Heyoka’s Workbench


Photo: The legend of a military map of the Battle of Waterloo.

»Wait, what are you doing?«

»Hmm? Going to measure the nook. We must fit the substructure in.«

»Yeah, but your tape measure is wrong. It’s centimetres. This won’t work.«


»Not nonsense. Because the plan is correct: it’s inches.«

»Right. So? – We convert the measurements, of course.«

»And the holes and the screws and stuff? They’re all imperial. You gonna convert them, too?«

»Don’t be an ass, mate. – The actual lengths and diameters stay the same. Inches or centimetres, it doesn’t matter. We could even measure in nautical miles and then convert the values.«

»Yeah, you show me that ruler!«

»I was just illustrating my point, moron.«

»Hn-hn, your point! – Look: you can even see that it won’t work. The scale markings on your measuring tape are way too narrow.«

»You don’t say! They’re narrow because they’re metric. Centimetres and millimetres. You said it yourself.«

»So you admit it. We need a correct tape measure.«

»No, we convert the numbers. You just need to know the ratio and be done with it. – One inch is 2.54 centimetres. Simple!«

»See?! Two point you-name-it?! – Their metric stuff is one big mess!«

»The French have been using it for 230 years now.«

»Or 573 centiyears, right? Helped them win Trafalgar and Waterloo, I reckon.«

»Very funny. – The whole world uses metric and decimal measures.«

»Yeah, that’s why the plan here is in inches, huh? Fake News, my friend, ever heard it?«

»Good Lord …«

»And who has ever bought a forty-one-point-nine-two-something monitor? They sell them neatly classified by inches – 13-inch screens, 15-inch screens. And they know their business, you bet.«

»Aw, come on, mate. That’s just some weird old convention. Everything else is metric. Everywhere.«

»Really? You wouldn’t go into a bar and order a litre of beer, would you? Nobody does that.«

»In Bavaria, they do. They have litre glasses.«

»Yeah, and they had Hitler, too.«

»Hitler was from Austria.«

»So what? They are convertible. One Austrian is 2.823 Bavarians, right?«

»You’re being silly!«

»I’m being silly?! You are the one not owning up to his errors.«

»I’ll measure out the nook now.«

»Stop. Hey, wait. – What are we doing here?«

»I was just beginning to wonder …«

»I mean, this is 2020!«


»We have smartphones! Let me use my measuring app. It does inches.«

»Brilliant. And let Apple know what you are doing and when and where.«

»What? Who cares?! We’re just assembling some stupid kitchen. – And it’s Android anyway.«

»Oh! My! God! – Are you serious?!! Goooogle!!!«

»Oi, mate – where are you running?«