In an amazing scientific experiment, Samoa’s government has extended the lives of their citizens, made 0.273972602739726% of their population a whole year younger and given a large section of their population a day’s pay for absolutely nothing. Now this is what I call government action.
By the simple expedient of moving the international dateline a little bit to the right, Samoa has achieved wonders. If you were a Samoan scheduled in the great book to shuffle off this mortal coil on March 31st 2012, you will now die on April 1st 2012. And while some unkind souls might regard this as a foolish jape of international proportions, it’s no joke to those who have booked their plots and will now find the sands of time have not run out yet. I only hope no-one has arranged their funerals a day early. It could be embarrassing.
Of course, for those who were born in Samoa on December the 30th, life gets a little more complicated, because this year you don’t have a birthday. That means you will remain at your present age for another year. This isn’t fun for those who are about to achieve their majority and have some hot Samoan property just waiting for the moment to arrive, only to find out that wait has just been extended for a year. This is not to mention bus passes. Imagine if you were due to pick up your bus pass on the 30th December… It doesn’t bear thinking about.
Of course, the big winners are those who were due to work on the 30th December and now do not. They get a whole day’s pay… absolutely gratis. Not a great thing for employers, of course, but hey… there are always winners and losers.
France were only persuaded to adopt the international date line when they were told they would be “better than GMT”.
One of the big losers in this are American Samoa, who are being left out in the cold a whole day behind their big brothers. So, like the Americans in World War II, they will be late for everything. Any football matches arranged between the two countries will now be more than a game of two halves, it will be two days instead.
“We##Q##ve got to remember that over 90 per cent of our people emigrate to New Zealand and Australia. That##Q##s why it is absolutely vital to make this change,” said Prime Minister Tuila##Q##epa Sailele Malielegaoi, in a moment of startling irrelevance, surpassed only Hugo Chavez who moved his country 30 minutes just because he could, and he did not have the excuse of having an amazing name like Tuila##Q##epa Sailele Malielegaoi to fall back on. As an aside, can I just put my hand up and propose that all Western Europe adopt Samoan style names? They are SO much better than ours.
Of course, this whole moving through time thing is not without precedence, and we are not talking Cardiff’s own Doctor Who here. France used to be on Paris time, which is only nine minutes ahead of GMT. But the country is now GMT+1. They were only persuaded to make the change when it was pointed out that they would be “better than GMT”
Now the change has been made, the Samoans start celebrating the new year earlier than anyone else in the world, which some say is the real reason they have done this. Everyone loves a party and none more than the Samoans who are fully expected to change back at one minute to midnight tomorrow… or is that today? Then they can start the party all over again.