One New Years Eve
It was the 31st of December, 1900 when a very serious young man who was a successful accountant decided to stay in his office and work late into the night rather than go with his ladyfriend to a New Years Eve celebration with fireworks and band music in the park.
And as he was busy working, outside his window, he heard drunken revellers shout, "Happy 1901".
"Silly people", he thought to himself as he continued working, "One day they'll find out time is money".
But then, probably no more than 10 minutes had passed when he heard more revellers outside shout, "Happy 1902".
"1902?", thought the man, "Its 1901. Huh! Drunken fools don't even know what year it is".
And he put his nose back to the grindstone yet again, thinking nothing more of it.
But then, after only another 10 minutes had passed, the young man heard yet more revellers shout,
"Happy 1903?", thought the young man buried in his books, disdainfully, "Doesn't anyone know what year it is?"
Unfortunately for the man, however, it seemed that no one did because, with every 10 minutes or so that passed, according to his pocket watch, another group of revellers went by his window saying yet another, different and later date than the ones said before until finally, when he had heard someone shouting the words "Happy 1965", he thought he could take no more of it and sticking his head out of his office window, shouted down to them, "Its 1900 you simpleton".
But then, to his utter astonishment, the man noticed that the city outside had changed completely beyond all recognition; that, instead of horse drawn cabs in the street there were now strange motor vehicles roaring about and even odder winged flying ships in the sky.
"It can't be", he thought to himself, shaking his head.
But then, turning round, he noticed his reflection in the mirror on his office wall and, shocked, he saw that he was no longer a young man but old, stooped, wrinkled and grey.
He touched his face and felt the deep wrinkles etched in his skin.
"Is it possible?", he wondered, "Can 65 years really have gone by so quickly and without me even noticing?".
Sitting down again, partly weak from shock and partly from the weariness of old age he remembered something his father had said to him long ago,
"Time passes so fast and before you know it, son, you're an old man. Don't spend your whole life working, please, enjoy life while you can".
"If only I had listened to you, father", said the man starting to weep.
Just then however, the man felt a tap upon his shoulder and started to wake and, turning round saw his ladyfriend standing over him.
"Sorry to startle you", she said, "I just wondered if perhaps you might have changed your mind about accompanying me to the New Years Eve celebration".
"Is the New year 1901?", asked the man, seeming confused.
"Yes, ofcourse", said his ladyfriend startled by the question.
"Then I would very much like to come", said the man, smiling and taking her hand, leaping up eagerly from his chair, and having a very happy New Year.