Two P.M.

Two p.m. is an inauspicious time.  No — there’s no halfway through, or halfway from.  Starting at noon or starting at 1:00, it makes no difference.  Two p.m. languishes in the same non-urgent, no-account hour as say, 9 a.m. Not much going on. “Hey, Marvin, can I have that report by 2 p.m.?” It doesn’t sound nearly as pressing as, “Marvin! I need that report by noon!”  And so 2 p.m. sits on the clock and looks longingly at 1 p.m. and then at 3 p.m. and wishes it were anything but itself.Portrait Of Man In Military Uniform Saluting

One day, a military strategist comes along and says,  “Two o’clock is imprecise. Let’s make a twenty-four hour clock.” And so, lowly 2 p.m. became “fourteen hundred hours.” Now, there’s a time that struts. There’s a time that salutes.  There’s a time that sergeants can bellow across a room and not sound like a sissy.  “I’ll see you at fourteen hundred hours, soldier.” And he means that you should be there fifteen minutes before, or “Soldier, you’re late.”

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