Time flies when you’re getting older

Published 9:26 am Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Column: Tales From Exit 22

Time goes faster as you get older.

I’ve heard that all my life.

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When you are young, time stays in the right lane. When you are old, time is in the passing lane. It’s the opposite of which lane you would normally find drivers at those ages.

It doesn’t seem fair. Time goes slow when you want it to go fast and time goes fast when you want it to go slow. For a child, Christmas takes forever to get here. For an adult, that day is in a rush to arrive.

Time does fly. Groucho Marx said, “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.”

Aristotle said that time exists only in the mind. The mind needs a way to measure change because it misplaced its tape measure.

The years shorten with age. It’s a way the government has found to reduce annual costs. It’s more apparent with age as the noose tightens.

I think that how we view time is similar to what happens when you buy a new car. You really didn’t notice that particular model much until you bought one. Then, that car is everywhere. We don’t notice time passing until we notice that time has passed.

Our cats have been chasing dust bunnies under the bed. I see remnants of dust bunnies on their whiskers. It makes the time fly for the cats. It could be worse. They could play the bagpipes.

I checked to see if there was any tapioca pudding left in the dessert display at the restaurant at noon. I had my taste buds set for tapioca pudding topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. I like tapioca pudding.

Imagine my dismay when I discovered that there wasn’t any pudding left. There was when I’d looked earlier. I’ll bet that sneaky plumbing supply salesman from out of town ordered it. I didn’t like the looks of that guy the minute I laid eyes upon him. Oh, I’m sure he’s good to his mother and all, but to take the last tapioca pudding. The man has no shame.

My wife says that I shouldn’t let such things bother me, but let’s face it, she’s a woman. She’s lacking the competitive tapioca pudding gene. I don’t want you to think that I don’t take what my wife says seriously. I do. She has pepper spray in her purse.

The guy should have taken the chocolate pie. I don’t eat chocolate. I don’t eat chocolate because it doesn’t show the dirt.

See how I made time expand to fill this column by going completely off topic. Digression is a gift.

As a husband, I’m blessed by having a means of slowing time to a crawl. I go shoe shopping with my lovely bride. A nice shoe for a woman is an elusive thing. The thrill of that hunt is lost on me. If time flies when you’re having fun, it can only mean that shoe shopping is to fun what yodeling is to a moment of silence.

I have a mobile research laboratory that I use to study on things while I peregrinate. That’s why it’s called a mobile research laboratory. I don’t know why I have to explain these things. Moving while thinking is multitasking at its finest. What I do is I get into my car and drive around while considering important matters. Sometimes. Usually, I just waste gas. I thought that an Auto Think Tank (ATT) was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard of until I remembered that it was my idea.

I drove the mobile research lab (ATT) from home to the grocery store and back while trying to deduce why the years become more fleeting as they add up.

Oops! I’m out of space. Phooey! Just when I was about to make a revelation that would astound the world. Oh, well, I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out why time passes faster as you get older all by yourself. That can be your homework assignment. Double-spaced and remember, neatness counts.

I’ll leave you with a comforting thought to assuage my guilt for not revealing something that would make Nobel Prize winners green with envy. Cheer up, everyone is getting older. We’re all in this together. There, that should hold you.

What? There is room? I hadn’t counted on that. Give me a moment. OK, here’s the answer to the question that has mystified scholars for centuries.

Drumroll, please.

Time goes faster as you get older because a senior discount has been applied.


Hartland resident Al Batt’s columns appear every Wednesday and Sunday.