I make gourmet cappuccinos every morning with my fabulous automatic espresso machine purchased for full price way before I ever worked at the high-end kitchen store. For reasons unknown to me, The Husband makes coffee on the weekends with his coffee machine bought on double clearance and an expired coupon at Target. I never really stopped to notice, but apparently The Husband’s coffee machine has a built-in clock. In typical Virgo fashion, I wear a highly-accurate Swiss watch (okay, two if you must know), so I never really worry about getting my time from an appliance designed to heat water and pump it over coffee grounds.
So it came as somewhat of a surprise to me when I walked in the dark kitchen one night and noticed that the coffee maker clock glowed “20:18.”
Now, having worked for the airlines for a good chunk of my adult life, I am well-acquainted with what those in the know call “military time.” 20:18 means 8:18 PM. To avoid confusion, the crew schedulers always gave us our assignments in military time, as in, “MOV, you will be working ID #9633 which is a three-day trip, layovers in Miami and Chicago, and you need to be at the airport at oh-five-thirty for check in.” If it was a red-eye flight, the scheduler might say, “ID #277, a two-day, laying over in Boston, check in is twenty-one-oh-five.” A flight attendant could never miss a trip by saying, “Oh, I thought you meant PM! Oops, you meant AM! So sorry!”
Last I checked, the coffee machine is not going to Miami.
Why the military time, coffee maker? We don’t even make coffee at night because, well, it tends to keep us up. Tell you what, CM (can I call you CM? I feel like we might be on a friendly basis by now), you don’t even need to show the time after 11 AM! That’s right! You can have the rest of the day off. The only hours that matter in Caffeine Land are 4AM—11AM. So stop blinking 16:00 at me! You are confusing me, and I left that part of my brain (the military time translating section) back on the tarmac at LAX.
I mention this interesting tidbit to The Husband, that his bargain coffee maker has this newly discovered talent of announcing military time.
“Huh, that’s cool,” says The Husband, barely looking up from his ESPN.
When I ask him to convert it back to normal people time, he just gives me a blank stare. “I don’t really know how to do that,” he says finally, apparently channeling me and my Amishness.
I do the only thing I can: I ask Tall.
“Tall,” I say, my voice full of caramel gooeyness, “do you think you could help Mommy program the coffee maker? You know, since you are good at electronical things?”
“Huh, I guess,” says my seven-year-old, barely looking up from taking apart our old computer and rebuilding a new motherboard for fun. “What seems to be the problem?”
After I explain the situation and walk out of the room, I hear him furiously pressing random buttons on the coffee maker for the next 30 seconds or so.
“All set, Mom!” he calls out.
He walks past me and gives me a goofy grin and a wink. Since when does he wink?
I look at the coffee maker’s clock. No more military time. It reads: