The Knights of the Auto Order Proudly Present: The Auto Body Estimate: Vol. II, #106, November 2011
Time moves faster for me than it does for my kids. One hour of sitting still in church is impossible for them; whereas for me it's merely difficult. For them the countdown to Christmas or their birthdays is excruciating: for me the days whiz by so fast I can't ever get enough done.
I've seen many examples of this phenomenon, even in the course of my job. I can remember years ago when I'd look at the clock several times in the afternoon, finding that 5 PM just never seemed to arrive. Today I look up at the clock and 5 has long since passed, and I've still got loads of work to do.
I have no doubt that time speeds up as we age: I'm just curious as to WHY.
One theory is that any length of time represents a larger fraction of a younger person's life. So if you're four years old, the two months between now and your birthday represents 5% of your entire existence. If you're 40, two months represents less than a half a percent. That's a valid observation, but somehow the difference feels even greater.
I'm more interested in a second explanation which has to do with Special Relativity, Einstein's theory that states that as objects speed up, time slows down. My knowledge of physics (and most anything else) is limited to what I've read in the liner notes of classic rock LPs. Know the song "39" from the classic Queen album "A Night at the Opera?" In this lyrical journey, space travelers take a year-long trip, returning home to discover that 100 years have passed during their absence. This is presumably a result of the great speed at which the spaceship has traveled, and the corresponding "time dilation" effect of Special Relativity.
How does this apply? Well, kids move and think faster than I do. Even their hearts beat faster. My ignorance of physics is complete enough to suggest to me that this difference results in time slowing down for them.
Unfortunately, just as I finally remembered a mnemonic device to recall the names and order of the planets around the time the International Astronomical Union declared that Pluto is no longer a planet, scientists are suddenly beginning to question Special Relativity.
On Sept 23, 2011 researchers at CERN announced that they'd measured subatomic particles traveling between two points at a rate faster than the speed of light. If this is indeed true, things don't bode well for Special Relativity, which, for reasons completely beyond me, requires light to be the fastest thing ever. That said, one explanation which could preserve Special Relativity suggests that these particles do not travel faster than light, they simply arrive faster by taking a shortcut through a different dimension. Now that's starting to sound like one of those trippy "Silver Surfer" comic books from the 70s!
Peter, aged 2.5, is going to have a better grasp of physics than I ever will, in part because he insists upon knowing the "why" of everything.
If I had a dollar for every time he's asked "why come," I'd have an insanely large pile of dollars, as well as two rambunctious boys to deal with. Peter will also have more friends than I do, because he is always making new ones. Peter waves and says hi to everyone he sees. Five Spanish-speaking guys working on the roof of the house across the street? Peter hollers "hi" and waves: they all say "hi" and wave back. On the rare occasion that someone doesn't wave back, Peter will ask "Why he no 'hi' me?" When passersby marvel at this syntax, I mumble something about his last name being "Yoho" and how it's probably Hawaiian or something.
While we can't promise any actual Hawaiian will be sung, we do have a gig coming up at O'Gara's on Thursday, November 10. It's an early show – we'll play two sets starting at 8 PM. For $5 you get lots of new and classic Auto Body music, great sound and lights, free parking, and access to a magic elixir that makes us sound even better. While some call it alcohol, I refer to it as liquid auto-tune. The only thing the gig needs to make it all perfect is you, so please join us!
We'll even have—for the first time in decades—Auto Body Experience T-shirts for sale. They make great holiday gifts—even for kids—and aren't available anywhere else until I figure out a way to add them to our website sometime after the show. We'll even have a shirt give-away, so come on down!
Becca (with whom I've just celebrated a tenth wedding anniversary) has a third theory about why time might go faster for adults. She observes that if your wedding day is supposedly the happiest day of your life, then it stands to reason that everything is downhill from there, which can result in some serious momentum.
Downhill is better, right? I may have to check with Peter on that.
Love, Scott Yoho, Grand Pooh Bah, Knights of the Auto OrderReturn the Estimate Index...