The clock over my sink drew a second look from many visitors to the House of Mars this summer. My cousin Janet, visiting from Brooklyn, thought she’d entered a time warp. What else would explain the fact that she arrived on the 4:10 train, then accompanied me on a detour home to forage the necessities for making watermelon margaritas, and yet arrived in my kitchen at 4:20. Others were less dramatic, and just asked outright “Is that clock right?” My answer to all seekers remained the same – yes, kind of.
You see, I’ve hated climbing up to take it down to turn the clock forward, or back, as the season and the news programs dictate. And so this year, after several months of conveniently forgetting, I decided on July first since I was as close to Eastern Standard Time as I was to Daylight Savings Time, I’d just bide my time until the clock would sync itself with reality.
Or so I thought until the middle of August when it became permanently 3:42 over-the-sink-in-the kitchen-of-The-House-of- Mars. The battery up and died, and so unless I wanted to live a life just short of the witching hour of British tea time, I’d have to climb up there after all.
Score one for Father Time. Score another advanced case of procrastination for me – I decided to wait until November 1 to do both, fall back (not off the ladder, I hoped), and change the battery.
Finally the day arrived.
I checked the clock. I needed AA
Thanks to my friend, John, an emergency-phobe, I always keep a box-load of batteries to tide me over though any power outage. I checked my stash.
every thing but AA
Lesson learned – Don’t Mess with Father Time
Sound travels. That’s a given, but how it travels is another thing. At the House of Mars, for instance, when my next door neighbors are talking above a certain level on the deck on the far side of their house, it sounds as if they’re in my backyard – but only if I hear them through my bathroom window.
And I guess they have to be on some sort of mystery solar sweet spot since I don’t always hear them.That house has had seen three sets of owners since I’ve lived here, and it’s been the same with each set of neighbors. They don’t have to be loud, they just have to be on their deck.
This summer I discovered another sound phenomenon at the lake I go to. There is a certain mystery spot in the middle of the swim area where the human voice projects as if amplified by a microphone.It has to be late in the afternoon when the crowd is thinning out
and it has to be a loudmouth doing the talking. I witnessed it twice, but while the first instance was merely annoying, the second was traumatic! A woman was drilling her kids on their multiplication tables.
If you’re asking yourself what’s so traumatic about that, you didn’t have a mother like mine. You see, when it came to the times tables, you never know when she would pounce. Once she knew the ones you were weak in, she turned into a pit bull. I was fine until I got to the nine times tables, 9X7 in particular. For my brother Jim, it was the eight times table and 8×7 was his mental block. While we never knew when she’d bark either one, we were reasonably sure it would be at breakfast. 9×7? 8×7? Sometimes she’d toss a curve ball like 6×7 then circle back to 9X7 or 8×7.
63, 56, it dawned on me there on the beach. Why didn’t she quiz us in reverse? Give us the answers, let us come up with the equation. Maybe it would have helped.Why didn’t our teachers do that? Why didn’t I do that when I was a teacher? Who knows, maybe teachers more creative than I was, came up with this tactic
The drill was still going on as I started to pack up to leave and I wondered why the woman didn’t correct her daughter when she replied 132 to the equation 11×12. Why didn’t she tell her the correct number was 121? I stopped to give 121 some thought and realized that’s 11 x11. See, my theory works!
If you’re a Red Bull imbiber, I guess you know you’re entitled to a $10 refund. It seems some disillusioned Red Bull “athletes” won a class-action lawsuit claiming they’d been misled by the sports beverage maker’s claims that drinking Red Bull would boost their performance and reaction times. I’ll reserve judgement as to whether they were incredibly gullible or just thought of a way to boost their chances of fifteen minutes of fame. They’re sure not getting rich off it! But it did get me thinking and I ‘d like your opinion.
Should I sue the avocado growers who banked on me seeing the bright red RIPE and not the smaller blue-bordered when soft.
But I guess I don’t have any legal leg to stand on since misleading as it may be – they are telling the truth.
And how about this. I didn’t buy it but one of my co-workers did. The words screamed out at me when I opened the fridge in the break room.
Now I ask you – fruit but no pulp? Hmm.
Get a load of this statement. Domino sugar is taking a chance on my interpretation.
Oops! Guess you can’t see it. I’ll write it out.
Well, I’m a firm believer in karma, so I’ll let these go. But there is one question that’s been going round and round in my inquiring mind for many moons. Anybody remember Keds and PF Flyers, the Nikes of the 1950’s?
Did Keds live up to their promises?
How about PF Flyers?
My mother would never buy them for me so I had to make do with generic sneakers. She said all those ads were just nonsense. But maybe you had a pair of Keds or PF Flyers. Was my mother right? If she was – you just might have the makings of a class action suit.
I never knew since my mother refused to pay their prices. She said it was all just nonsense p. so any baby boomers out there, was she right? If so, maybe you can sue for nonsense. Red Bullers did.