Stabbie is VERY cross

As you may know. Stabbie’s feet are not in very good shape. In fact, today Stabbie toddled off to Kings College Hospital on Denmark Hill for a pre-op evaluation. Next Wednesday they’re going to put Stabbie under, cut the end of his fifth left metatarsal (the bone behind his little toe), and clean up the ulcer, in hopes that it will heal. Stabbie has never been under general anesthesia before, and he’s pretty well worried about that. In addition, it looks like the hospital will want to keep Stabbie in for a couple of weeks, just to keep him from walking about.

Stabbie has also had some kind of bronchitis for the last four days or so. This is pretty annoying, what with the coughing all night and the aching diaphragm. So sleep is precious.

At 3 am, the phone rang. Stabbie can’t get up fast enough to answer it, so HWMBO did, and the person at the other end asked for Stabbie.

Stabbie groggily took the phone, and the voice asked, “Stabbie?” “Yes, this is he” said Stabbie. “London Stabbie?” “Yes. This is he. Who is this?” “Kathy.” “Kathy who?” “You know, Kathy K.” The name is redacted to shame the guilty.

Kathy is Stabbie’s first cousin once removed. She, like Stabbie, is interested in geneology. She is Stabbie’s grandmother’s great-granddaughter. We have corresponded in the past, but fell out of touch during the SARS scare when Stabbie proposed to visit Toronto and then visit her. She said she was too afraid of contagion so Stabbie decided it wasn’t worth it to keep up a connection, so quietly let it die.

Stabbie politely told Kathy that it was 3 am here in London and that he had a hard day at the hospital ahead. She said, “It’s really 3 am there?” Stabbie assured her that the time zone system extended either side of Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific and that we were, indeed 5 hours ahead of her (Kathy lives in New England).

She apologised, hung up, and Stabbie tried to go back to sleep, without much success.

This is not the first American friend Stabbie has has to point out the time difference between North America and London. Stabbie’s brother’s girlfriend once called at 1 am. But Stabbie would like to pay particular attention to the math and social studies teachers in the United States who seem not to be aware of the time zone system. If said teachers don’t start impressing their students with the fact that not everywhere on Earth is in their time zone, Stabbie may be at the next National Association of Teachers convention, and it won’t be pretty.

And to those Americans who feel that the sun, moon, stars, and all things belong to THEIR time zone, Stabbie points to Big Ben and assures them that, when and if it topples over, Stabbie will try to make sure they are in the vicinity asking their spouse, “Mabel, do you think that clock is leaning a BIIIIIIT? EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

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