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Unclear on the Concept

I heard the Alan Jackson/Jimmy Buffet song “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” (actually written by Jim “Moose” Brown and Don Rollins) the other day. The title comes from these two lines:

It’s only half past twelve, but I don’t care
It’s five o’clock somewhere

I thought to myself, no, you don’t understand. If it’s 12:30 here, it can’t be 5:00 anywhere. That’s not how time zones work.

Or so I thought. Well, I was wrong. There are whole countries where the time zone is offset from GMT by a half hour, so the lyrics could make sense in certain places. For example, if Alan were laboring in Bombay, and at half past twelve was daydreaming of a cold one, he could take comfort in the fact that workers in Guam are streaming to local watering holes at five o’clock. If he were in St. John’s, Newfoundland, folks in Rome would be enjoying an after-work grappa. If he were working in Tehran, it would be sake time in Tokyo. And if he were in Darwin in the Northern Territories of Australia, at half past twelve it would be five o’clock at the Tiki Bar in Honolulu. I’ll bet you can get a nice margarita there almost any time.

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