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Politicians Put the Brakes on Time

The Journal of Prevarication
Marking time since ’99

This morning I came across a bit of doggerel which I wrote during the dog days of 2001. I don’t remember writing it, but I know I didn’t steal it. Maybe this is how senility starts.

The verse is about the crazy behavior of time, which speeds up as we grow older, except when we’re waiting for a repairman to show up, or trying to elect a president.

The 2008 presidential campaign bores some of my friends, and infuriates others. But it is prolonging my life. The last two weeks lasted longer than my childhood.

Here’s what I wrote seven years ago, when I was twelve years younger.


My body says it’s eighty-three,
Though it’s really sixty-five.
My inner child says he’s sixteen,
And glad to be alive.

The three of us still get along,
The carcass, the kid and I.
We find that there are many things
Which we view eye-to-eye.

We do think time’s a little strange,
The way it warps and flows.
The inner kid, though just sixteen,
Remembers sixty years ago.

My mind calls up a memory
That seems as fresh as dew.
I can’t believe it’s decades past,
But the body says, “I do!”

Hot summers last forever now,
And yet we fit four seasons
Into a year that’s twice as short,
For no climatic reason.

Long days we wait for lab reports,
Our minds amok with fears.
Our hunt for stuff for tax returns
Takes longer than whole years.

We’ve found that we can’t ration time
And sure don’t want to waste it.
We try to do our best at least
To feel and smell and taste it.

So time speeds up as we slow down,
The carcass, the kid and I.
We won’t take time to worry now —
We’ll slow down on the fly.

Last 5 posts by Jim Cook

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