By in Sci Fi & Paranormal

Watch This Space

Farley H. Marley Jr was an inventor, with several patents to his name, though little in the way of either monetary gain or worldwide fame for all his efforts so far.

But that was surely about to change, courtesy of his latest stroke of genius.

You see, Farley had just invented the digital watch. Up until now, of course, all watches and clocks had been analog.

But Farley had combined various existing technologies, theories and concepts and had come up with one practical device.

He caught sight of himself in the hallway mirror and grinned at his reflection. His reflection grinned back at him.

Apart from his nose, he had a relatively unremarkable face.

Farley's nose was, by way of contrast, truly remarkable. It was a proboscis a person could be proud of - a veritable double-barrel snotgun of a nose.

He raised his left forearm to the horizontal position, rotated his wrist and nodded at his new invention.

It was still keeping perfect time, according to the grandfather clock next to the mirror. Although, unlike the clock, he didn't need to wind his watch. It ran off a tiny battery.

Yes, he thought, this little invention was going to make him ... what was the expression? ... independently wealthy? Yes, definitely that, at the very least, he mused as he put on his jacket, readying himself to go to the patent office.

He glanced at the watch again. The number of hours passed were divided from the number of minutes, which were further divided from the number of seconds, by colons which blinked every second on the second.

The display read "VIII:LIX:LVII", then "VIII:LIX:LVIII", then "VIII:LIX:LIX", then, just as the grandfather clock began to chime, "IX: : ", followed by "IX: :I".

The blank minutes section nagged at his subconscious, but unfortunately that's as far as it ever got.

In another dimension, not all that far away in time or space, Mr F. Harley-Marley II was glancing at his own digital watch, which read "09:00:02", then "09:00:03".

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cmoneyspinner wrote on June 24, 2015, 12:08 PM

Very much enjoyed this true story. Love quickie bio-sketches and now I know who invented the digital watch.

msiduri wrote on June 24, 2015, 1:13 PM

Cute. Oh, imagine programming with Roman numerals? *shudder*

Gossamer wrote on June 24, 2015, 4:51 PM

Almost as bad as binary. Ugh! Just shoot me now!

Gossamer wrote on June 24, 2015, 4:55 PM

LOL. I wouldn't go betting my house on this being based on a true story.

MelissaE wrote on June 24, 2015, 10:08 PM

This is a great idea, but I got confused at the end.

Gossamer wrote on June 25, 2015, 9:15 AM

Sorry, Melissa. The basic premise (and a common theme in speculative fiction) is "alternate history". What would happen if such and such never happened. In this case, what would the world be like if Roman numerals had not been replaced in the Western world by the "Arabic" numbering system (which, I think, actually started in India, though I could be wrong), which included the concept of the zero.

Another premise often used is the one which allows for existence of other dimensions (besides the one we are familiar with), wherein live other yous, other mes, etc., with some slight (or major) differences in their lives, compared to ours. For instance, in this dimension, Sarah might be married to Bruce and have three children, but in another dimension they only had two children. In yet another dimension, Sarah never met Bruce and married Chip instead. The possibilities are endless.

AliCanary wrote on June 26, 2015, 3:48 AM

Hee hee! Farley Harley Marley Sr was apparently proud of his name. Loved this--still giggling over "double-barreled snotgun", which I know your Spell Check must have just loved.

Gossamer wrote on June 26, 2015, 5:39 PM

Oh, AliCanary, if only you knew how long that DBS has been waiting to be used!

I first came up with it when I was in high school, but have never used it until now.

Kasman wrote on June 27, 2015, 3:00 PM

I guess this means that there is a universe somewhere in which Bubble Ooze treats its members fairly and pays them promptly - or is that stretching things too far!

Gossamer wrote on June 28, 2015, 5:17 AM

You're really entering the realm of fantasy there. LOL

allen0187 wrote on July 12, 2015, 1:48 AM

Very entertaining! Love this story a lot! Imagine how hard time keeping would be if we had to deal with Roman numerals!

MegL wrote on August 18, 2015, 3:50 AM

Loved that. The invention, discovery, realisation of the concept of zero or nothing was a big step.

missfortune wrote on January 19, 2016, 10:09 AM

I assumed, when reading this, that "proboscis " was just a snappy term for nose. (rolling eyes) I had to look it up to get the complete definition - if I didn't it would have literally driven me crazy all morning.

Gossamer wrote on January 20, 2016, 6:42 AM

'Snout to be ashamed of. Not everyone nose the word.