I Hate You – A Bushel And A Peck


If you are the person who is controlling the weights and measures decisions in the United States…you bet your pretty neck I do. Doodle oodle oodle…

This seems like a mean sort of a way to start the blogpost today but I am really on the side of the angels – particularly the ones that want to do carpentry, cooking, or car maintenance. We also have a smaller division of the heavenly host who are making model structures who would like a say as well.

I am a fan of most things American, if you exclude about 25% of the citizenry and a fair amount of the political and financial system. But I do like the military and the food and the cars and the model train layouts. To be fair this can also be said about Great Britain, France, and Germany but you have to adjust that percentage I mentioned…I used to have American citizenship, though I never got to use it to vote for or shoot anyone, and I still maintain a solid affection for the country.

But what the heck is the deal with the imperial measurement system? Why are you – one of the most advanced technological societies on Earth – still measuring out 3/16″ of anything. I get miles…miles are a distance that you can comprehend, particularly if some mindless gym teacher in the 7th grade makes you run one just before lunchtime. Feet and yards are pretty easy, too…but ells, pints, gills, roods, and all the other leftovers of the English countryside have been left to rot out in the fields – even by the Poms. They might squawk on about a pint but they are drinking 500ml of flat warm beer.

Cooking with cups, half cups, teaspoons, demitasses, and all the other historic measurements is a wonderful thing – a recipe for a different result every time. We’re not all Nigella and we don’t always succeed. We would be, and in Australia are, far better served with grams of butter and mls of milk. Hard to decimalise eggs, mind, particularly if you have cold hands and the chickens are skittish.

The model boat builder who makes a German plan has the wonderful advantage of drawings that are measured in mm and cm and can add and subtract dimensions to use up materials or make a different scale. The US builder is stymied by the 3/16″ and 1/12th of 4/8ths of damn all attitude on the part of the designers. It’s not their fault – they are not getting a chance to go past the world divided into 12 or 13 or possibly even 14 that the Imperial system envisages. Someone in Foggy Bottom has decided it is never to be.

So get with it. And get with us. Us being China, Japan, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. We might not be good industrial singers but we’re all on the same page and the chances of harmony are a lot better.

Doodle Oodle Ooodle Ooddle-Ooo




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