My brother, the former Babe Ruth Leaguer, remains deeply skeptical of Major League Baseball’s newly instituted pitch clock.
He is not alone in regarding the sport’s leisurely pace as an integral part of its charm. But many analysts cheer any attempt to trim the bloated runtime of modern games.
Field of Dreams leaves older fans misty-eyed, but if you can erect a skyscraper on the field in the time it takes to play a double-header, “America’s Pastime” is not going to hit a home run with younger generations.
Have you ever wondered what other activities in life deserve a timeclock and a series of internationally recognized signals that someone needs to pick up the $%^&* pace?
For starters, there are the raconteurs oblivious to their own snotty nose. They think you’re hanging on their every word, but in fact you’re more fascinated by what’s hanging from their nostrils.
After two minutes of patience, cut loose with a megapack of Kleenex fired from a T-shirt cannon.
Adrenaline-enhanced shopping excursions invite critique. (“OK, I’ll hold your purse another 20 minutes. After that, if you shop ‘til you drop, I’m telling the buzzards, ‘Cleanup on aisle 7!’”)
In all fairness, interminable home-repair and automotive-repair projects need restrictions, too. (“One more weekend. Then you’re sleeping in a van-up-on-blocks down by the river.”)
How about “will he or won’t he?” political candidates who spend months holding their finger to the wind and dipping their toe in the water? OK, the first dip is free, but after that we’re putting piranhas in the pond, dude.
Let’s not overlook insufferable nonentities basking in their “15 minutes of fame.” Let’s shut this down early. (“I know it has been only nine minutes, but as Alan Jackson sang, ‘It’s 15 minutes somewhere.’”)
What about family members who hover in front of an open refrigerator for what seems like an eternity? I know, they’re just trying to decide what grub strikes their fancy.
OK, but after the lettuce starts to wilt, they should be more worried about what size boot is going to be striking their gluteus maximus.
I propose zero tolerance for those recorded “Your business is very important to us” messages, as well as for restaurant wait staff who hog your time with endless focus-group-tested adjectives. (“Your thesaurus is very *snicker* important to us. I’m sorry but I can’t do this without laughing. Just as you’ll someday look back on your tip and laugh.”)
How about the clueless people who run into old acquaintances and sprawl across the entire grocery aisle or five parking spaces for a traffic-stopping gabfest?
You can arrange for professional crowd dispersal with just a few kind words. (“I’m so glad y’all are speaking to each other, considering what she’s been saying all over town about your momma …”)
Most ministers have already adapted to current attention spans, but many of you have encountered the kind who lose all track of time.
Those clergymen can be conditioned to love their fellow humans more and the sound of their own voice less. (“You mean that was the collection plate I shot all to pieces, preacher? Sorry. I dreamed I was duck hunting. Better luck next week.”)
I would love to hear some of the things you readers want to put a timer on.
Pay no attention to the mysterious voice whispering, “Submit it and he will plagiarize.”