'Matter of Laugh or Death,' the award-winning humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
THE DAYS SLIP AWAY
Hereís an interesting bit of information about daily routines: if you take the number of minutes each day you spend doing a particular routine, and multiply it by 0.25, you will get the approximate number of full DAYS you spend on that activity each year.
For example, throughout the day, the total amount of time I spend deleting email spam is about 10 minutes. This means over the course of a year I spend two-and-a-half entire DAYS scrolling down the list of those ridiculous offers to get rich, get slim, get women, and get drugs while hitting the delete button over and over again. (Yes, Iíve already tried using a spam-blocking software program. But it kept filtering out the emails I wanted to receive.)
The exact formula is to take the number of minutes each day you do the routine activity, multiply it by 365 days per year, then divide by 24 hours per day, and then divide again by 60 minutes per hour. Oops, I think we just scared off all the math phobic readers, who in the middle of the previous sentence broke out in a cold sweat because it sounded too much like algebra, and quickly turned to the comics section.
Anyway, I applied this formula to my daily routines, and came up with some surprising results. Here are the number of full days each year I am engaged in the following activities:
Brushing my teeth: 1-1/2 days per year.
Combing my hair: 1/2 day per year.
Examining my receding hairline: 2 days per year.
Shaving: 1-1/2 days.
Putting pieces of toilet paper on nicks when done shaving: 1/2 day.
Sitting on the throne, reading the sports page: 7 days.
Lying on the bathroom floor, trying to regain the feeling in my legs after they went numb from sitting on the throne too long: 2 days.
Decided which outfit to wear to work: 1/1,000th of a day. (Hey, Iím a guy. Guys donít choose ďoutfits.Ē We just grab the nearest garment in the closest, with or without the bedroom light on.)
Sitting in stop-and-go commuter traffic: 16 days.
Waiting on hold during phone calls: 5-1/2 days.
Trying to figure out voice mail options when making phone calls: 8 days.
Trying to locate misplaced or misfiled stuff in my office: 19 days.
Waiting in line at Subway for lunch: 1-1/2 days.
Deciding what to order for lunch at Subway: 1/2 day.
Waiting in line at Dunkin Donuts in the morning: 2 days.
Deciding what to order at Dunkin Donuts: 0 days. (Actually, I donít even have to order. As soon as I step up to the counter the staff knows it will be a medium black coffee and a glazed cruller.)
Eating (regular meals, snacks, and assorted grazing): 31 days.
Watching TV: 27 days.
Taking a shower: 5 days.
Sleeping: 122 days.
Snowblowing my driveway: normal year, 2 days; this past year, 17 days.
Mowing lawn: 5 days.
Explaining to my wife the lawn really doesnít need to be mowed until next week: 11 days.
After adding up as many routine daily activities as I could think of, and then adding in weekends, vacation days, and federal holidays, it comes to 362 full days. Which leaves exactly 3 days in the entire year to do other, non-routine things, such as getting some work accomplished at the office.
Iíll have to remember to bring this important data with me to my next job performance review. It might help explain a few things.
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