Clocks Are Funny People

- jim Young 20180312

“Hickory, dickory dock, three mice ran up the clock,
The clock struck one but the other two escaped injuries.”

Clocks are funny people.
Clocks are funny people.

I call them people because we share a lot in common with clocks. Like people, clocks have a face and hands and often get wound up and wound down. They can run, work, stop, strike, quit and tell time. Sometimes you can even pull their chains. Clocks also have grandfathers, grandmothers and anniversaries.

Clocks can be right or they can be wrong but like people, seldom will any two clocks agree.

One of the things that’s funny about clocks is their hands. Most clocks have at least two hands but some have three. When a clock has three hands however, we call their third hand the second hand.

An anniversary clock, sometimes known as a 365-day clock, is so named because it only has to be wound once a year. The funny thing about that is they really only have to be wound every 400 days.

Many modern clocks have to be set to differentiate between AM and PM. I find this really funny because if you can’t figure out if it’s AM or PM without a clock, you probably aren’t bright enough to even tell time.

I have four wind up clocks that are currently working. At least they are working when it suits them.

The cuckoo clock has to have it’s chain pulled 3 or 4 times a day.

The mantle clock has to be wound daily and the grandfather clock needs winding every couple of weeks or so.

The little anniversary clock needs to be wound a few times a year despite its name.

And they all work only when they feel like it. Kinda like some people I know.

Sometimes the mantle clock will keep going for weeks on end (providing I remember to wind it every day) and then it just stops, requiring me to restart it daily for the next couple of weeks before it sets off on another marathon.

The little anniversary clock however hardly ever needs winding but when it does, it feels like the spring is already fully wound after just half a turn. Then it too will take about a week of prompting before it runs consistently again.

Of course none of them keep the right time and the grandfather clock chimes 10 minutes before the quarter of the hour.

If I try to adjust a fast clock to run a little slower it then runs too slow and vice versa.
There is never a happy medium with them.

My Shirley always frets that no 2 clocks in our house tell the same time. My position is - what does it matter? Who cares if it's precisely 5:05 pm or 5:03 pm or 5:07 pm. ALL of them are time for supper - unless we're not finished playing pool in which case supper will be eaten when the pool game is over regardless of what time any or all of our clocks say it is.

Nobody ever quoted the time as 5:03 until digital clocks came along. It was always increments of 5. It's 5:05, it's 5:10, it's 5:15.
What Day is it?

All I really need are these increments of time:
1) Is it time to get up?
2) Is it time to switch from coffee to beer?
3) Is the beer store open yet?
4) Is it Wednesday or Saturday when the dump is open? (Yes we actually have a clock that only tells us what day of the week it is.)
5) Is it too late to go to the post office?
6) Is it time for supper?
7) Is it bedtime?

None of that requires a clock to be too precise.

Beyond that - all I really want to know - is it anywhere NEAR those times and do I have time for a beer or a nap in the meantime?

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