Everyone has a story of being the victim of CP time. It's been responsible for the termination of jobs and relationships, and for delaying weddings and even funerals. CP Time is the first book to examine a behavior that crosses all social economic lines within the black community in a way that will bring smiles and groans of recognition to victims and culprits alike. In brisk, engaging chapters, J.L. King provides humorous examples and personal stories, voicing the opinions of those who view habitual lateness as just part of being black, and those who see it as a more serious problem. Recounting the reasons and excuses offered in CP time's defense, King provides a wry and often hilarious history of how and why the phenomenon began. Light-hearted yet enlightening, CP Time makes a perfect gift for the chronically tardy -- and all those affected by them.
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February 19, 2007
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Excerpt from Cp Time by J. L. King
WHAT IS CP TIME?
In this section I will explore time, in the beginning, and the impact of God, or how a higher power in your life can make being late a lifesaver or life-changing event.
When I began working on this book, I posed the questions to a very close friend, "What is the meaning of time? Who came up with the word 'time,' and is time defined the same by everyone?"
To find answers I logged on to one of the web search engines and typed in the word time. I got hundreds of links, and had many ways to get as much information about time that my brain could conceive. You can find anything you want about time: What is the meaning of time? What is the concept of time? What is time management? Who invented time? What does the word "time" mean? How does time work? Universal time, time quotes, and does time really exist, were just a few of the search engines that I discovered about time.
In my research I discovered that the very first clock was a sundial, and that form of time keeping had been used for over five thousand years. The Chaldeans, and Sumerians, in Babylonia, used the first sundials (which was a part of the modern Iraq). That is some deep stuff.
I wondered if the Chaldeans or Sumerians had any brothers or sisters who lived on CP Time. I can visualize it now: it is 500,000 B.C. and the earth is shifting; the glaciers are forming the Great Lakes and the Rocky Mountains; the chief of the Chaldeans put out a message that the tribe needed to move to higher land, and there is a brother who is always late. He oversleeps and misses the evacuation of the village to safer land. When he wakes up, he realizes that because of his always being late, he missed out, and now is about to have his ass frozen for future generations to look at as the well-preserved prehistoric caveman. The one that you heard was discovered in the Antarctic was probably a brother who was late, and ended up getting tracked and frozen. This gives you something to think about...?
As I was doing my research I wondered if since the beginning of mankind, were there people who were always late? That really made writing this chapter really interesting. And I have to admit I learned a great amount of information, which aroused my curiosity further.
But, this book is about CP Time and why some people are always late. However, I wanted to give you a little insight on time. As they say, you don't know where you are going, if you don't know where you've been...and of course knowledge is power. So, now you have been exposed a little about the history of time. Next time you are playing Jeopardy, you might get a couple of points if there is a category about time.
WHAT IS CP TIME?
CP Time has been defined many different ways as I discovered while writing this book. In How to Be, A Guide to Contemporary Living for African Americans by Harriette Cole (Simon & Schuster, 2000) she writes: CP Time is defined as "chronic lateness."
Another book, by Geneva Smitherman, Black Talk: Words and Phrases from the Hood to the Amen Corner (Mariner Books, 2000), states that CP Time was a reference to the African American concept of time, being in tune with human events, nature, the seasons, and natural rhythms as opposed to being a slave to the clock, which represents artificial, rather then natural, time.
Donald McCullough, a white author who didn't use the term CP Time, wrote in Say Please, Say Thank You (Perigee Books, 1999) that people who are late, may as well be guilty of stealing time. Time is something that cannot be wasted. This author also writes that people who are late have said, in effect that their time is more valuable then your time, and that what you are doing is not as important as what I am doing, and that you do not mind stealing fifteen minutes of my day to squander on your own purposes.