These are the words that immortalize the Harlequin at the ending of “Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman, by Harlan Ellison. If you want to know how that is, that these words mean so much, you’ll just have to read the book.
I’ve used this as a siggy for quite some time on some of the forums that I visit. “Why?” you might well ask. Well, I’ll answer you. I have a very personal hostility towards ticktockmen everywhere. People who tsk-tsk every time their clocks say somebody else is late, as if their clocks are always unerringly right. People who exclaim “You’re taking too much time with this!” as if there was a finite amount of this precious substance, and you were at risk of using it all. People who measure out the moments in life like the ticking of the clock.
Oh! …and since I’m posting this at 5:10 in the morning, on a morning when I need to be up in a few short hours, I’ll add: people who can go to bed at a ‘normal’ time, sleep through the night, and wake rested when they are supposed to. Something I have never been able to do. Something that employer after employer has commented on for years on end, all to no avail. I cannot change the pattern. Either I stay up ridiculously late, and have to be jolted awake in the morning; or I go to bed early and stare at the ceiling for hours on end, only to have to be jolted awake in the morning anyway. I am different, and different is bad.
Of course, as the Harlequin, I don’t have to be concerned with this. I simply relish the disruption of the pretty order, and hope that someone somewhere has a laugh over it. That is, after all, what we are all here for, right? To be happy?
“Mermee, Mermee, Mermee”