A Pitch in Time

This place doesn’t smell of cats too much and I cleared most of the rubbish from our sofa – on which the investor sits as if poised for immediate flight. I don’t know why she looks tense and uncomfortable. The coffee table is a litter of greasy TV remotes and yesterday’s pizza boxes but my wife and I have been celebrating: feasting! banqueting!

The investor rustles through printouts. “We received your email regarding the…” she looks at her notes, “the chrono-metro-graph at ten this morning and you’d flagged it as urgent.”

“And so it is.” I point to our invention. “It was my wife’s idea. She’s good at things. See, it tells you what the day actually is, the month and year,” I bounce on my seat with excitement, “and when the little hand points, as it is … roughly … at three, it’s three o’clock!”

She stares at our apparatus blankly as if not comprehending. I was ready for this; technological leaps can be scary and overwhelming. To calm the dear woman without blinding her with science, I go on, “And when the big hand points to a number, that’s the minute. That other hand zooming along is seconds – and it’s always right!” She still seems stunned which is understandable. “I put it all in an old fish tank to make it look spacey. What do you think? I’ll get the fish out at some point. The big one is really stuck. We ran out of stickers for dates so I used one of my son’s. September temporarily looks like a lizard.” I laugh and slap my knees.

The woman doesn’t respond apart from opening and closing her mouth. Actually she looks like the little fish.

“I … you…” She’s stuttering, poor thing: I’ve rendered her speechless. My good wife, standing behind her miraculous device, makes little jerking motions to prompt me.

Pushing on before the investor faints in awe, I say, “It ran off the mains electricity at first but we decided to go green and use wind instead. Getting it to blow at the same speed all the time was tricky but we sorted that by using a desk fan.”

The investor stands, snatching pieces of paper which try to slip from her folder to the floor – where they stick or get impaled on her stilettos. “Thank you,” she says, “I must push on. I’ll report back to the team. Uh, I’ll see myself out.”

Bolting to our living room door, she gets caught in a fight with Stinky the cat – always bad news for shins and stockings. After the screams and hisses die down I try again, “Look at our invention though. It’s saying September the 28th at two minutes past three.” I add a dramatic pause, “That’s the actual time and it’s always right!”

The front door slams.

I tell my wife, “I have a feeling this is going to be the longest Tuesday in history.”

She says, “I’ll make a cup of tea. It does seem a long time since Monday. I’ll get biscuits too.”

“No, wait. We’ve done Aardvark Investments right through Able Ventures to Acme Business Angels. Admirable Inventions comes next. Set the time back to ten this morning again and I’ll email them.”

©Gary Bonn, 2019

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