|Premorrow, Aprilcot 10, 41
under the Borgias they had warfare, terror,
- Orson Welles, "The Third Man" (1949)
We put up a cuckoo clock in our living room yesterday. We inherited
it several years ago, but it wasn't until yesterday that we got around
to deciding to put it up.
If we'd inherited a painting by Michelangelo or Leonardo, would I have
put that up instead?
There was a time when I actually went out and bought a cuckoo clock for
myself, or at least asked for one for my birthday. I can still recall
the irresistible black-and-white ad in the newspaper revealing that all
the charm of the Black Forest could be mine for a mere $19.95. I
was 12 at the time - maybe 13 - and a little bird that popped out and made
noise every half-hour seemed like the perfect distraction from the Vietnam
War to my hormone-addled brain as it waded into puberty.
Which for some reason makes me wonder: Did pre-20th century Swiss and Germans sit and stare at their cuckoo clocks when they dropped acid? Or were candles and incense from the East enough for those simpler people of a simpler age?
And if you think they didn't drop acid back then, well, what the heck else might have inspired anyone to come up with the idea of the cuckoo clock in the first place? 180-proof sauerkraut?
Having just had some high-octane refreshment myself, I'm further moved
to wonder how much more difficult yesterday's clock hanging might have
been had the Eskimos or African natives been the ones to come up with the
Fortunately, it's almost time for my little friend to magically reappear
and chase away all my fears with his song.
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(©When The Little Hand's On The 11 And The Big Hand's On The 10 by Dan Birtcher)