"Effective September 19, 2007 the Time Announcement Information Service has been discontinued. We apologize for any inconvenience."
This is what I heard recently when I dialed trusty POPCORN on my phone to get the current time. It was a good thing I was sitting down. They need to warn a woman about a move of this magnitude. I have been calling POPCORN (767-2676) since a child for all manner of official, and slightly unofficial business. Things like: checking CBS and their ball count-down for the New Year; pretending to chat on the phone like a grown up; making sure my husband has his watch set to the SECOND for his scheduled top-secret rendezvous with bedtime; casually checking the order of the universe, and seeing that time continues to move forward.
And now, just like that, it is gone.
The thing that irks me is that no substitute for time management has been given. I imagine the giant "they" behind this fiasco assumes everyone has Internet connectivity, and prefers to check time on the web (especially in the middle of a power outage when all us home-officey types have our back-up generators going). Or maybe we all have some electronic device, be it a PDA or cell phone, which carries time for us. But eventually all of these require setting, batteries, tweaking of some sort before they can function, and without POPCORN I am afraid we might just find ourselves lost. Wake up, people. This is a conspiracy.
So, I leave with this thought.
Time wounds all heels.