Monday, January 28, 2008

Analog Brain in a Digital World

I love tiny travel alarm clocks. Or I did, when I knew how to operate them. I'm a 12-hour clock kind of a person who has been late to work more than once from wrongly setting a 24-hour clock. My solution lately is to keep a $5 analog, battery-operated clock at my bedside as my real waker-upper, because waking up is serious business that can only be trusted to a timepiece with only one purpose: to ring when I want it to.

Tonight, I was awakened from a sound sleep by loud beeping in the living room. I rolled over and groaned. I knew right away it was that evil digital travel alarm I bought because it was pretty and promised a timer function (it didn't have one.) It turns out it this demon device has about 25 features controlled by three buttons, none of which says "alarm off" or "set date," like a reasonable clock would do. I stuffed it under a couch cushion because I was tired last night and couldn't figure out how to correct its settings after accidentally squeezing the wrong button. Bad idea.

Tonight's solution wasn't much better, but it is effective. I fumbled with all three buttons until I found one that made the alarm stop screaming. Temporarily, it turns out--it began again five minutes later, after I was back upstairs. "All right, that's it!" I told the recalcitrant clock. I stomped to the coat closet and retrieved my ancient metal toolbox with the unreliable metal clasp. Congratulating myself for remembering to hold the bottom and avoid scattering tools all over the carpet, I successfully manuevered it to the table next to the clock. "We'll just see what you can do without your battery!" I snarled. I think the clock trembled just a little bit (or maybe that was just my astigmatism.) I found the small phillips screwdriver and twisted the tiny screw on the lilliputian battery door until I realized I wasn't getting anywhere. Still snarling, I pried it up with a regular screwdriver and removed its little heart. Add "clock murderer" to my resume, I guess.

Now I'm going back to bed to sleep until my trusty $5 clock wakes me up. The digital clock with its various parts and instruction sheet ("Please to press button 1 for make date...") slumbers quietly in a zip-lock bag. Maybe I can find an unsuspecting friend on whom to palm it off. I'll tell them what a great alarm it has--there's no way they'll sleep through it. I know. I tried.


Anonymous said...

Aw geez. I guess I'll take back the birthday present I bought you. You might disembowel the poor thing!

Happy birthday to you! (On Jan. 30)
Happy birthday to you! (that's tomorrow)
Happy birthday dear bemused boomer.
Happy Birthday to you (and many more...)

GregTamblyn said...

Analog Brain In A Digital World is the title of a funny song. Check it out: