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As time goes by


L. D. Childers Columnist

Vintage L. D., aged to perfection.

   I read somewhere that Man is the only animal that understands the concept of time.  How would anyone know this?  If someone took a poll, how many animals were polled? Was it a broad socio-economic cross-section of animals?  The questions may have been phrased in a manner that confused the animals.  Weíve all heard tales about deceptive pollsters. Well, stop being so suspicious. I read it somewhere, so it must be true.                       

   My girlfriend Gert has a little dog I call Foo Foo.  Thatís not the dogís actual name. It has a name; I forget what it is, but trust meóit should be Foo Foo. I asked Foo Foo if he or she understands the concept of time.  Foo Foo just looked at me, sniffed a little, and walked away with its doggie nose in the air. No bark. Nothing. However, I might note that Foo Foo does not wear a watch. Some tasteful jewelry, yes, but no watch.

   Anyway, itís strange to think that, for a dog, time appears to pass at the same speed whether the dog is munching leisurely on absurdly expensive doggie cuisine, or whining and scratching at the back door after being mysteriously locked out of the house while Gertís in the shower and some people are trying to watch football in peace.  

  Speaking of football, I read somewhere that Chan Gailey has been the head football coach at Georgia Tech for four years. A few Tech fans would swear heís been there four-hundred years, but to me it seems like only yesterday that Georgia Tech announced somebody named Chan Gailey as their new football coach, and I pictured some happy Chinese fellow coming to coach up the Yellow Jackets.  I thought maybe heíd recruit some really tough Ninja guys, and I hoped the referees wouldnít let them use those nunchaku things -bad enough theyíd be Ju-Jitzuing poor unsuspecting opponents.  Yes, I sometimes confuse Chinese stuff with Japanese stuff, but thatís what time can do to a person.

  If I have a point, itís simply that time flies. By the same token, or perhaps a different one, time can also crawl. Ask anyone who gets into the same grocery store check-out lines I get into. Or anyone who has watched an Atlanta Hawks game since the turn of the century.

What do we learn from this paradox? We learn that time is relative; Einstein was right again. Donít you just hate people who are right all the time? I think Gert hates that about me. I could be wrong, but how likely is that, really?

  Anyway, I read somewhere that most New Yearís resolutions are broken before February. (Iíve already resolved to read much less in the coming year.) Thereís a part of me that finds comfort in knowing Iím not the only one that has a poor history with New Yearís resolutions. Approximately seven million things I resolved to accomplish this year remain unaccomplished, and I blame the time flying problem. Iíd almost be willing to bet Foo Foo has no unfulfilled resolutions.

   Most of us have at least a little trouble doing what we know we should do. That doesnít mean we donít do it, but sometimes it takes a while. What we stumble over in February may go a little smoother by November. Itís the continuing to try, stumble or not, that makes life good.

  This time of year, I find myself thinking about all the times Iíve stumbled and fallen, and all the times Iíve picked myself at least part of the way up, with help from family and friends. This year, as usual, there are so many ways I need to pick myself up off the ground and try again, and 2006 is the year Iím going to do it. This is going to be my year; I hope itís yours, too.


  L. D. Childers is an apprentice trapeze repairman living in Henry County.




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