When Was the Best Moment Ever?

The best moment ever was surprisingly recent given the vast number of moments that have occurred since the dawn of time.*

On a sunny afternoon in 16th May 1992, a young man went for a cycle ride in the South-Shropshire hills. That morning, his girlfriend had agreed to marry him and the evening before he had been offered a job as a tree surgeon’s assistant – and the day before that his sister had come home from hospital, cured of a dangerous illness. Now he had the afternoon to himself and all the time in the world because his parents and sister had gone into Shrewsbury to celebrate and Lucy, the girlfriend, was at hers, telling her own parents the good news of the engagement.

God was in his heaven, fingering his long white beard, and all was right with the world.

Andrew – that was the young man’s name –  took his bike from the garden shed, packed a bottle of beer and a sandwich and set off. Forty minutes later, at 2.16 pm to be precise, tired after a steep hill, he propped his bike and sat down on the wide grass verge. He could see far into Wales, the hills blue in the distance with white puffy clouds drifting over.

Ten seconds later, he lay down and stretched out his arms. He thought of all he had and how lucky he was and indeed it’s a rare thing to have no worries whatsoever and nothing but hope for the future. Although the beer was yet to drink and the sandwich was yet to be eaten, that particular moment was so perfect, so unalloyed by any defect whatsoever of health or fortune, that it exceeded all others experienced by other human beings in similar joyful situations over the millennia – and that’s why that moment was the best moment ever.

*Number of moments since the Big Bang, assuming six moments per minute and 13,787,000,000 years since bang.  
* 60 minutes per hour
* 24 hours per day
* 365.25 days per year
* 13,787,000,000 years since bang
= 43,508,000,000,000,000 moments,
or 43 thousand million million
or 43 quadrillion
or – lots.
Calculation courtesy of my mathematical friend, Roger Terry: