The Humor and Life, in Particular Web site
author:  Margie Culbertson

November/December 2000 Humor Writing Contest Winner
Best "Very Short" Humor!

Telling Time Is Not As Easy As It Looks


Jerry Schatz

Learning to tell time doesn't have to be a psychologically traumaticexperience, but to me it was. My mother, otherwise a great mom, thoughtthat I, at four–years–old or so, should have that skill. To that end shedrew a series of clock–faces with hands in different positions andinstructed me to puzzle–out what, to me, was a hopelessly arcane andconfusing exercise. I didn't do well at all. For several weeks I hadnightmares about snarling clocks. I overheard my mom saying to my dad,"Frank, I'm afraid your son may have a severe learning disability." Myfather took my side. As I remember he said something like, "Whaddaya mean MYson?" My dad always took my side.

I didn't know what a learning disability was, but I was pretty sure itwasn't good and that it had something to do with not being able to telltime. At that age I was not one to displease his mother. After all, I was inno position to cut out on my own. I applied myself, and by sixteen I wasable to tell time with the best of them. I did not own a wristwatch,however, until I was 37. That's when they came out with digital watches. Ifmy trusty digital timepiece read 7:24, then by God that's what time it was!

What my mother never knew was that sometimes when I'm very tired and someoneasks me what time it is, and I'm wearing my expensive watch with hands andall, I have a tendency to say, "The big hand is on the three and the littlehand is on the two."

But I'm still trying, mom.

©Jerry Schatz

ABOUT the author:

My name is frequently mentioned, by me, at some of the most glitteringliterary soirees. This is invariably followed by, "Who?" I've been waitingfor my former neighbor, John Updike, to drop the baton. Sucker's got adeath–grip on it. In the meantime I've been hard at work on my epic poem,Felix, the Idiot–King of Paoli. I've completed 400,000 words. The writingwill probably go faster once I've finished the introduction. Don't look forit in the bookstores any time soon.

You can read more of Jerry's writing at his website: Click HERE.

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©Margie Culbertson

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