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Tick Tock Goes My Clock

I suffer from intermittent Time Evaporation Syndrome (TES), a curious state in which one wakes up at 6:00 in the morning, and suddenly, without warning, it is noon – or dinnertime – or midnight. You get the idea. And there is absolutely no indication what transpired between, say, 6:00 and noon.

TES is most often noticed when one has a desired goal. For example, writer-in-training plans to spend entire day working on her novel. Time passes. Writer-in-training has . . . what? Not worked on her novel. Perplexed she retraces her steps: ate breakfast, checked email, then nothing conscious happened – except the repairman came, and there were six telephone calls, and the cat spit up. These sorts of events cause time to evaporate.

TES strikes without warning. Some sufferers blame it on routine. Blogger Alexander Heyne ( concluded that when one is in the same location at the same time every day, time evaporates. His prescription, vary one’s schedule. So I tried it. Time still evaporated.

Doug Larson commented, “For disappearing acts, it’s hard to beat what happens to the eight hours supposedly left after eight of sleep and eight of work.” [Sidebar: Doug Larson wrote for the Green Bay Press-Gazette and is credited with a number of quotable observations. Among them: “A clean basement, garage and attic are signs of an empty life.” Of course, these are the areas where we stash the stuff that does not fit in our house. How much time do you think evaporated while I Googled Doug Larson?}

I blame my TES on Time Bandits (TB). I picture them as small evil persons bearing an uncanny resemblance to Boris Godunov in the old Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. I am wrong. The actual Time Bandits are dwarves who jump time periods looking for things to steal. TB are so famous, they are the subject of a 1981 movie starring Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, and John Cleese – available through

There are many quotations about time – reading them may cause TES. My personal favorite coined by Groucho Marx: “Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”

When I was a child, someone gave me an apron emblazoned with the motto: “A stitch in time saves nine.” Huh? Nine what? (Remember I was under the age of ten at the (ahem) time.)

Dr. Seuss articulated the undeniable outcome of TES when he asked, “How did it get late so soon?”

Dr. Einstein knew the answer. “Time is an illusion.”

Please excuse me. I am going to find some time — anyone know how much time some time is?

Author Sandra Wagner Wright

Sandra Wagner-Wright holds the doctoral degree in history and taught women’s and global history at the University of Hawai`i. Sandra travels for her research, most recently to Salem, Massachusetts, the setting of her new Salem Stories series. She also enjoys traveling for new experiences. Recent trips include Antarctica and a river cruise on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel.

 Sandra particularly likes writing about strong women who make a difference. She lives in Hilo, Hawai`i with her family and writes a blog relating to history, travel, and the idiosyncrasies of life.

3 thoughts on “TICK TOCK GOES MY CLOCK

  1. My name is Renee i am addicted to writing, and i suffer from Time Evaporation Syndrome, and i laughed all the way through this piece! I create computer generated task lists , which despite my best efforts, keep pushing the last four chaps of my 300 page memoir to the bottom of the list. Great little foray into this topic! Renee


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