The Government of Shalampax strongly urges all Shalampaxians to take heed of the following important announcement:
As you know, all clocks in Shalampax are synchronized with a central timekeeping system. The automated synchronization feature of the system is indispensible because it is used each morning to effect the resetting of all of the clocks throughout the country to reflect the diurnal adjustments to our time zone, which are established by daily decree to accommodate the whims and sleeping patterns of our Prime Minister.
Our vital centralized time system is now in desperate need of critical maintenance. My brother, Shalampax’s chief timekeeping system engineer, has informed the government that failure to perform these essential upkeep tasks may result in the time system failing unpredictably. Because these failures would happen randomly, they could occur at the worst possible time, such as when happy hour is about to begin.
If such a failure were to occur, many Shalampaxians would literally lose all track of time. True, most Shalampaxians already ignore the time and do whatever the hell they want whenever the hell they want to do it and damn the consequences, but a clock failure would be different. Shalampaxians would then forfeit the ability to track their insouciance if they so desired.
Never let it be said that the Government of Shalampax doesn’t do much to foster innovation. It doesn’t, but it’s considered to be a social faux pas to mention it.
The government is considering doing something to change that, which is to say that it might change its indifference toward innovation, not change the reticence to discuss its failings. Pencilonear, Shalampax’s self-proclaimed scientist, has applied to the government for a grant that he intends to use to prove his theory that it is possible to repair tears in the space-time fabric by using an ordinary kitchen spatula to apply a precisely formulated mixture of Dijon mustard and cornstarch to the tear.
For competitive reasons, Pencilonear refuses to divulge the exact ratio of Dijon mustard to cornstarch in his formula. Likewise, he will not reveal whether he will use a metal spatula or a plastic one, or if it makes any difference. For similar reasons, he will also not disclose how he proposes to find or create rifts in the space-time fabric on which he can test his theory.
The government is said to be strongly in favor of granting Pencilonear the necessary funds on the condition that he will buy five times as much Dijon mustard as he requires and that he will then divide the extra up among the Members of Parliament.
The automated, dial-in time signal, which was installed in March of this year, has broken. Due to the difficulty in getting parts shipped into Shalampax, it is not known how long it will take to repair it, but it could be a few months.
The system still works in a fashion. Now, instead of saying, “at the tone, it will be exactly six p.m.,” it now says, “ “at the tone, it will be exactly 6:45 p.m.”
Until further notice, please be sure to call the time signal 45 minutes later than you have in the past.
Shalampax’s automated, voice simulation, dial-in time system has now been enhanced. Rather than being able to say only, “at the tone, it will be exactly six p.m.,” as was the case when the system was installed, it can now speak any time, as one would expect from such a system.
A new service was recently introduced in Shalampax. You can now call a special telephone number to hear the time.
This is a fully automated system, so operators don’t need to be standing by. Exceptionally sophisticated speech synthesis software, running on an extraordinarily powerful computer, speaks the time whenever someone calls the number attached to the computer.
The number to call is 0-600. This number is accessible only in Shalampax. The unavailability of this service elsewhere is not much of a loss to the rest of the world because Shalampax is in a unique time zone that gets reset each morning when Manexposinghimself, our Prime Minister, wakes up.
When the time zone is reset in the morning, all clocks in Shalampax are automatically synchronized with the new time. Thus, this phone service is of use only if you are near a phone, but not near a clock.