K-Mac bought a wrought iron clock with those old-fashioned, black serpentine hour and minute hands for our family room. I think it’s important to note up front that I, the man in the relationship, was not consulted.
It is a big clock. Imagine yourself standing with your arms outstretched like a scarecrow. That big. Or an inebriated guy (not me) bragging about the length of his horizontal stabilizer. In other words, unbelievably huge. Had he seen it, Big Ben himself would have gone clock shit (following the Darwinian evolutionary progression from bat shit to ape shit to Tyrannosaurus Rex Ryan shit to your cheap plastic shit and so on and so forth shit.)
The first time I saw this mamoo of a clock, it hung timelessly from the wall above the couch. I say timelessly because it is battery operated, but the battery was an off-off-Broadway brand. How off? The clock went tick-tock-ti-ti-t-t. At precisely 10 minutes to six, it went what scientists call dead.
I asked “How did you even get that thing up there?”
“It wasn’t heavy,” K-Mac said sayfully.
Upon closer inspection, I noted that the wrought iron was actually wrought plastic. The honking couch below it, however, was about as easy to move as a tipped over Jersey cow or a sunbathing Jersey governor.
“Don’t tell me you stood on our brand new couch to hang that?”
K-Mac gently noted that the couch was 17 years old.
“We just got this couch,” I whined. “In April.”
“Of 2000,” said K-Mac.
I groaned inwardly. Women always remember stuff like that.
Anyway, in my basement lair I’d stockpiled batteries of all sizes and shapes against dark moments when our battery-powered lives go stoppity. Because nothing is ever easy, I found no battery for clockus interruptus. For weeks it hung frozen at ten minutes to six (we lost track of whether it was a.m. or p.m.)
Finally, I committed the sacrilege of borrowing the batteries from my boyhood St. Anthony statue (his rosary beads light up within 3 feet of lost banjo picks, etc.) K-Mac and I removed our shoes and together performed a terrifying, bouncey-boingedy-hey-watch-yer-bodiddly dance on those still dangerously springy 17-year-old couch cushions.
Gingerly grasping the clock, grimacing, teetering, tottering, profanefully suggesting Get off my foot! then, Get off my back! then, teeth-grittingly, Blastthatfraddarack, we dinged our 49.5 year marriage, yes, but successfully transplanted St. Anthony’s fire* into that sumbitch.
Immediately, the big hand went around the little hand and it became five minutes to six and then six o’clock. Exhausted, we quietly re-shoed and returned to the time of our fradderacking lives.
Only four days later Daylight Savings time rudely invaded our bumbling pursuit of laughing gas. Although still ticking, our clock now stood a full 60 minutes behind the rest of the cosmos. At ten to six in our family room it was actually, sort of, ten to seven in the show-off, fast-laners house across the street.
We sighed the deep sigh of the time warped, cringing at the thought of reprising our gladiatorial dance of the boingedies. Like a voice crying from the wilderness/family room I loudly demanded why there was no home version of the NFL system where the referee simply announces “Please put 60 minutes back on the clock.”
It gets wrought ironically worse. For six months we lived an hour behind everyone. We weren’t proud, although we confused each other often with existential and geographical questions like “If it’s three o’clock in Buffalo, what time is it in Sioux Falls?” All of our guests those six months came late and left early, if you know what I mean. Because I don’t.
One morning, six months later, Day Light Savings time gave us back our stolen hour without further incident. Sometimes, the best prescription really is to do nothing, say nothing, and keep the Zoloft on automatic refill.
But then the sumbitch on the wall went tick-tock-ti-ti-t-t.
*Long ago, when St. Elmo carelessly lost his new Fire HD10, St. Anthony found it for him and a thankful Elmo gave him his old Fire7 with Alexa.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2017, all rights reserved.