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You Could Set Your Watch to Him

Still with the buttoning problems
Still with the buttoning problems

A lone cloud drifted lazily across an otherwise azure sky high above an early May afternoon in Paris, France. Spring was in full bloom and trees were blossoming out flowers in a fervor matched only by the millions of school children eagerly awaiting the end of the school day so that they could flee to the outdoors. There was a hum in the air. Beyond just the welcoming weather, you could feel an excitement amongst the adults even, as they milled about at work or while running the quick errands they needed to do before they would once again be tasked with shepherding their young ones.

A few miles from the city center and inside a meeting room with no windows to that wonderful scene outside sat 19 people at a rectangular conference table. Well, 13 were sitting there while four stood near the coffee dispensers, one paced a little and one sat in a chair removed from the table. That was the recorder for the meeting, tidying up the notes on the nearly concluded matter of the Comité international des poids et mesures.

The secretariat beamed internally in his seat at the nominal head of the table. He was infused with that buoyant feeling one has when one has accomplished his or her tasks for the day early enough to knock off and enjoy some sunshine. He sensed how near they were to the end of this decision and was now mentally looking beyond his current metaphysical state and toward one an hour from now, at that lovely café halfway home with the back patio that was never more than half full even on the best days. Today called for an extra glass of wine he decided. A good deed had been done.

He cast an eye toward the notary and raised an eyebrow, asking the question that he wanted to urgently ask but feared coming across as too gleeful and rushed. It was best to appear even-handed and unbiased amongst the committee; too many stuffed shirts. The notary caught his eye and correctly interpreted the body language signal and cleared her throat to garner attention from the other members.

"The matter at hand of an establishment of a new measure has passed by a vote of thirteen to five. In accordance with the proposal, from henceforth the period of time marked by an elapsing of five solar days is officially termed a Felix."

And with that, the members gradually all stood and excused themselves from the table and the room. Off to tend to their individual lives. Meanwhile, nearly across the globe in Seattle, Eric Wedge, manager of the Seattle Mariners baseball club, received the news and sighed. "Guess I'll have to bump Doug Fister back this time," he thought.

And so it was ordained that Felix Hernandez would start the baseball game on Friday  the sixth day in May.