The Theory of Time

All time is relative, as demonstrated by one of its ruling principles, Tallman’s Theory of Relatives. It states that each day your relatives visit, actually lasts for 30 days. This explains why your crazy mother-in-law’s three-day stay feels like three months.

This abstract and somewhat fluid concept of time may confuse you; so let me clarify. Time exists on two parallel planes: real time and perceived time. This can be demonstrated when my alarm clock goes off at 7:00 am, and I close my eyes for five minutes. But when I open them again, it’s 8:45.

Perceived time is a paradox, as illustrated by this opposite example. At work when it’s 3:30, I close my eyes for five minutes, and when I open them again, it’s still 3:30. This sub-principle is known as The Microwave Misconception, derived from the doctrine that states: Microwave Minutes, or MM, are, in actuality, longer than Actual Minutes, or AM. So when expressing this mathematically, remember that MM is always less than AM.

For proof, I give you Tallman’s Theory of Toaster Waffles. I’ve viewed countless displays of this thesis, which states that, though it should take five minutes to toast a waffle, it will, in actuality, take one hour. Longer if you’re really hungry.

This proof can be extrapolated to include my husband. When he says, “Give me a minute,” the actual elapsed time—especially if he’s tinkering in his garage—is somewhere between 20 minutes to six hours.

And the real paradox is that this principle also works in reverse. So when I ask my husband for a five-minute back scratch, it’s actually over in 30 seconds.

Now, here’s a few more Theory of Time Fun Facts:

A five-minute hot flash actually lasts seven years.

The actual length of a 60-minute exercise class is 16 hours.

Each minute in a dentist chair equals 30 minutes, so a ten-minute procedure actually takes 5 hours. No wonder my jaw gets tired.

And as children, the 30 minutes we were forced to wait after eating before going back into the water, in actuality, was five days. By the time we were allowed back into the water our lunch had not only gone through our digestive tracts, it had gone through the waste disposal plant.

Even germs have an established principle of time, which crosses generational lines. When food hits the floor, the little baby germs say, “Wow, let’s get it.” But the adult germs say, “No, you must wait five seconds.”

This theory can be expanded to include one more passage of time: age. We all know that one dog-year equals seven human-years. But did you also know that one cell-phone year equals 40 human years? This planned obsolescence is the basis for Tallman’s Theory of Junk—a sub-set of the above theory—and why your $700 cell phone is trash after only two years.

And a truly paradoxical rule in the Theory of Time is that while you’re standing up here reading a Dime Story, it feels both like forever, and like you are running out of time.