The Donald Decimal Time System

Donald Shephard

There is something archaic about our present system of denoting time. Where on earth did we get 24 hours in a day? Did the ancients add the number of their fingers and toes, ears, mouth and nose? Why do we count to twelve and still have only the moiety of a day? These are logical developments compared to the invention of the sexagesimal fraction. I must explain here, that sexagesimal fraction does not mean a gestation period of a wiggly sixty year old but rather one- sixtieth part as in the phrase, "A minute is a sexagesimal fraction of an hour."

After considerable cogitation, discussion and mystical meditation, I am now proud to present the Donald Decimal Time System, which, I truly believe, will be as famous as the Dewey Decimal System was in libraries. We should have ten-hour days. Each hour should consist of ten minutes; each minute should have ten seconds in it.

Think how simple this makes the math. Now we know the answer to the old arithmetic conundrum. If a hen and a half lays an egg and a half in a day and a half, how long does it take ten hens to lay ten eggs? Actually, I got stuck figuring how half a hen lays half an egg, or any egg at all come to that, but, that is just my moiety complex. I am quite sure that you can do the math. Can't you?

I digress. My working colleagues, as opposed to my idle rich colleagues, my fellow bus riders, or those honorable and erudite members of the brown-paper-wrapped-bottle fraternity of Capitol Park have become so familiar with this Donald Decimal Time System concept that they now refer to it as the DDT's or DTs for short.

Think again, for a second, of the advantages of Decimal Time. Right there, if we had DT's you will have longer to think. You will also need longer to think but that is nitpicky and beyond the scope of this treatise. You will have longer to think because each Decimal Time minute equals 2.4 present minutes.

When you say, "Just a minute." You will have 2.4 times as much time before committing to some ill-conceived folly. This is pregnant, as it were, with implications. He says, "If I said you have a beautiful body, would you hold it against me." She says, "Just a minute." Now she has but sixty seconds to prepare herself but, under the Decimal Time System she will have 144 seconds , a gross of seconds, to get his drift and avoid his gross machinations. The population of the world can be halved.

Think of the joys of a three-and-a-third-hour workday. Your lunch hour will be 2.4 current hours long, leaving just 0.9 hours for coffee and body breaks. The French have been taking two-hour lunch breaks for donkeys' years. That would be French donkeys, of course. If the Brits adopt the Decimal Time System, and I fully expect them to under the enlightened administration of the barely pubescent Tony Blair, their culinary skills will certainly improve. Who could possibly eat British food for 2.4 current hours?

The diminished number of hours in a day means fewer hours in each week, month and year. That surely means the teenage years are shorter and therefore more bearable for the teens and their afflicted parents alike. And, if years have fewer hours, certainly light-years will have fewer miles which will shrink the size of the universe, bring the stars closer to us, make them brighter and encourage a return to romanticism. Oh well, there goes the population back up again but you cannot have everything in this world.

The hour has not yet come, meaning the hour of death, will be further away enabling us to live longer. We will need to plan because we will no longer be able to do things at the eleventh hour for the eleventh hour under the Decimal Time System is maana, which is good enough for me.

Drinking till the wee small hours of the morning will take till 3 Decimal Time or 7:20 am present time. No one can stand that except, of course, the aforementioned beloved fraternity of brown-bag imbibers who probably don't know the time of day anyway.

Now that the sun has finally set on the British Empire, Churchill would be proud to know that one of his diminutive constituents grew up, to a certain extent anyway, to rewrite his historic speech.

"Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Commonwealth and its Empire lasts for a thousand years (fat chance), men will still say, 'This was their finest 2.4 hours'."

American history will also be revised. The Minutemen were American militiamen who promised to take up arms at a minutes notice. If it had taken them 2.4 times as long then the mutual histories of Britain and America may have been altered. Not altered in the way of dogs and cats, but rather different, if you see what I mean.

By far the most revolutionary effect of the change in time will be on the perfect soft-boiled egg. Which reminds me of one of my old girlfriends, a farmers daughter, but I will have to tell you all about her some other time. The perfect soft-boiled egg will only take one minute with the DDT's. What a time saver. You will now be able to rush off to work earlier for your first coffee break.

We will have longer for our second thoughts which would have helped me to no end in my impetuous youth when I made time with certain lively and lovable lasses after hearing my favorite publican utter those damning words, "Time, gentlemen, please."

I genuinely believe that the advantages of the Donald Decimal Time System greatly outweigh the minor disadvantage and that it will be adopted sooner rather that later and not as one of my befuddled Capitol Park friends said, "When three Thursdays come together." There, I have presented my case, and my time is up.

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