn't started fooling with the clock the last day of 2008.
We heard it explained this way by clock maven Bobby "Mainspring" O'Brian at his shop on Queens Boulevard, somewhere around Woodside. Mainspring says the clocks had to have one second added because the earth is slowing down -- "...like the rest of us." Mainspring says it drove him absolutely nuts to adjust all the watches and clocks and such he has for sale. "I get this bulletin from some guy in the middle of a mountain somewhere out west, and he says they have to change everything around. I wasn't going to do it. Who would know? But I knuckled under. Every damn watch and clock. One second more. And I had to do it on New Year's Eve, to boot!"
Some of the rest of us haven't knuckled under. We steadfastly hold to the old clock. We are Old Clock. Orthodox Clock. Clock Purists. No fiddling with time here.
A second here, a second there, and before you know it, you're dealing with minutes. Nope. We are working on convincing you to repeal the change if you made it. Working on a website (Mainspring, feeling guilty about his wimpish behavior on New Year's Eve, has offered his computer, but doesn't want anyone to know it. "Can't risk being thought of as a subversive. Not in THIS neighborhood.")
Next, they'll want to add and subtract all kinds of things. They'll want do overs for all kinds of events that can't be done over. If you can do over 7pm, you'll soon be able to do over, say, June. Whatever happened to the March of Time? It's not a march? It's a halting amble, with a second removed here and inserted there? Whatever happened to "Time On My Hands?" Not on your second hands. And who thought we'd be taking the song "Turn Back the Hands of Time" literally.
Leap second, they call it. Mainspring says he thought a leap second was what you called the guy in the corner when he bolted over the top rope and stopped the boxing match.
Time is supposed to be precise. This is downright sloppy.
--The Montague County Jail of Fort Worth, Texas has been closed and its inmates transferred elsewhere. It wasn't so much that the jailbirds had reclining chairs and curtains in the cells. What finally did it was the discovery that the cell doors locked from the inside.
--New year, new statistics. They're always ga-ga about the first birth of the year. But you rarely hear about the first death.
--Pinch yourself. You are not dreaming. We really DID elect Barack Obama President, probably the highlight of what turned out to be a nightmare of a year.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(sm)
(C) WJR 2009