Time Limps On

“The time has come,” the walrus now says, “to speak of one thing: how telling time in the UK has gone the way of sealing wax.”

Verified reports indicate that analogue clocks are being removed from British classrooms because few students can read them. One can only speculate on how expressions will change as these young people confront life.

Workers who slow down near lunchtime or as the end of the day approaches will be told by supervisors “Keep working. Stop being a numbers watcher.”

Instructions for assembling merchandise or installing parts or fixtures will include the wording “Tighten bolts in an underhanded direction. To remove, loosen in a counter-underhanded direction.”

Bands will tell cheering audiences at 2 a.m. “We’re going to rock around that numbers thing on the wall.” Such groups would be wise not to include “25 or 6 to 4” and “Quarter to Three” in their repertoire for fear of confusing their fans.

Teachers will praise their pupils when they are cooperating nicely by telling them “That’s fine. Things are running like digitwork.”

After parents hang new timekeepers on a bedroom wall, they will tell their children “Put your ears right up to it. Hear that? That’s the sound of silence.”

Coaches will borrow from Shakespeare and Aldous Huxley when they tell their teams gathered around in a huddle “We’re ahead so just hold the ball until time must have a stop.”

The odds are ten to two driving instructors will get novices to put their hands in the proper position by telling them to play pattycake with the steering wheel and then hold their fingers right there and left there.

Threats uttered by angry husbands bent on revenge over a misdeed committed by a neighbor will contain the promise “I’m going over and clean his timepiece.”

Shops formerly referred to as second-hand stores will be known as used-once emporiums.

At 79 Wistful Vista, the home of radio’s Fibber McGee and Molly, whenever someone asked for the time, he or she was told it was “About half past.”  In 1962 to the rhythmic chant of “Tick-tock, Listen to the Clock” The Jive Five asked the musical question “What Time Is It?” In 2018 the time is more than half passed to stop blithely saying “O’clock” and begin moaning “Oh! Clock!”



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