The Measure of Man

I went to see the Metre Rod
On display in Paris,
And when noone was looking cut,
And took half home with me.

But then the visitors that day onlooking gaped and swore,
For what they saw: the metre was but half what was before.
And as would be expected from this bold discovery,
A chaos rapidly ensued that surprised even me.
We tried to run a 5K race, but distances were wrong,
And people cursed their rides to work for being twice as long.
They had to cut the football field so it would fit the rules,
And vendors selling yards of cloth were spurned and scorned for fools.
A "standard" roll of toilet tissue didn't seem to last;
The scientists were shocked the most, for light moved twice as fast.
And sixty five kilometers per hour was too slow,
And thus the citizens agreed: the Metre had to go!
Instead the heads of state decide-- at this I had to laugh--
"No, we'll not change the Metre length, but cut the time in half."
The minute, then, was redefined as thirty secs of yore,
And people cheered to think their lives as long as twice before.

And what this story goes to show,
As only satire can,
Is that but half the Metre Rod
Can truly measure man.


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