Thursday 25 November 2010

Time is relative

One of the great contributions that Albert Einstein made to science was his understanding that time can move at different rates. His theories of relativity overturned the view that time is an absolute, which scientists had held to for thousands of years. 

If however they had spent less time thinking and more time drinking they might have arrived at this understanding an awful lot sooner.

I only have to step into a pub to find that time can speed up or slow down. When I stand at the bar what the clock may say is only a few minutes seems to stretch out to eternity. Once my first pint finally arrives I can find that time springs back with such vengeance that despite me being a modest drinker my pint glass is emptied at a rate which must surely approach the speed of light.

Even when I’m settled in the pub, time can speed up or slow down to a huge extent purely depending on who I’m talking to. If stuck next to an acquaintance telling me for the third time about his amazing skiing holiday once more time slows down to the extent I can start contemplating ending my own life just to escape this seemingly eternal torment. Yet an evening drinking beer with my mates, swapping stories about our beer fuelled escapades can end all too quickly.

One night that we still talk about is a shining example of the power of beer to affect time. When my friend Jimmy came running up with a tenners worth of beer festival tokens just five minutes before time was called, it would seem to many that we were facing an impossible task. But with the time altering power of several hours of beer stored up we were equal to the task. We necked back enough ale to use all the tokens up in such a brief space of time that surely the laws of physics must have been stretched to their limits.

And even when you’ve finished drinking the power of beer to distort time doesn’t end. Surely I’m not the only person to notice that the long trudge to the pub becomes a brief and pleasant stroll on the way home? As there’s no way this can be because I’m walking any faster it can only be because time has sped up.

The evidence that beer has the power to affect time is all around us. As I look back over the years I’ve been drinking one thing I can conclude with a high degree of certainty is that time is relative but beer is a constant.

This is my post for Zak Avery's competition


  1. Didn't Einstein say "Put your hand on a hot stove for a second and it feels like an hour, but spend an hour with a pretty girl and it seems like a second. That's relativity."

    If he didn't. he oughta have.

  2. Sounds like he liked a drop too!