The Mad Hatter's Watch

The Hatter was the first to break the silence. `What day of the month is it?' he said, turning to Alice: he had taken his watch out of his pocket, and was looking at it uneasily, shaking it every now and then, and holding it to his ear.

Alice considered a little, and then said `The fourth.'

`Two days wrong!' sighed the Hatter.

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Alice had been looking over his shoulder with some curiosity. `What a funny watch!' she remarked. `It tells the day of the month, and doesn't tell what o'clock it is!'

`Why should it?' muttered the Hatter. `Does your watch tell you what year it is?'

`Of course not,' Alice replied very readily: `but that's because it stays the same year for such a long time together.'

`Which is just the case with mine,' said the Hatter.


As long as I can remember, I've pictured myself going 'round and 'round these two cycles. It's how I keep track of where I am in the year and in the week. But not in the month—months are linear for me.

And, yes, they go counterclockwise.

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Notes

`Two days wrong!'
Due to a programming bug, the watch on this page is sometimes off by a day or two. I considered fixing it, but then I remembered that it's the Mad Hatter's watch, so it meets spec as it is...

Steven W. McDougall / resume / swmcd@world.std.com / 2006 Feb 03