Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The stars, like peanuts

Argo: Lately I've been really staticky. I don't understand why.

Bellboy: You mean you keep getting shocks?

Argo: Yeah. Every time I touch anything metal, I get a little shock. It's been going on for weeks.

Bellboy: I've had that happen before. It's probably a combination of this weird weather and the fact that you don't use fabric softener.

Argo: The weather has been strange, hasn't it? It's freezing one day, then nice and warm the next; then a big storm, then it's cold, then it snows. It's like the seasons have been alternating every half week. Everything seems out of sync.

Bellboy: I've been thinking about that global isochrony thing, you know? How time is the same wherever you go. It's strange to think about, about how there's this rigid time-structure all over the planet, and that people obey it like crazy, but that there are these natural forces that just drift around, oblivious, paying no attention at all.

Argo: I've wondered if you can see it from space. Maybe the whole planet is ticking, you know? Especially during the day time, but probably all over; maybe there's this periodic hourly pulse emitted from the surface of the Earth, along with the background noise created by thunderstorms and random human activity. An hourly pulse, probably blurred over a few minutes, on noise, windowed by a 24 hour amplitude cycle.

Bellboy: That's crazy, man.

(Ms Sandy enters)

Ms Sandy: I demand to know what's going on! Where are Dr Walmarto's slippers? I told you, you ugly bellboy, you are not to bring that monstrosity onto this property!

Argo: I take offense at that, cow.

Ms Sandy: What did you-

Bellboy: The monstrosity isn't here, Ms Sandy, it's home recharging. We were just standing here, discussing something.

Ms Sandy: Was it global isochrony? Were you discussing global isochrony again? It's almost nine o' clock, there is work to be done, and I will not have this talk of global isochrony! It's madness!

Bellboy: It's not madness, it's-

Ms Sandy: Bellboy, shut your ugly mouth! Argo, to the kitchen, we have a banquet to prepare for. Where is Nina? Ugly little Nina!

(Ms Sandy leaves)

Argo: That woman is doomed. She has sealed her stinking, crawling fate.

Bellboy: Could you cook me a grilled cheese sandwich? I'm starving.

Argo: Sure, I'll send Pablo out.

(Argo leaves)

Bellboy: The engine of the Earth's peoples carries on, pulsing into space, ticking like a clock, rotating and revolving through the void! A tiny world teeming with pulsars, all calling our names, synchronized in perfect global isochrony!

Monday, February 13, 2006

No bananas

Theo: Where am I?

Nina: "Where you are today,
you will not be tomorrow,
neither yesterday."

Theo: What? Who are you?

Nina: I am your guide in this place, a place of ethereal wonder.

Theo: Yes, okay.

(Ms Sandy enters)

Ms Sandy: Nina, get back to the kitchen! Put your hat back on!

Nina: Yes, Ms Sandy. Here is your omelet, Sir.

(Nina leaves)

Theo: What is this... thing? It smells like eggs.

Ms Sandy: That, sir, is an omelet. It is in fact made from eggs.

Theo: Who are you? What is this place?

Ms Sandy: Tell me, Theo, have you ever heard of something called global isochrony?

Theo: What is that? Who is Theo?

Ms Sandy: In just a few minutes, the time will become seven o' clock. When that happens, you will understand everything. In the meantime, tell me what you know about global isochrony.

Theo: What is this thing? It smells like eggs. I would like some coffee.

Ms Sandy: Absolutely! Nina, immediately!

(Nina enters)

Nina: Yes Ms Sandy!

Ms Sandy: Our guest would like some coffee, ugly little Nina! Right away!

(Nina leaves)

Ms Sandy: Theo, that is an omelet. It is made from eggs, and cheese. Sometimes people put onions or other things inside. Yours is made only from eggs and cheese.

Theo: What are you talking about? Who are you? Where am I?

Ms Sandy: In 1884, in Washington DC, president Chester A. Arthur called an international conference to discuss a system of globally isochronous time. It was not legally binding or anything, of course, as there were at this time no international institutions such as the United Nations. It was just a good idea.

Theo: What am I doing? I taste eggs.

Ms Sandy: You are eating an omelet, Theo. How does it taste?

Theo: Where is my coffee?

(Nina enters)

Nina: Ms Sandy, hurry, there's been an accident in the kitchen! There's blood everywhere!

Ms Sandy: What? Theo, you wait here!

(Argo): Ye gods, not again!

(Ms Sandy leaves)

Theo: Who are you?

Nina: I am your ethereal muse, brought alongside to trade in cheese, wine, and slaves.

Theo: What are you talking about? Where am I?

Nina: You are in hell, Theo. You are in hell, and I am the devil. I'm here to torture you. Eat your eggs, and then I can continue with your treatment. Eat quickly, because-

Theo: Bellboy! Bring my coat!

(Bellboy enters)

Bellboy: Nina! Where is your hat? Ms Sandy will be angry if she sees you without it.

Nina: Ms Sandy and Argo are cleaning up a mess in the kitchen. You and I are free to do whatever we like.

Theo: Coat! Bring my bellboy!

Bellboy: Well, if you're not wearing your hat, I'm not wearing mine.

Nina: That's the spirit! Give Theo his coat, and we can sneak off for a little while.

(Nina and Bellboy leave)

Theo: President Arthur, what a man! Little did he know that one day global isochrony would be a basic and subliminal fact of human existence. Or maybe he did know it. We'll never know what he knew, or at least, we'll never know whether or not what we know is the same as what he knew. What a tremendous world.

Monday, February 06, 2006

How Things Get Out of Sync

Argo: I was thinking today about something which I think is called 'global isochrony'.

Bellboy: What's that?

Argo: It's where everybody on the planet who has a clock, which is a lot of the people, or everybody on the planet who has to meet some clock-borne schedule, which is even more of the people, where they all change hours at the same time.

Bellboy: Why were you thinking today about that?

Argo: I don't really know.

Bellboy: Well, did you figure anything out?

Argo: Not really. I mean, I thought about it, and tried to look up something about it.

Bellboy: Did you find anything?

Argo: Well, I found a term, I think it was 'global isochrony', which I think applies to what I was thinking about. And I found that the institution of 'Time Zones' is what keeps global isochrony in place.

(Ms Sandy enters)

Ms Sandy: Hi there boys, good morning!

Bellboy: Why hello, Ms Sandy!

Ms Sandy: What are you two talking about this time of morning? Shouldn't you be cooking breakfast, Argo?

Argo: No breakfast this morning, Ms Sandy. I am vexed.

Bellboy: Ms Sandy, have you ever heard of something called 'global isochrony'?

Ms Sandy: No I haven't, and you'd do well to keep your ugly mouth shut. Argo, get to the kitchen.

(Ms Sandy leaves)

Argo: I'm glad she's gone. I don't like her.

Bellboy: Keep your voice down, she might come back.

Argo: I don't care. If she talks to me like that again, I'm going to stick this finger in her eye.

Bellboy: Okay, but first tell me what you learned about global isochrony.

Argo: That's it, I told you all I know. All the countries in the world live in time zones. What I was wondering was, when did this happen? I mean, back when they were laying railroads down, and suddenly you had reliable schedules, it was time to make departure and arrival times official; so, it was a good idea to synchronize all the clocks.

Bellboy: Right. But when did this happen? Or has it completely happened yet?

Argo: Exactly! That's what I wanted to know. When did local isochrony become global isochrony? Was there an International Time Zone Treaty? How many people are left who have no connection at all to hourly time? There are still herders and jungle people aren't there? They don't use clocks do they?

(Ms Sandy returns)

Ms Sandy: Argo, get to the kitchen! Sñr Pluto wants eggs and waffles, and he wants them now. Your pay will be docked for every moment Sñr Pluto goes without eggs and waffles. Argo, get your dirty finger out of my eye!

Argo: Six o' clock. Right now people are clocking in, clocking out, meeting new people, saying hello, opening up, closing shop, starting class, making phonecalls, tuning in their televisions, their radios-

(Argo and Ms Sandy leave)

Bellboy: Everywhere, alarms are waking people up, children are being put to bed, chimes are ringing! Global isochrony is amazing!