The Blindside Parables 18 – Timeman

Dan Chen was obsessed with two things.

Time and numbers.

When he discovered computers, he began to explore probabilities and statistics which led him to research the numbers associated with human lifetimes.

Once we are born, how much time do we have to live?

His research had brought acclaim in university and several insurance giants had offered him prestigious positions in their actuarial departments. 

But Dan had another idea, an idea that had made him a millionaire

The LifeTime Watch, an innovative device that worn on one’s wrist, not only displayed the time of day, it also showed how long you had to live.

Dan had created a program that integrated human body metrics such as pulse rates, body temperature, sleep time and stress levels, along with environmental sensors including air quality, temperature and humidity, as well as an active internet connection that monitored local and international weather, economic and political information. All this data was fed into a unique analysis program based on thousands of human life statistics to produce a current estimate of one’s actual lifetime expectancy.

It had taken Dan years to perfect his program and then produce the prototype LifeTime Watch, which had been tested on real people for more than two years. 

And it worked. The LifeTime Watch was 97% accurate to years and months to live. Millions had been sold. He was nicknamed Timeman. But Dan’s obsession continued. Now he and a select group were beta testing a new model that would bring this same statistical accuracy down to days.

Dan was checking the new Lifetime watch as he walked along a busy San Francisco sidewalk. He was troubled by the anomalies. What about the 3% who beat the odds. Did they have something in common? He stopped and looked around at the moving mass of humanity that had flooded outside for the rare summer sunshine in downtown San Fran. Who was going to live today? Who was going to die?

He looked down at his watch. He shook his head, that couldn’t be right. He looked again.

The display was filled with zeroes. Zero years. Zero months. Zero weeks. Zero days.

Dan’s watch said his lifetime was…

Failing to notice that the traffic light had changed, Dan had walked out into the busy street.

He never saw the bus that hit him.

Moral: Time stops for no man, and sometimes buses don’t either.


tio stib

You might also enjoy: Control Freaking; Life Journey Poems & Prose



2 thoughts on “The Blindside Parables 18 – Timeman

  1. Good story, Steve. Reminds me of the real company I read about that offers to manage your life, and your estate, so you can live your life to its fullest based on how much money you have. Kind of like a modified annuity. When the money runs out they give you a little black pill…

    • Thanks Jim. I won’t be signing up for that company’s services, I’m a big fan of life’s surprises, even though they come in all flavors. Write on!

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