Columns, Opinion

FONTANA: Killing time

It’s all relative, right? Relatively short, that is. I’m talking about time, of course. It’s kind of like that kid who gets picked last to play basketball: the kid’s a little all over the place, doesn’t have a steady rhythm, and when it comes down to it, he is just plain too short. But just like that kid, time eventually grows up, too, and when it does, well, it quickly becomes a crazy power hungry dictator to the helplessness of your “underdeveloped” life. That’s when it really starts paying you back for all those cruel years of being forced to watch sitcoms and do family game night. The dictating is not a pretty sight.

Time is such an abstract ideal — that fourth dimension thing. We count it in ticks and sand, shadows and snow, and it’s seemingly everywhere: on every computer screen, every cellphone, in every classroom on everyone’s mind. Yet, somehow, I’ve straight up gone and lost it.

But where did it go? Well, I’m not really sure. I checked my hamper, under my bed, in my wallet with all them dolla’ bills. I thought of plunging the toilet but decided that might be taking it too far. I looked outside under the piles of leave but only found melted snow. I checked in my backpack but couldn’t get through the mountain of unfinished papers and readings. I even found my way into the George Sherman Union’s lost and found, but besides a few (100) Terrier Cards, the keys to a Lexus and a textbook on how to properly shape a pie, the place was devoid of time. Time, my fellow readers, has been playing one mean game of hide-and-seek, and no matter how long I seem to count it, I never seem to actually find the time to look for it. I think it deserves a good old-fashioned time out.

I can see this conversation getting rather complicated.

We’ve got so many idioms for time: it’s time to wake up, time to eat, time to get down to business and time for bed. Yet, what happened to time for me? Where did all of that time for recess go? Or for doing nothing? Maybe I spent too much time on my college education. Maybe I did wasteful things from time to time. But how long can I live on borrowed time? When I’m pressed for time, because time is money, can time really heal all wounds? Time sure flies when you’re having fun, and let me tell you, I must be having so much fun that I’m not even aware of it, because time has gone and transformed into some mythological demon bird and straight up left the world behind. It’s flown the coop, and there’s nothing I can do about it. It’ll be the same tomorrow. Since tomorrow never comes, and yesterday never happened, right?

However, there is one alternative, an idea so dastardly, so diabolical, so manically chaotic, it must be true: someone must be killing time! All of it!

And if I had to guess who, I’d say it was those rabid, muddy, savage beasts with murder in their eyes and a faint smell of blood and death about them. That’s right, I’m talking about kindergarteners. When in doubt, always blame the kindergarteners. There’s a hole in the ozone layer? I smell ill-potty trained kids. Iran’s got a nuke? Sounds like arts and crafts to me. Petraeus was having an affair? We’ve been foiled by that damn naptime again, people! See, it really puts everything into perspective. Kindergarteners, I find you guilty as charged.

So, what do we do next? I can’t simply suggest that we annihilate kindergartners across the globe. It would create havoc. Why, just think of the pure surplus of goods and services we would require. The world would simply erupt in a fiery explosion from our sudden excess of time. No, like all international conflicts in life, this issue must be dealt with delicately, with a firm, but kind of flimsy hand and by a group of people who have absolutely no idea what on earth they could possible do to solve it. I tried the House of Representatives, but they were busy taking in circles (no surprise there). So, I gave the task to the kindergartners. Ha ha! Killing two birds with one bird, that’s what I always say.

Their idea: well, it was a mix of giggles, burps and spit bubbles. My translation: Let’s start a Time Drive! We can all wear baseball caps that same “Time Ules” on it and go around door to door asking for small donations of people’s time. “Sounds like fun to us, David!”

And I’m not one to leave people out either: we’re collecting tiempo right out of the sky, zeits fresh from your faces, aegs scrambled or boiled, tijd whatever that is! No matter how you say it, we’ll take it from you. If you’ve got too much time on your hands, we’ll be over in a jiffy to help you wash that gook right off. All it takes is a little warm water and a squirt of procrastination, and in no time at all your hands will be time free!

Alright folks, we’ll begin tomorrow at the first light of dawn. But if I’m not on time, you guys can just go on ahead without me. My alarm probably didn’t go off, but I’ll be sure to make up for any time I’ve lost. And as for our success, well, only time will tell.


David Fontana is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences and a Fall 2012 columnist for The Daily Free Press. He can be reached at [email protected].

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