05 February 2010

Straddling The International Date Line

Last night, I put my book away too late and as a result, I couldn't sleep.  Not being able to sleep is new to me, and I don't like it.

Mr de Elba came to bed, hit the pillow and started snoring.  Snoring even louder than I snore.  That is, when I can get to sleep.

As I lay staring at the ceiling listening to him snore, I got to thinking.  (Snoring doesn't keep me awake, by the way, insomnia keeps me awake.  Snoring is just the Soundtrack of Insomnia.)

I thought, as I am sure you can understand, about The International Date Line.  Doesn't it just blow your mind?  An imaginary line in the middle of the Pacific, anxiously skirting the islands because if it (gasp) travelled near or on land, CAN. YOU. IMAGINE. THE. CHAOS?

You think that having Daylight Saving Time in New South Wales and no Daylight Saving in Queensland is confusing?  Imagine if the International Date Line divided an island!  One half getting a head start on tomorrow while the other half was still catching up on yesterday, while today's sun shines down on both of them.  Or something.

I can imagine that if one was straddling the International Date Line and facing north, then one's right hand would most certainly not know what one's left hand ... was going to do.  Or had done, if one was facing south.

Actually, no.  If one was facing south, one's right hand could know what one's left hand had done, but it may have forgotten given that it happened an extra 24 hours ago.

Well, all of this fascinated me and I had nothing better to do, so I imagined a conversation between two people, one on each side of the International Date Line.  I expected it would be an interesting exchange, but it wasn't.

This is how it played out in my mind.  Because the Line neurotically keeps to the deep ocean, I pictured my two people bobbing up and down in little rowing boats, pulled up on either side of the International Date Line which was demarcated by giant red pontoons arranged in a dot-dash formation, akin to the Date Line on maps.

Andy:  Hey mate!  How's it going?  How are the wife and kids?

Mike: Oh mate, sorry I didn't get back to you.  I forgot you asked me that this morning.  They're doing fine thanks.  How are you and yours?  ...Andy?  Andy? ...Mate?

Andy: You asked me that tomorrow.  I haven't heard it yet.

- The End -
I didn't promise it was Cecil B. DeMille.

Now my brain hurts. 

This never happened to Copernicus or Galileo.


Givinya De Elba said...

Actually they did get cruelled for their discoveries. Ending your days in house arrest is probably worse than a slight brain hurt.

Emily Sue said...

I'm pleased to know I'm not the only one whose brain does weird things in times of insomnia. Sorry that you couldn't sleep though. That sucks.

Tracy P. said...

I so appreciate you thoroughly pondering that scenario. I've had it on the back burner of Moderately Important Things to Consider Someday When I Have a Few (Lucid) Moments.

I'm truly glad I've never been charged with responsibilities of international magnitude.

Joy said...

I have to honestly say these thoughts have never ventured into my mind. I do think about blogging with my blogger friend in the Phillippines and its already been the day that I'm having right now or something like that.
Take a Tylenol PM or two and try not to do this any more.
♥ Joy

Hippomanic Jen said...

Just dusting off my geography from primary school, but isn't the huge zig zag in the international date line so that Hawaii is in the same day as the rest of the US? Or am I wrong and it's all about Micronesia or some other pacific nation of many tiny islands.

So technically your conversation could have happened if they hadn't deserted the line of longitude.

I have a friend who flew west coast US to east coast Australia and. entirely. missed. her. birthday.

Givinya De Elba said...

That is tremendoulsy bad luck.

Long dark hair, blue eyes said...

I couldn't sleep last night either. I was up til 4 am then awake again at 6:30 - boy am I going to be cranky tomorrow! I didn't think about the international date line though, my train of thought was much less interesting.

veiledturnip said...

Wow! With those crazy conversations going through your head it's no wonder you couldn't sleep! And then I bet you were thinking, "I can't even blog this because it doesn't even make sense" but then thought "Ah well, since when does it have to make sense". Loved it!!

The Working Mum said...

I thought the international date line was where people went when they wanted to meet their Russian mail order bride in person? Oh never mind....