Haunted By Clockfoolery


One of my college roommates concocted a ridiculous rule that forbade him from beginning a study session unless it was the top of the hour. Bob adhered to this mandate with religious fervor, refusing to crack the spine of a book unless the time gods deemed it was OK. If the clock read 8:03, for example, he would be “forced” to wait an entire 57 minutes to try again – and he’d have a mere 60 seconds to jump on the study train.

Of course, I thought this rule was completely bogus and wasn’t shy about reminding Bob of my disdain.

He insisted that establishing a study rhythm was only possible at the precise top of the hour. To me, it was nothing more than a mighty convenient excuse to continue slacking. After all, this was a guy not exactly known for his academic devotion.

It’s a good thing Bob and I are separated by hundreds of miles, or else he would be faced with some awfully tempting opportunities for revenge.

That’s right, I seem to have adopted a similar ridiculous clock ritual.

Thankfully, it’s only half as rigid as Bob’s top-of-the-hour rule, as I will occasionally begin a project at the bottom of the hour as well. But don’t look for me to launch into a productive work session at 10:07. Ain’t gonna happen.

It should come as no surprise that I struggle with another clock-related issue. My clock issues are well-documented, as illustrated by the timepiece in my bedroom that runs 20 minutes fast – and has done so for more than two decades.

Which, come to think of it, creates its own unique dilemma: if I work in my bedroom, does the clock rule apply to the real time or the phony time?