Article: 261570 of talk.bizarre Newsgroups: talk.bizarre From: firstname.lastname@example.org (kEvin) Subject: Real Time Application Message-ID: <elvisDIy50I.IuB@netcom.com> Followup-To: someplace.where.followups.are.appreciated Summary: arbitrary system crushes all beneath it Keywords: time clock Organization: Flee. Flee! Flea. Date: Sat, 2 Dec 1995 06:36:18 GMT Lines: 169 Sender: email@example.com Status: O X-Status: Jin brought me to the mad god's tent to learn to speak with the new gods' tongue. I was frightened. "You must stay and learn Tan," he admonished me, "Someone must speak for our people or we will lose the gods' favor." "What if he eats me?" Jin just laughed and pushed me into the tent. The mad god's icons were scattered about, and the god himself was seated before a glowing plate covered with runes. A small box sat next to him; one of its faces glowing with several large runes as well. It was very hot in the tent, and strange boxes hummed so softly I couldn't hear their song. The god was looking at the runes on his big glowing plate and did not see us at first. Jin and I stood there in silence until I saw the runes on the face of the small box change suddenly. "Magic!" I cried when I saw that, "the mad god's box changes." The mad god noticed us then. "Greetings honored large erect penis," he said in our tongue. "Do not fear the changing box. It is not alive or dangerous; it simply marks the time." "Honored large erect penis?" I repeated. "We are indeed well met." He intoned, ending the greeting ritual I hadn't realized we were performing. "The people of the road have taught me your tongue," he said proudly. Jin looked at me and mouthed 'honored large erect penis.' I gaped at Jin in disbelief. The mad god spoke again. "There's no need to fear, Jin has been here before and will attest to my good will. Please relax. Why don't we get started and try to learn something new before eating time" I nodded, confused by his strange marvels and seeming ignorance. Jin's smile bothered me, but he took off to tend the herd after tellling the god my name. "Be quick to learn or he'll have you for his meal," Jin taunted me as he left. The mad god laughed at that. "Since I know some of your tongue, and you none of mine, I'll start right off teaching you some simple words. This 'box' is called a klokk. Try to say that." "klokk." "The clock tells me what time it is. Do you have a word in your tongue for something that tells you the time?" "Many I said, but each is for a different time." The mad god seemed pleased. "Could you share some with me?" "Well," I stammered, 'eepotevahi' is what tells us when to urinate, 'yrnoh' tells us when ...." "No no no," the god laughed again. "That's not telling time. Time is how the days are divided up. By looking at the 'klokk' you can see that we've been talking for two 'minnits' " I did not comprehend the god's arcana, and I told him so. Yet again he laughed, "Well, I see by the 'klokk' that it's time to eat. I nodded assent so as not to anger the god, but from the fullness in my stomach I knew it was not yet time to eat. What did the 'klokk' say that I could not hear? It made a faintest of faint humming noise when I put my ear next to it, but I was sure there were no words in any tongue. The mad god was amused by my actions and gave me leave to manipulate the 'klokk' in search of knowledge. While I watched its everchanging face, he poured goo out of metal boxes into a small metal pot and put it on a spiral that began to give off heat and glow. Fascinated by the 'klokk', I did not pay full attention to the god's clankings and manipulations. Shortly, he waved his large hands at me and bade me to sit on a 'chare' and eat. "Did you see the 'klokk' keep time?" he asked. "No! Did it steal some from me unawares?" The now familiar chuckle rumbled from the mad god's throat, "Did you count how many times the 'klokk' face changed? Each change is one minute." I was skilled in the art of counting, as our people trade much stock with the Easterners and the nomads. "18 times it changed," I answered. "Impressive!" the god exclaimed, "without knowing how to interpret the runes, you've managed to keep the time quite well. Here, let's eat and I'll give you a brief overview of the history you'll need to know. Watch the 'klokk' and you'll learn how it works." I sat and picked at the food the god had set before me. Shapeless and salty, it was unusual, and appealing for that, but I could not see any other joy in it. Still full from the decent sized fish I had eaten at home, I picked at the brownish goo while the god droned on about kings and wizards. Suddenly he stopped. "Now look at the 'klokk' Tan," he said. "See how it has changed 18 times since we sat down to eat?" "Yes." "Well that's 18 minutes. That's exactly as long as the time you spent playing with it while I prepared this food." "Oh no," I corrected, "this time was longer than the other." "No it wasn't," his hands waved a bit, "the times were just the same. People often don't know the time, but the 'klokk' keeps it straight." "I always know the time," I blurted, anger overcoming my lingering fear, "and so do my people." "Look," the mad god picked up the box and turned its glowing face to me, "it's 12 and 40. That's what time it is. Now the face changes, and that means that the time is ...?" He turned to me expecting an answer. "You want me to tell you what time it is?" "Yes." "It's time to blow this popsicle stand and go swimming in the river." "No, it's 12 and 41." I snatched the 'klokk' on my way out, perhaps the mad god will learn to tell time without it there to focus his madness. kEvin is it time to Fail to Suck yet?