Monday, January 16, 2017

The March of Time

Why did the hourglass only take a half an hour to empty? – Because it was filled with quicksand.

What’s so funny about this? Even though this is a decent pun, IMHO the cartoon really enhances it. Luckily I found several hourglass images to choose from and as I was doing that I remembered the movie, the Wizard of OZ and the wicked witch of the West looking into her giant crystal ball and seeing an image of Dorothy and her dog Toto lost in the poppy fields. Even though we are completely used to seeing miniaturized images on small screens and can even watch full length movies on our smartphones, nevertheless, there is still something supernaturally evocative about being unknowingly observed by a giant malevolent force. It’s this image that led me to create the cartoon with two evil witches watching a little girl drown in sand. Their conversation is innocuous enough. The male witch or wizard if you prefer, asks the other witch a perfectly logical question about a very large hour glass that stands between them. An hour glass, large or small, is designed so that sand slowly pours from one half into the other at a slow specific speed, requiring an hour to complete. The speed is controlled by the very narrow midpoint. It’s called an hourglass because that’s how long it’s supposed to take for the sand to transfer from the top to the bottom. Only in this case, the wizard noticed that after only a half an hour the sand was almost gone from the top half. Therefore, he asked how this could be happening. The witch answers that it’s quicksand. Note that I’m spelling it as one word. Her intended meaning is the sand is quicker than normal sand. I guess that’s why they call it quick. HOWEVER, you’ll note the little girl who appears to be drowning in the sand. That’s because quicksand is actually not quick at all, it’s slower than regular sand and has the power to suck into itself anything that happens to land on top of it. Quicksand is usually found in swampy areas, which provide the water which mixes with the loose sand. The unfortunate girl was not quick enough to avoid the quick sand, though it’s possible that one of the witches put her there with a bad spelling. And THAT’s what’s so funny!

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(adj): Sacred, divine, blessed.

Holiday: a holy or festive day; a day off, vacation (also sacred)

Expressions: Holy Cow! Literally true in India.

Ex: Holly Mackerel! Delicious, healthy and full of mercury.

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