Alexander the Great and his staff meetings

The armies of Alexander the Great were greatly feared in their day, but there was one problem that they had that almost defeated them. Alexander could not get his people to staff meetings on time. He always held the meetings at 6.00 p.m. each day after the day's battle was done, but frequently his generals either forgot or let the time slip up on them and missed the 6.00 p.m. staff meeting. This angered Alexander very much, to say the least!

So he called in his research team and set up a project to develop a method of determining the time at 6.00 p.m. each day. There were no clocks in those days, at least none that could be carried around. The smallest was a giant water clock "Find a way for my staff to determine the hour of the day, or at least when it gets to be 6.00 p.m.," he said, "Cost is no object."

A study was instituted and, with several brain-storming sessions, his staff came up with the following idea. In a land some distance away, there grew a bush whose berries contained a type of dye that changed colour at 6.00 p.m. each evening. They found that by dyeing strips of cloth and issuing them to the generals, they could see when it was 6.00 p.m. by the colour change, and could consistently get to the 6.00 p.m. meetings on time. Needless to say this pleased Alexander very much.

It was then turned over to his marketing group to come up with a name for this new invention as Alexander saw definite market potential in the strips. "It can be worn on the wrist and can be easily watched for the colour change," said one junior executive. "I therefore propose to call it the Wrist Watch." This name was immediately discarded for being too bland and obvious.

Another man suggested that since it could be worn in the navel and could be observed by just looking down, it should be called the Naval Observatory. This idea was rejected immediately as being too weird and too technical sounding for the general public.

A junior vice-president suggested that since it could be worn around the neck and would insure that you would be informed when it reached 6.00 p.m., it should be called the Six O'Clock Noose, but this was rejected as too threatening.

Finally the senior vice president, who up to now had been silent, spoke and rendered his decision. "We shall call it a time-band, and in honour of the Great Alexander, it shall be known as ... Alexander's Rag Time-band!"