There is an under-recognized, untreated blight upon the land that is eating away at the very core of our existence. Sorry to sound like an evening news report for bird flu or humanism, but I need your full attention Are you suitably alarmed?
I am talking about Chronic Adult Tardiness. If you are among those who are always on time, you know what I’m talking about. If you suffer from CAT you are no doubt balking at the thought that you have a disorder and developing a list of extenuating circumstances that follow you around like Pigpen’s dust cloud.
I am here to diagnose, not to condemn. I hope that one day there will be a cure this debilitating disorder, and I think I’ve moved that cure ahead by formulating an accurate diagnosis. I’m not a real doctor (or even a fake one), so I have a bit more experience with science fiction than with medical school, but I’m pretty confident.
CAT victims suffer from the twin disease processes of astral projection and suspended animation.
It is common for CAT victims to let the person they are scheduled to meet know, “I’m on my way!” In this case, “on my way” means that they are starting to consider the steps required to be on their way. It means that they feel the need to begin the journey. In fact they feel the need so strongly that they experience an astral projection of themselves actually pulling up to the door of the meeting place. Really, they haven’t left yet.
Secondly, CAT sufferers are prone to time lapses. They are never quite accurate in their estimate of how long any given task will take. Somewhere between the time the task starts and when it ends, they enter a state of suspended animation. In this state, they have no experience of time passing. Many of them have engaged various tools to help them manage critical tasks. For example they may use a kitchen timer to know how long to bake a cake. Without these tools, phrases like, “I’ll be there at 8:30,” have no meaning. Especially when it’s already 8:35.