Ask a man the time

There was once a woman without a mobile telephone. She lost it in the bathroom of a sticky-floored nightclub while facing her blotchy skin in the mirror of the back of the toilet door. So she never knew the time. It was better that way. It meant she couldn't go through the day without speaking to a stranger, and asking the time. Hello postman, is it past 9am? Hello ticket person, am I late? Hello all the tourists standing in my way. I wonder if you could let me know if it's time for lunch? The woman lived in a clockless house and worked in a clockless cubicle in a clockless office. She lacked the skills to make her computer tell her the correct time. Or if it was right, she thought it was wrong. She called the Talking Clock. It talked her the time. She called her mum. It talked her the neighbours. She called the Apple store and said she wanted a phone that would lie about the time. She felt it was important to always be wrong about the time. Then, you were likely to be right, sometimes, without anticipating so. She couldn't find such a phone, so she found people instead. Earlier, she asked a man for the time. Ask a man, and he'll tell you. Ask a woman, and she'll look you up and down and then tell you. Ask a teenager, and they'll lie. Ask a child, and they'll run away. The man said, Look at your phone. And he marched on to his busy life of not telling anyone ever the time.