Mar 29, 1976  Sense and Nonsense

We once had a friend who collected clocks for a hobby He had clocks of every description in his home. Most of his clocks were not your ordinary straight tick-tocking variety. They did extraordinary things every hour and some of them every half-hour. Birds would pop out and make very un-birdlike but loud noises. Bells would clang, at times incessantly. Little men and little women would leap out of the clockworks announcing the time of day in various audible ways. To visit his house at noon was an experience not unlike having a front row seat at a rock music festival.

I believe that clocks should be seen but not heard. The raucous ring of an alarm clock must be one of the most infuriating sounds known to mankind. I have often envied the man, who upon retirement purchased six shiny new alarm clocks. He set them all to go off at the usual early morning hour on the first day of his retirement. Upon being awakened by the deafening din of all these clocks, he quickly collected them and took them outside. He lined them up and with his rifle proceeded to ruin the six clocks with as many accurately aimed shots. The man calmly hung up his gun, went back to bed and slept the sleep of one who was well satisfied with his life.

One sure way to cultivate insomnia is to have two clocks ticking within earshot in bed at night. I listened to this stereophonic tick-tocking for awhile one night and I discovered one thing. Clocks do not tick the same. One will tick while the other will tock. Just when I was getting used to the crazy rythme, one clock skipped a beat. Before I went completely bananas, I managed to locate one of the clocks and hide it in a faraway corner of the house.

I have had bad luck with watches all my life. My watches lied a lot. I used to spend good money on them, getting them cleaned and adjusted. Still they would tell the wrong time. Maybe it was because I would periodically immerse them in water. I have never owned a water proof watch, although some of them were “water resistant”. A “water resistant” watch compares to the “shrink resistant” label one lady found on a pair of socks in a department store. When she asked the clerk what the label meant, she was told “The socks do shrink, but they don’t want to”. I suppose my watches didn’t want to get wet either.

One time on an automobile trip to Alberta I had occasion to wish we had packed an alarm clock. We checked into a motel in Jasper at about midnight. We decided we had to rise at 5:00 a.m. in order to arrive at our destination on time. The girl in the office had no clocks available and there was no way they would awaken us at that early hour. Both I and my husband were dead tired and I was worried that we would sleep in. Hubby was unconcerned, although noncommital. He went into the bathroom and drank two large glasses of water. “The clock is set” he assured me as we crawled into bed. Sure enough at exactly five o’clock I awakened to the sound of the toilet flushing. I suppose if one experimented with this trick they could awaken at any hour they chose. If they had good reliable kidneys they need never bother with an alarm clock again

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