Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve on Mercury

Cadmore End, Buckinghamshire.

How fortunate we are that the Earth began orbiting the Sun on the first of January, back in the year whenever it was. If it hadn’t, we’d have to celebrate New Year’s Eve maybe in July or September, thus extending the Christmas period intolerably. And how equally fortunate that it takes the Earth 365 days to orbit the Sun, before repeating the process ad infinitum. That, to me, seems a reasonable length for a year. Better, anyway, than, say, a Mercury year, which is only 88 days long. Should humans ever settle the planets of the Solar System, that could cause all sorts of problems.

For instance, the legal drinking age on Mercury, in Earth terms, will only be around five. Therefore Mercurian pubs will be full of pissed toddlers “glassing” one another and shagging in the car park. The finger on the Mercurian nuclear button will be that of a ten year old. New Year’s Eve will come round so frequently that, no sooner will they have finished all the parties and cleared up all the puke than they’ll have to start organizing for the next one. How terribly tedious.

Then again, I suppose it’s possible that, if you do settle on Mercury, you’ll eventually synchronize with it. So, in other words, your life and body clock will speed up to Mercury time in order to compensate. This could have several advantages, both to Mercurians and to Earth dwellers.

For example, if, here on Earth, you suffer from premature ejaculation, you’ll no longer have to recite football fixtures to yourself during sex or do the multiplication tables in your head to stop yourself from “popping off” too early. Instead, you can just get on a rocket and fly to Mercury. There, your pathetic 30 seconds will undoubtedly be regarded as a “super stud” performance. (Of course, your wife or girlfriend will go from being an attractive teenager to a pensioner in under 10 years, but you can’t have everything.)

Then think of builders. On Earth, if you want an extension put up, the Earth builder usually quotes you something ridiculous and grossly underestimates the time it will take to complete the job. But if you phone up a builder on Mercury, he’ll still quote a ridiculous price for rocketing over to your home, but the “six weeks or so” to do the job will be six Mercury weeks. Consequently, your conservatory or out-building will appear almost overnight. Similarly, if you employ Mercurian plumbers or painters and decorators, their presence (and associated mess and inconvenience) will be a mere blur.

But, as yet, we don’t operate on Mercurian terms. Just the usual, boring Earth calendar. This being so, I suppose I’d better head off to The Old Ship to see in January 1st.

In case I don’t see you on the other side, have a good one.

1 comment:

Ron Broxted said...

First I went in the sniff at "Benedicts". Not too great so after midnight I adjourned to the "Wellington" where I am happy to say some brunette decided to high kick through Mr Sinatras "New York" and revealed her rather pleasing Janet Reger undies.