My Alarm Clock

alarm-clock-800pxMy first alarm clock was small and round. It stood on four stubby legs and wore two brass bells on top.

I bought it because I figured that was what an alarm clock should look like and it worked fine – but it was not long before I beat it to death with a shoe.

I did that because it failed to wake me for an important meeting.

My second clock was a sturdier affair.  The frame was forged from high tensile steel and its face was crafted from the same bullet proof glass used in jet fighters.  It didn’t last long either, though it took more than a shoe to kill it.

My third clock was a radio alarm.  When I took it out of the box, I did not recall it having a snooze button, but I suspect the little guy sprouted one spontaneously after seeing the remains of his peers scattered about the bedroom floor.

Though the button saved its life on many a morning – it also made me late for an important meeting so I gave it the shoe.

My last and final alarm was an app on my cell phone.

Having the foresight to know that sounding an alarm would cause me to destroy my phone, but also being aware that a snooze button might cost me my job – I hacked the application code to add an ingenious modification.

After briefly raising an alarm, my app immediately apologizes and begs for forgiveness – then and only then, does it meekly raise its voice from a soothing whisper to a gentle nag. It reassures me there is no reason to get out of bed, that my calendar is clear and no meetings are scheduled.  Once I accept this, it will continue in a soft persuasive voice to suggest that perhaps I should consider going to work anyway, just in case someone might want to talk to me.

Of course this is subterfuge, but deceit is what lubricants the skids of office politics.  What better way to prepare for a day of worthless meetings?

But now I am retired and have no reason to get up… with one exception.

After forgetting to roll the trash cart out to the road on Tuesday evening, I wake every Wednesday morning at 5:22 am, to a soft, soothing voice, that ever so gently urges me out of my slumbers to greet the garbage truck.

Author: Almost Iowa

43 thoughts on “My Alarm Clock”

  1. I’ve always had a somewhat healthy relationship with my alarm clocks, as I’m one of those freaks who enjoys getting up early to start the day. However, this made me laugh out loud. A lot. In the middle of a crowded coffee shop.

  2. SO perhaps it is coincidence that we read this story of your killing off two generations of well intentioned mechanical alarms just after reading about the death of your first love! But there seems to be a trend here…

    You seem to have a love hate relationship with beings from the mechanical world. On the other hand, those two definitely deserved the death penalty for making you late for important meetings.

    So glad to have stumbled upon your writings.


    1. My buddy Stan, who is a machine whisper of sorts, reminds me that everything mechanical was designed and built by people, and hence every constructed object retains the attitudes, experience and personalities of those who built it.

      Beware those things conceived or built by anyone having a bad day or freshly smitten by love. Conversely, prize anything built by one who prides themselves in their craft or by one who keeps you in mind when they do what they do.

    1. “Never shoot the messenger. It’s not his fault.”

      Hey, if he is the one waking me up, he’s to blame. Shoes were invented for a purpose you know…. 🙂

  3. I used to have a fairly reliable internal clock but it stopped working many years ago. Now that I’m retired, I am so happy it is no longer sounding its little alarm in my head. Most days I don’t have to get up at any particular time so I would just as soon sleep until I wake up naturally, usually about 7am. I think if I missed the garbage truck now and then, I’d be OK. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    1. We are in the same boat… in a lot of ways. I still get up at 5:00 a.m. though. My writing has become my work and since I like writing, I like getting up for it.

  4. I highly depend on my alarm (app on iPhone) and pretty much HATE it! LOL! It let me down this morning – I thought I hit snooze, but turned it off! Thank goodness I was working from home today and still made my 8am “meeting.”

  5. I used to be my son’s alarm clock. They he went to college and trained his computer to scream at him. Now he has multiple loud alarms, most of which mean “get up soon” and one of which means “get up now.” Sadly when I visit him I have no idea which is which. Sleep is scary when you know something is going to scream.

    1. I tried various nature sounds on my phone alarm. The Beach – didn’t work. The Rain-forest – didn’t work. The Wind-In-The-Pines – didn’t work. The ELEPHANT-CHARGE did.

  6. There were a few years where Hub was lucky to escape with his life. We’re both early risers but he’d set an alarm and I used my accurate internal clock. On the (very few) days I could sleep in, he’d think he turned his alarm off, but hit the snooze button by mistake and 15 minutes later the buzzing would start again and he’d be in the kitchen, oblivious. I’d wake, startled and fumbling in the dark for buttons I’d never memorized, cursing him (a tad stronger than a gentle nag) for ruining my slumber.

  7. Unfortunately, my alarm is a cat. I live by her pleasure, not my desires. If she thinks 5 a.m. is a good getting-up time, 5 a.m. it is. There have been periods when she thought 4 a.m. was great, and even 3 a.m. If she wants me up and attentive, there are no options.

    So far, the most effective gambit has been rolling out of bed, dumping a little food in her bowl, and going back to bed. I’ve tried ignoring her, as all the pet psychologists suggest, but there’s no end to it. Better to get up, acknowledge that she is the one who’s in control, and go back to sleep in blissful silence.

    1. We have two cats, neither is allowed in the bedroom. They sleep by the door, lying like landmines, waiting for me to trip over them when I stumble to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

      1. I’m pretty sure it’s a Timex, wired to my bladder. I travel a fair amount, and time zones don’t even have an effect. I set an alarm on my phone when I have to get up early for a flight, but I’ve always been awake to turn it off before it sounds, even when I had to get up at 2:30 am to get to a distant airport.

      1. If/when you do, you will be hooked. I’ve read a dozen in the past year, even though there are many “serious” novels I also want to read. So I ration myself to one Reacher novel a month while reading three or four other authors a month.

        1. I will have to try him. My guilty pleasure is reading John Sanford Novels. He is a great writer (having won a Pulitzer prize when he wrote for The Pioneer Press) – besides, Sanford’s detectives work for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension – as did I for much of my career.

          Dave, you should do a guilty literary pleasure piece, if you have not already done so.

    1. Our nearest neighbor lives a half mile away which puts us in the urban part of the county. The garbage trucks spend most of the day kicking up gravel.

  8. Funny you should mention clocks. I recently bought a Sylvania clock radio and spent three days reading the manual to find out how to set it. I did get the time to register but I cannot figure out how to get the alarm to stop ringing at midnight. I’m thinking, blunt object and singing If I had a hammer….

    1. Hammers are more effective than shoes, to be sure. I prefer them myself but wife complains about the shrapnel.

      Seriously, the essence of bad design is having to read a manual to do simple things. I blame this on the Danish Modern school of design.

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