Two minutes of your life that you won’t get back
Sorry I haven’t been able to update my website for so long – over the past few weeks my job has been rather stressful (I’m not a full-time author, in case you didn’t know), and in order to get everything done that has been required of me, I’ve had to work some pretty long hours. As a result, it’s been difficult to think about anything other than work when I’ve arrived home late at night, and the last thing I’ve wanted to do when I’ve got back is sit in front of a computer screen and start typing, despite the fact that I really enjoy what I do for a living. I’m a wrestler, you see.
Okay I’m not really a wrestler. In truth, I have an office job (albeit a rather unusual one), and I’ve still got a lot of stuff to do before everything is all wrapped up. That said, I don’t want to let my real-world commitments stop me from updating this blog. It’s just hard to stop thinking about work at the moment, and if I’m not careful, I’ll just end up writing about that. Oh wait – that’s all I’ve been doing for the last two paragraphs. Let me try and change the subject, otherwise this will be two minutes of you life that you won’t get back.
That’s an odd phrase, isn’t it? I was in the elevator with a friend of mine the other day and he was talking about a bad game of football he’d watched recently. That’s every game of football as far as I’m concerned (I don’t do sport), but in this case the game was apparently rather boring, even for someone who enjoys watching overpaid men run around trying to get a ball to a place.
To digress for a moment, have you ever noticed how 90% of all sport just revolves around getting a ball to a place? Tennis – get a ball to a place. Golf – get a ball to a place. Cricket – get a ball to a place. Football – get a ball to a place. Rugby – get a ball to a place. Basketball – get a ball to a place. Pool – get a ball to a place. Baseball – get a ball to a place. As a species, why are we so fascinated by people who are very good at getting balls to places? Sometimes I just don’t understand the world, although from experience it’s probably me who’s the weird one.
Anyway, back to my friend and the football match he didn’t enjoy watching.
“So yeah, that’s two hours of my life I won’t get back,” he said.
I thought about what he’d just said for a moment.
“Have you ever wondered what that phrase actually means?” I asked.
“What?” my friend said, a smile creeping across his face. He smiled because he knows what I’m like, and correctly anticipated that my question was going to be followed by a smart-arse remark.
“Think about it,” I said. “That’s two hours of my life I won’t get back. What does it mean? It implies that there are scenarios in which you do actually get time back, but when does that ever happen? That football match could have been the best match ever, but you still wouldn’t have got those two hours of your life back.”
“I guess,” he said.
“So why do we say it?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s just something people say, isn’t it? But you’re right – you would never get any time back, so as phrases go, it’s a bit pointless really.”
“Actually,” I said, “I’ve just thought of two scenarios in which you would get the time back.”
“Let’s say you watched that match on a plane, and you were flying west across two time zones. When you looked at your watch at the end of the game, the time would be the same as when you’d started watching the match. So you could then say, ‘That’s two hours of my life I just got back’.”
My friend sighed.
“And the other scenario?” he said, slumping against the elevator wall.
“Let’s say you were watching the football match on the day the clocks went back…”
At this point, the lift announced in a synthesised female voice that it had arrived at its destination.
“Bye,” my friend said.
Anyway, that’s the end of my story. I will try and update this site more often, and it should be easier over the next few weeks as hopefully my work should ease off a little and I should have some holiday soon.