Back on June 19th, I decided that I wouldn't add so much as a single lowercase letter of new content to The Prettiest Denny's Waitress until I received a comment from China. I just got completely fed up with the silence my blog was being met with in east Asia. A guy can only take that kind of indifference for so long, am I right? There are a billion people in China. Couldn't at least one of them hack through the communist firewall and send me some love?
Finally, I can break my blog-fast and get on with things: We have gotten a message from our friends across the sea (see comments on the previous post.) I'm sure they are words of peace and cross-cultural understanding, something along the lines of "Old friends and new acquaintance bring much thankful 5-17-65-4-2-98-12," or perhaps "We love your Grand Slam breakfast."
Whatever it says, I'll never know, both because I don't read Chinese characters and I'm afraid to click on it. But it's the thought that counts.
And now I can get back to my blog.
In an effort to recapture what the approximate tone was around here before my long, Chinese-induced absence, I've decided to share with you something completely trivial and try to express just how hilarious I find it. That's pretty much all I did before, right?
And so I give you the Vox Clock 2, a talking clock from the 1980s.
That's right... a talking clock. This is the way-ahead-of-its-time precursor to all those talking clocks you take for granted and are now surrounded by in your 21st-century life. Can you even imagine a time when we didn't have robotic voices telling us the time on demand?
What's that you say? You don't have any talking clocks in your house? What is this, 1981?
Okay, so the talking clock caught on about as well as the dancing Coke can and the DeLorean, but you have to smile at the spirit behind such semi-futuristic gadgets. And the emphasis here is on the semi- because my favorite part about that clock, along with its lifeless, countdown-to-ignition robotic voice and the promise of a future where we don't have to use our eyes to tell time, is the classy faux-wood paneling! Because what better way to tie your future-is-now timepiece into your 80s yuppie decor, all track lighting and black laminate furniture, than to disguise it as a block of wood! So perfect.
And how did I come to possess this wonder of Cold War technology? Same place I got that 12-pack of Guiness in the fridge: My grandmother gave it to me. For most of my life, the hourly intonations of that clock (doo-doo-DOO... it's Four a m ...ding!) were the background of any visit to Cape May. That clock was almost a part of the family. Aside from announcing the hour, it was known, on very rare occasion, to announce random times between the hour (it's eeleven-Oh-thlree p m), and once, just once, with several witnesses, myself and my grandmother included, it said "Two dolla and a TOOT-sie roll." I swear to god.
My grandmother just moved to Georgia to be closer to my parents. Before she started packing up her stuff in New Jersey, she asked my cousins and I if there was anything we wanted out of her house so she'd be sure not to throw it away. Duffy took the little fisherman that sat atop the hutch in the dining room. Danny wanted the duck that held open the bathroom door. The giant jar full of beachglass was already spoken for, so I immediately thought of the clock that sat on a shelf just above where the duck did his work.
So now the Vox Clock 2 mechanically recites the hour in our new apartment in Atlanta. I'm a light sleeper, so I had to put it inside the bench by our dining room table, but you can still hear it loud and clear. Of course, you can't push the button to get the time with it in there, but we have some of those old-fashioned non-talking clocks to fill in the gaps.