Setting the Standard

Say what you will about the superiority of the metric system — about how all the cool kids are using it, and how nifty it is that it’s based on the decimal system, and how neat ‘n’ compact and logical it all is — but you just can’t beat the good old-fashioned standard system still in effect here in the U.S. of A. when it comes to its place in songs that demand a rhyme, adages that rely on standard measurement, and other stuff I just don’t feel like categorizing right now.
Consider the following:

  • Would The Who sound quite as groovy singing “I can see for kilometers and kilometers”?
  • This just sounds too involved: “Give him 2.54 centimeters and he’ll take approximately .0348 meters.”
  • What cowboy wants to wear a 35-liter hat?
  • All those jackasses having sex in airplanes and feeling the need to tell the world how kooky they are will have to brag about being members of the “1.6 Kilometer High Club” instead.
  • Does Kermit the Frog really have to relearn the song about the worm and start crooning, “2.54-centimeter worm, 2.54-centimeter worm … measuring the marigolds”?

These are but a few examples. Naturally there are many more. And if I had more time, the list, of course, would be more comprehensive.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch this week’s episode of One Hundred Eighty Centimeters Under on HBO.