Tag Archives: clock

1742. A chiming tale

Conceptia had this thing about ten o’clock. She had a clock that chimed, and one day, just as she discovered her cat had died, the clock chimed ten. After that she couldn’t bear for the clock to chime ten and, of course, it would do so twice a day.

She took the clock to a clockmaker and asked if he could remove one of the chimes when it hit ten, so that it simply chimed nine instead. He said it might be possible. Just leave the clock with him and he’d see what he could do.

The clockmaker phoned Conceptia to say the clock was ready to be picked up. Her request had been achieved! Conceptia took the clock home. (Perhaps it should be pointed out that the reason Conceptia kept the clock at all was because it had been her late dearly-loved grandmother’s clock).

The first time that ten o’clock arrived Conceptia listened (and counted) with relief. It chimed nine times only! But come one o’clock and, although it chimed just the once, Conceptia thought that nine plus one equals ten. And two plus eight. And three plus seven. And four plus six. And five plus five. The only safe numbers that didn’t reek of sad cat memories were eleven and twelve. Then Conceptia thought that the one missing chime at ten o’clock if removed from eleven in fact equals ten. And for it to miss the tenth chime twice in a day meant twelve minus two.

Every chime of the clock throughout the day reminded Conceptia of her dead cat. Even though she now had another cat, called Fluffy, she still missed Muggins terribly.

Things came to a head when the clock fell off the shelf in an earthquake and shattered to pieces. (It was only a minor earthquake but enough for the clock to wriggle off its shelf).

When it is said that “things came to a head” it did so literally. The falling clock landed on Conceptia’s head just as she was bending down to pat Fluffy. As the saying now goes for a person a bit hard up for common sense: They’re one chime short of ten o’clock.

1529: Monica’s lucky escape

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by Yvonne of Hello World. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

Monica didn’t know that her clock was ten minutes slow. It meant that she left home for work ten minutes late. It didn’t greatly matter because her boss at work was flexible.

What Monica didn’t know was what would have happened if she had left on time. If she had left on time, while driving down Park Avenue she would get caught in the middle of a high speed chase. The police car would ram into her car on the passenger side. Monica would suffer minor injuries. She would be patched up in hospital and released. The car however would be a write-off. Luckily it was insured.

So what a fortunate escape! By NOT leaving on time, we the writer with a God’s-eye view know what a tragedy it could have been. The main thing, of course, is the shock. There were a few minor scratches but the whole experience of an accident can become surreal. Thankfully Monica, by leaving home ten minutes late, was spared. Praise the Lord!

But Monica never left home at the right time, so none of this happened. Instead Monica left her home ten minutes late, oblivious to the sequence of events Providence had spared her from. Driving out of her gate Monica was hit by a stray bullet from a gun that accidentally went off in the neighbourhood. The funeral’s on Friday.

1277. Chimes and charm

Little D’Arcy was only four, but he could tell the time. His mother’s clock would chime and D’Arcy would count out loud: ONE TWO THREE EIGHT! ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE EIGHT! It was always eight o’clock.

Oh! He was soo cute. His parents would bring him out as a bit of entertainment when they had guests. ONE TWO THREE EIGHT!

“Oooh he’s soo cute!” exclaimed the guests. “Oh what a delightful boy!”

ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE EIGHT!

These days D’Arcy is all grown up. It’s a shame his parents were too busy to do anything about his lisp.

Poem 36: Grandfather Clock

(The poetic form selected for this month is the Burns stanza. However, even though I liked what I’d written it was a bit “hard-hitting” and I decided that some readers would get offended – so I wrote something modelled on the ghazal instead!!)

Once wound I am ignored, the old clock chimes.
Once loved and once adored, the old clock chimes.

Too weak and frail to spring from bed at dawn,
Men wait in old age ward. The old clock chimes.

Three! Three! Three at last! Thank God Almighty!
School is out! Praise the Lord! the old clock chimes!

Four times she runs late for work, just this week;
It’s what she can’t afford, the old clock chimes.

Five-green-bottles-hanging-on-the-wall song:
In which one is time stored? the old clock chimes.

Six steps on toes the ballerina goes,
Major lift, minor chord, the old clock chimes.

Severn is the river through Shrewsbury.
So? Just for the record, the old clock chimes.

Ate eight big eggs for breakfast, fried in fat,
And greasy bacon gnawed. The old clock chimes.

Nein, the Germans say. No! Trains leave on time!
Delay is much abhorred! The old clock chimes!

Tender are most maternal hearts, and kind;
Kids leave to go abroad, the old clock chimes.

Eleven days make way for dozens more.
In none is bliss forestalled. The old clock chimes.

Twelve heralds in the darkest midnight hour.
I’m timeworn… slow… and bored… The old clock chimes.

1071. An important meeting

Malcolm was very capable but must have been the most tedious bore in the factory. He was in charge of the knitting and weaving. If you asked Malcolm a question he would drone on and on. And on.

Claus, the boss, asked Emile if he would discuss with Malcolm the timing of some knitting procedure.

“And get a three hour lecture on how to make a clock?” said Emile.

“I’ll tell you what,” said Claus, “we’ll both go together and tell him we have an important meeting to attend in quarter of an hour.”

So they did that, and they were only one hour twenty minutes late for their fictional meeting. However, they both now know how to make a clock.

987. Tick tock

987tick

Mike inherited an old wall clock from his grandfather. It must’ve been decades old; older than that even. It had weights that needed pulling up once a week. It would chime on the hour and ring out the o’clock.

For Mike the hourly chiming of the clock was like an old friend. Once, when the clock broke down and a part had to be replaced (these old clock hands should never be turned back because it harms the mechanism; simply stop the clock for the appropriate number of hours if it runs fast) he missed its comforting chimes. “Chime-Charm”, Mike called it.

It always chimed seven while he was have breakfast, because that’s when he had breakfast! And then he started saying funny things to himself while it chimed:

– If the toast doesn’t pop up in the toaster before the seven chimes finish chiming, then it’s going to be an unlucky day for me
– If the kettle doesn’t boil before the chimes stop, then I’ll possibly have a terrible car accident in the coming week
– If … if … if …

Mike knew he had to do something about this silly neurotic fixation he was developing. He must get away from the clock for a while. He took his plate of breakfast muesli out onto his balcony where he couldn’t hear the chimes.

– If I don’t see a seagull fly overhead before I finish the muesli…
– If … if … if …

(Note – please feel free to comment, but I am having a break from commenting or responding to comments. Thanks. Have a happy day!)

296. Cuckoo

296cuckoo

Yes, said Blanche, the cuckoo clock was my grandmother’s. I just love it. I’ve known it since I was too small to remember. I was thrilled when Grandma gave it to me. I thought she was going to give it to another grandchild. Of course, she gave it to me the very morning she was murd…

CUCKOO! CUCKOO! CUCKOO!

And then after all that, the body was eventually discovered. Who would’ve thought to hide a body there? Right bang in the…

CUCKOO! CUCKOO! CUCKOO!

There was no motive. Nothing in the house seemed to be touched. So the murderer wasn’t looking for money it seems. Not a finger print to be found. Only the prints of a few close relatives, including mine! I had visited Grandma only that morning. That’s when she gave me the…

CUCKOO! CUCKOO! CUCKOO!

Dear Grandma! Such a shame she had to go so suddenly and violently. The police have given up the case now because all clues ended in a dead end. They couldn’t of course find the weapon. It had to be something heavy. What mystified the police was the shape; sort of a pine cone shape. But it had to be heavier than a pine cone…

CUCKOO! CUCKOO! CUCKOO!
CUCKOO! CUCKOO! CUCKOO!