Humans Are Weird: Time Edition

While working on my latest rewrite of Norman Normalson & The Normals, I was reminded of another bizarre practice of humanity. It is predominately a dominate practice in English-speaking countries. English is spoken in a lot of places.

There’s a place in the book in which Norman is making plans with his friends. He plans to meet them at a park at 23. On Epatrus, all times are on a 32-hour clock, which makes sense since the days are 32 hours long. They don’t start over counting in the middle of the day and treat 12 like a zero. That’s mostly because that would make absolutely no sense at all. So, 23 in the evening is comparable to 17 in the evening on Earth, which most people would call 5 because… I have no idea. I can only assume that at some point in Earth’s history someone got confused between a 12 and 0 and somehow that stuck, but only in relation to time. It’s as if somewhere someone came up with the equation 12=0 and it was accepted. That’s how they tell time.

It’s kind of like another of Earth’s people’s quirks. When people from the continent of Europe first made their way to the continent they named America, they called the indigenous people ‘Indians,’ because they thought they were in the country of India. Then the name stuck, even though they were wrong. No one cared enough to fix it. They just pretended like the people were Indians for the rest of history. That’s how stubborn humans are. They refuse to admit when they made a mistake. They pretend like they are right forever. No matter how much evidence of their follies is presented to them. “Oh well, 12, 0, what’s the difference?” “Original Americans, Indians what’s the difference?” That’s you. That’s what humans sound like. The answers are: 12 is the difference between 12 and 0, and one group of people is from America, and one is from India, which are about 13,039 kilometers, or 8,102 miles, apart.

The cultures of the Original American, for lack of a better term since anyone born in America is a native of America thus Native American, and Indians are as different as the cultures of Yamfennians and Yortians. They’re parsecs apart. The award for most bizarre species in the universe goes to… humans. Take a bow, humanity. You’re weird.

We won’t even get into your American time zones. Why do you have an East Coast with an Eastern Time Zone and a West Coast with a Pacific Time Zone? You have one named after a geographic location and one named after the ocean next to which it rests. Why isn’t it Eastern Time Zone and Western Time Zone, or Atlantic Time Zone and Pacific Time Zone? It’s called consistency, humanity. Look it up. Other oddities exist throughout the rest of the world that are way too complex to get into. China’s spread out through what should be five time zones but only has one time zone. When it gets dark at 20:00 (8) in the eastern region of the country it gets dark at 15:00 (3) in the western region. What?

Time is of the essence, and your time is weird.

7 thoughts on “Humans Are Weird: Time Edition

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  1. I feel like I have just received a most intriguing and bizarre lesson on the weirdness of humans. These are things I have never cared to think about, and yet you make them sound so interesting. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am a bizarre individual. Thing’s that seem so obvious and routine to people seem weird to me. Who better to write from the point of view of an alien?

      I know the 12-hour clock exists for analog purposes. A 24-hour watch would be a huge. Everything’s digital now. Do people even wear watches anymore?

      You’re in Canada, right? Do you use a 12-hour or 24-hour clock?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it’s cool that you can see things differently than other people. It would be boring if everyone saw things the same way.

        I wear a FitBit everyday. I feel like if I’m not wearing one, none of the steps I take count.

        Yes, I am in Canada. We use 12-hour clocks, I believe. I’m trying to recall if I have seen a 24-hour clock, but I don’t think so.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Your steps still count. They’re just not counted. Do you hike? Or just wear it to assure yourself you have moved? I hike a lot. I live in the mountains. I should get a FitBit. I’ve always wondered how long my hikes are.

        Most digital clocks, phone, computer, give you the option. My phone’s set to 24-hour. Surprise! One time, I was with some kids. One looked at my phone and “20:24.” The “20” confused him. I explained it was a 24-hour clock. He said, “Oh yeah. You just add 6, right?”

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It depends on how you look at it. Some days, hiking is fun. Some days, it’s a lot of work. Some days, it’s something I should have done.

        I think it was an inexperience issue. I don’t think it was something he’d experienced before.

        Liked by 1 person

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