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Senior scene

November 16, 2013

As Time Goes By: Fuggedabout 'tempus fugit' in not-so-fun times

Someone recently asked me if I had one wish, what it would be?

Naturally I thought of all the classic ones like world peace, or no disease, or unlimited money. Instead I asked for the one thing we can’t get — TIME.

Time is broken down into nice numbers: 60 seconds to a minute, 60 minutes to an hour and 24 hours in a day. Now scientists have taken the second and talk about nanoseconds. One nanosecond equals one billionth of a second. I find this about as exciting as watching paint dry.

I find the phrase “tempus fugit” (which roughly translates to “time flies”) puzzling because time has variable speeds. The last five minutes of a football game can last 30 minutes and a 10-minute job on a root canal at the dentist can last for one hour of drilling, and at some point you invariably smell smoke.

“Smope,” you say through a mouthful of sponges and painkiller. “Fiber,” you say again hoping to get someone’s attention. “Only a few more minutes,” someone says, and you pray that this is so. Seemingly hours drag by.

As a kid, a day could last forever and you would pass out from exhaustion on your dinner plate and then morning would come and you had to be up to milk cows in the blink of an eye.

Servicemen always appreciated the time spent on leave. Two weeks or 30 days would go by in the blink of an eye and what could you show for it? (Sometimes it was a quick wedding and, after nine months, a new heir to the throne.)

Time always drags by when you have to do something you hate. Weeding a garden is a good example, changing a baby’s dirty diaper is another.

I’m not sure what Katie ate to create a substance the consistency of molasses mixed with quick-setting cement. One time I actually used a butter knife to scrape her bottom. She laughed — she thought it was funny. I could never use that knife for spreading butter ever again.

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