Last night I was invited to a baseball game in West Virigina.
Unfortunately, the weather was pretty bad, and although the rains let up briefly, the announcer told us that due to pending thunderstorms in the area, the game was postponed. However, for our troubles, we’d be given a firework show before leaving the stadium.
I love fireworks. And I really have to admit, they handled it well. The display started slowly, and then built up, and soon resulted in a massive display.
But, rather than burning out in a big finale, they calmed back down and eventually got a pace where they shot off one every minute or two. Non-stop.
This was brilliant. Instead of sending a massive crowd heading for their cars, it thins the crowd out over time. If you’re enjoying the slow display, you stay. If you’ve had your fill, you leave. Even as it was, we were some of the last to leave, and it was still going.
The down side was that it started to rain again, and that brought with it thunderstorms.
As we pulled home, the parents sent the kids upstairs to bed, since it was about an hour and a half past their bed times. And, as kids would have it, they stalled, calling for me to come up and tuck them in.
I went up to my niece’s room, gave her a hug and a goodnight kiss on the forehead, and closed the door. But right at the moment the door closed, there was a huge crack of lightning, such that I could see it under the door frame, with accompanying earth shattering kaboom. I remember seeing the flash, as it knocked out all the power in the house, which returned an instant later.
My niece called out, “Walt! Come back. I need you. Something’s wrong.”
Realizing this might also be a stall technique, I didn’t comply, but stayed silently outside her door.
“Walt?! I’m serious. Something’s wrong!”
At that point, I opened up the door. “What is it? You’re supposed to be in bed.”
Never mind that, “Something’s wrong with my clock! It’s flashing twelve!”
Apparently, she had never seen that before and was unaware that the clock’s reset was tied to the sudden loss of power. And, as my duty as an uncle, I had to play into this.
“That’s because it’s midnight. I put you be three hours ago.” Of course, it had merely been seconds ago, but I started to close the door again, pretending to leave.
“What? The clock said it was 9:30.”
“Yes, when I put you to bed a while back and you fell asleep. Look…” I then held out a hand and counted off on my fingers, “ten… eleven… twelve. See, three hours. I think the thunder just woke you. You’re okay. Good night.”
She started to take this in, pondering the possibility that she just may have been asleep and had just woken up.
“Wait!! The clock now says 12:01! What is going on?!?”
“It’s now one minute after midnight. You need to be in bed.”
This went on for a little bit more before she deduced I was making up her little time travel experience.
“Uncle Walt, I need my clock set. I’m supposed to wake up at 7:30 to play. What happens if I wake up and it blinks twelve at me, I’m going to be very confused. I can’t function like this.”
“Can’t you just subtract 3 from whatever the clock says?”
“You want me to math, in my head, that early in the morning? Can you please just set it?”
Well, if you put things that way, that was a reasonable request. No one should do math in the morning. So, I pulled out my phone and set the clock to the minute.
Which, coincidentally, was 9:30.
Now, the fact of the matter was that that clock had said 9:20 when she went to bed, she just remembered it as 9:30. So, this didn’t stop me from explaining that in setting the clock we went too far back in time, before she was put to bed. Clearly this now explained why she didn’t feel sleepy.