Letters to the Editor

Hide your watch to enjoy freedom

Whidbey Island would do well to abolish the clock and go back to nature. I am going to put a vote on the next ballot for it – called Proposition Zero Hour. It’s often been said that time is that which keeps everything from happening all at once.

Our method of telling time, the clock, is obviously a modern invention and a necessary precursor to the corporation. Neither the caveman nor the early Whidbey natives needed to know the precise time. Sure, they knew roughly what time it was – time to rise, time for the fall rains, time for a fire and storytelling. When the men went out to hunt, the women knew it was time to gather grain. When the men came back, it was time for dinner.

The inventor of the clock must have been an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist. He wanted to know exactly what time it was, at all times. And, he could have started with the wristwatch, but no, he wanted EVERYONE to know what time it was. Soon, with Big Ben faces 30-feet in diameter, it was proudly announced to the world for miles around with bells and chimes. This man (could have been a woman, but then clocks would have been 10 minutes slow) wasn’t satisfied with the chief of the tribe deciding when to start the hunt. He wanted a SCHEDULE, the first evil tool of the corporation. Everything must be done at a certain time. There’s a time and a place for everything, he thought, and he wanted to be darn sure everybody knew it. After all, time is money, isn’t it?

When I go camping for a few days, the first thing I do is put my watch in the bottom of my pack. I don’t want to know what time it is. It’s my version of a return to prehistoric days. It’s a free country and you should be able to do what you want, when you want. Like in retirement. I’ve been retired six years and often I don’t know what day of the week it is without looking at my watch. That could also be early dementia, but I prefer to think of it as freedom. Freedom from control. I think eventually everyone at a certain age comes to see the wisdom in this. Whether the rest of the Whidbey will follow suit in November and vote to give up the clock, well, I guess only time will tell.

Al Ballou

Oak Harbor

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