... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Thursday, May 05, 2011

285: In which 00:00 becomes 24:00

The clock on my oven says 24:00 to signify midnight instead of the customary 00:00; nack!  (Don’t worry about me writing nack there.  That’s a little insider joke I included; only one or two people will get it.  Don’t think you’re missing anything; it’s not even funny.)  After displaying 24:00, like some kind of secret hidden level, half programmed then blocked off and forgotten about in an 8bit computer game, I am disappointed to see if flick to 00:01.  What a letdown; surely a more exciting finale would be 24:01, and then we really would be heading down the rabbit hole.  After the giddy thrill of 24:00 it is hard not to be let down by anything so mundane as 00:01.

(not my actual oven)
But what if I were to see 24:01 (after 24:00) instead of 00:001 (after 24:00, instead of 00:00)?  What indeed; the build-up, the hype, the mounting excitement.  But imagine the crashing, devastating disappointment of seeing 00:02 after 24:01, when I had been biting my cheeks in anticipation of 24:02.  I don’t even want to think about it.  That’s too much disappointment for one little boy to contemplate.  The endless possibilities of a world in which the confines of the 24-hour clock broke down spontaneously at the whim of an oven craving cleaning, are the things fantasies and belief systems are built upon.

Twice now I have noticed the 24:00 on my oven (where one would normally expect to see 00:00 to numerically donate the concept of midnight).  Twice I have felt that nervous tingle.  This is unusual because I have been intimately acquainted with said oven for almost two years now.  I thought we knew each other inside and out; perhaps I was wrong.  Could it be that my little oven has always chosen 24:00, over what I considered the correct 00:00?  I always thought my little oven was happy.  Now I have reason to believe it is a pessimist at heart; depressed, moribund, alone in a sea of Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black peppercorns.

My oven has chosen 24:00 over 00:00.  My oven prefers to think of midnight as the end of the day; the termination – the death – of another day; one more spin of the earth closer to the day when it spins no more.  Oh how I want to help.  Why can’t it see things the other way around?  Why not does it see the birth of a new day; the possibility of turning the forthcoming dawn into whatever it wills it to be?  The time does not have to be 24:00, my friend.  It can be 00:00 if you want it to be.

So, my little oven friend, dry your eyes mate; I’ll make us a cup of tea.  And together we will face the day.  A day where five past midnight is 00:05, and not 24:05 (encroaching on the previous days afterlife; let it sleep the eternal sleep undisturbed) as you would have it.  A day where eleven forty seven AM is 35:47?  No.  We will wake up tomorrow at nine AM, and it will be 09:00, won’t it?  Yes.  Get it? Got it? Good.

The first time I noticed 24:00, as opposed to 00:00, on the clock face on the oven (in my kitchen)  I excited skipped into the bedroom yelping “fiancée, fiancée, [for that is what I call her] you’ll never guess what I’ve just seen”.  After several unenthused guesses (“erm... a spider and a wasp grimly dancing a fandango... a cherry tomato that’s so shiny you could squeak it... your fingers...?”) I caved in and told her – the clock on the oven, in the kitchen in our flat, says 24:00 at midnight instead of 00:00 as you may expect to see, I am surprised and confounded and more than a little excited.  We both agreed this was a monumental even.   She shared my excitement more than I could have ever expected.  “That’s nice, Kevin,” she ejaculated.

I’m sad to say that she is asleep now, so she will have to wait until the morning to hear the exciting news.  The news that for the second time I have seen the clock on the oven in the kitchen reading 24:00, instead of the customary 00:00 as I might have expected to see.  It reads 24:00, and I read it.

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