“Hi, boys,” smiles waitress Beverly as she brings our morning coffee. “How were your holidays? Ready for a Happy New Year?”
“It’s about time,” says John.
“I beg your pardon,” responds Beverly with her hand defiantly on her hip.
“Yes, that was rather rude,” I add.
“What…what…oh…no…I…uh…time. It’s about time. I’m writing a blog about time,” John explains apologetically . “I think Albert was wrong.”
“Fat Albert?” Beverly asks. “You mean that Bill Cosby character. The one who’s in trouble these days?
“No. Albert, Albert. The guy with the bushy hair, the genius, the physicist, you know, the E=mc2 dude.”
“Yes,” I note. “Not only was that a great idea…” I look at Beverly. “It’s the law,” smiling as we share a high five.
Okay, okay, I’ve got the T-shirt, too,” John replies exasperatedly. “Look, Albert Einstein claims that the faster you travel, time slows down. So as you approach the speed of light, you stop aging.”
“Well, it’s certainly slow around here,” Beverly observes.
“And I’m growing older just listening to this conversation,” I second.
“Albert says that people are on a space ship traveling round trip to a distant planet at nearly light speed, for let’s say 10 years. But back on Earth 20 years will have passed. So the space passengers will look much younger than the people on earth when they return. How is that even possible?”
“That sounds like cosmic surgery,” Beverly says cuttingly.
“Oh, that was stellar.”
Look, I’m serious,” John responds forcefully
Well, I’m critical,” Beverly pokes.
“Just list me as stable.”
“Enough of the surgical humor already,” John argues. “I don’t understand how Einstein came up with this idea.”
“It’s all relative, John,” Beverly sits down. “You remember that I was a physics major in college. Speed depends on your perception and position.”
“From my position, I perceive that I need a refill on today’s special,” I interject.
“For example if you’re driving on the interstate and there is a car next to you going at the same speed, from your view you both seem to be standing still,” Beverly ignores me. “But to someone standing beside the highway, you’re both going very fast. Hence, relative.”
“I may have to call a relative to get my refill,” I pout.
“Okay, I get that. But this time thing baffles me. What kind of experiments did Einstein do?”
“Oh, he rarely went into the lab. He came up with his ideas just resting and pondering the universe,” Beverly still facing John.
“I wonder where in the universe I could find someone to pour me a second cup of coffee,” I complain.
“So he revealed these theories while resting?”
That’s the naked truth because Einstein often lounged in the nude,” Beverly laughs.*
“Well, I can barely stand this delay,” I mutter looking for another waitress.
“Just keep your shirt on and everything else, too,” scolds Beverly, “one refill coming up…when I have time.”
“Time. It’s all very confusing,” John whispers dejectedly. “Sometimes it’s fast, sometimes it’s slow. How will we ever know what the true time is? When 2016 actually beings…how to know when to celebrate the New Year?”
“It will be when I finally get my second cup of coffee..some time next year,” I complain sarcastically.**
(MUSIC PLAYS ON JUKE BOX IN BACKGROUND)
“If you really want to know the correct time, that’s easy,” Beverly hands the bill to us and keeps her hand outstretched waiting for a tip. “Just like the old country song you’re hearing.”
“If you’ve got the money, honey, I’ve got the time…”
* Editor’s Note: I read this but now can’t find the link for it.
** Editor’s Note: I’ll have to get these three into the right spirit next year. Meanwhile, I wish you all a very Happy New Year 2016.