Thursday, October 9, 2014

Throwback Thursday: where did the time go?

Today we are flashing back to 2002, 12 years ago when I just finally getting on my feet again after becoming a mom. I had no idea how exhausting and time consuming it would be. I was looking forward to my maternity leave as a VACATION!!! Ha!!!

Just about the time this picture was taken of me and my daughter at Glacier National Park, I had figured out how to start enjoying myself again. Now, I certainly enjoyed my baby girl from the moment she was born, but enjoying myself? not so much. Adjusting to less sleep, adjusting to hauling baby stuff everywhere, not being able to pick and go where-ever when-ever I wanted...

The biggest thing about parenthood is that you keep wondering where did the time go? I think kids are little time vacuums that suck away your time,  Granted, they give you lots of joy in return, but they definitely steal time.  Days just don't feel like they have 24 hours in them anymore. There's some sort of time warp going on.  I can't believe, for instance, that baby girl in the photo is taller than me now and 13 years old. It seems like just yesterday!!

Terry Pratchett has a lot of fun playing with time in his book, Thief of Time (published in 2002).
He basically takes every single common saying about time and wrings every fun twist or warp out of those sayings. So for instance, "where did the time go?" - well, suppose that there's an order of History Monks that tend to time, that can store time and redistribute it as necessary? They are secretly responsible for moving time around from, um, time to time (grin). 

Then there's the idea that Time, if personified, must be female, because "Time waits for no man." 

The saying that "procrastination is the thief of time": well, Procrastinators are real things in this story. In fact there are even portable, wind-up procrastinators that you can use to make more time for yourself.

Portable procrastinators also mean that "you can live on borrowed time"

"Time stands still" - trying to remember how this one is played out - something to do with History Monks being able to slice time? 

There's also a twist on "There is no time but the present"

A "child of our time" - ahh!! don't dare say too much about this. 

"Time plays tricks on us all" 

"Time bombs"  Soooo cool!!!!

"People have been messing around with time ever since they were people. Wasting it, killing it, sparing it, making it up. And they do it. People's heads were made to play with time"

"...Time was alive. He said it acted like a living thing"

On page 19 I met Miss Susan for the first time, (ah, time!) and Miss Susan is a grade school teacher. But trust Terry Pratchett to play on every possible boring old teacher trope out there and make Miss Susan both the penultimate quintessential teacher ("no dog ever ate the homework of one of Miss Susan's students, because there was something about Miss Susan that went home with them; the dog brought them a pen and watched imploringly while they finished it") and a complete satirical statement on teachers as well ("Susan did an unusual thing and listened. That's not an easy task for a teacher"). 

"And, er, what you are you, Miss Susan?"

"Me? I'm... a schoolteacher."

She followed his gaze to the wrench that she still held in her hand, and shrugged.

"It can get pretty rough at break time, can it?" said Lobsang.

Then there's Igor. He's a servant to a mad scientist, OF COURSE. He's actually an Igor, because there are many Igors, there's actually a whole temp agency of Igors where you can request a servant to assist you in your mad scientist pursuits. 

This Igor is unfailingly polite, and might appear to be a bit simple-minded, but he's really not. And then there's the business with all his scars and stitches (which are not really anything to be concerned about, they're "just cultural") (which leads into a satirical discourse on "cultural").

The code of the Igors was quite strict.
Never Contradict. It was not part of an Igor's job to say things like "No, thur, that'th an artery." The marthther (translation: master) was always right. (all Igors have a lisp)

Never Complain. An Igor would never say "But that'th a thouthand miles away!"

Never Make Personal Remarks. No Igor would dream of saying anything like "I thould have thomething done about that laugh, if I wath you."

And Never, Ever, Ask Questions. Admittedly, Igor knew, that meant never ask Big questions. "Would thur like a cup of tea around now?" was fine,, but "What do you need a hundred virginths for?" or "Where you expect me to find a brain at thith time of night?" was not. An Igor stood for loyal, dependable, discreet service with a smile, or at least a sort of lopsided grin, possibly just a curved scar in the right place. (because, Igors pass down their body parts. This Igor's double-thumbed hand was passed down from his grandfather and stitched into place)
Definitely a great book to study when it comes to writing satire and twists on character tropes like school teachers, monks, auditors and mad scientist helpers.

What's your favorite time-twist book?


  1. Sounds like a good book. And yes, kids definitely take up so much of our time. And they do seem to make it seem like time is speeding up.

  2. ha ha

    I've had kids

    I've had dogs.

    I'm sticking with dogs ;O)

  3. A fun post. I love Glacier National Park, BTW! Yes, one has no idea of how exhausting new parenthood can be! I have two boys, and they grow more independent but they always need you and love you. It's the best, really, worth all the effort!



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