I paraphrase the Stephen Foster lyrics from My Old Kentucky Home…”Weep no more, my lady”…because I am trying to ensure i am on time for my doctor’s appointment.

As an old retired person with fewer duties than a broken clock has opportunities to still be correct in one day, I maintain more irregular hours than the Gabriel Brothers chain of discount stores maintains irregular pairs of socks. One is as apt to find me at full speed in my busy day at 4 a.m. as at 4.p.m.

So I have few occasions to need to make an appearance anywhere at an appointed hour let alone at the appointed hour. Except for seeing doctors. But even at those times philosophically one is tempted to ask oneself

am I late for or on time for a medical appointment when I find myself in a waiting room at 10:00 a.m on Easter Daylight Time but I have little chance of being in the examining room until 10:00 a.m. Easter Standard Time?

Thus arises the facility of devices known to man as alarm clocks. These instruments of torture have barely escaped the Geneva Convention’s list of banned methods of inhumane treatment, though Shriners‘ conventions recognized that fact long ago and thus invented the hotel wakeup call, finding a soothing voice from the front desk was preferable to a jangly clanging penetrating the foggy cloud generated from the previous night’s revelries.

The torturous nature of alarm clocks has at least been partially acknowledged by the alarm clock manufacturing industry, if not by Dick Cheney, in the form of the snooze alarm. Or has it? Perhaps it is enhanced torture to be able to stifle an alarm by hitting the snooze button welcoming the return to the blissful Land Of Nod only to be jolted out of that state again and again until your palm is worn raw from slapping the damned monster.

But let us discuss our present state of affairs in greater detail.

As a resident of a building that unexpectedly loses power for what is generally no more than two seconds several times a month, a digital version of one of these clocks will need to be reset upon each occasion. And this may not be the building’s fault. The phenomenon may be attributable to mischief emanating from students of West Virginia University pulling the giant plug from the giant socket that controls the electricity in the neighborhood we share as a form of celebration, much as they have burned couches and trash dumpsters and presumably bridges behind them as their shenanigans have raised the hackles of the school’s administration when these antics draw national attention.

But I digress.

I once depended on an alarm clock radio of the digital kind…or of the digical kind as my ex-wife’s  family’s former neighbor Joyce liked to pronounce the word….she also enjoyed the pork snack she termed shitlings…which, when I finally woke up upon unconsciously experiencing one of these momentary outages, would be blinking tauntingly at me as if to say “Guess what freaking time it is NOW, you sucker.”

So entered my possession a nice battery operated analog clock. You know, that’s the one that has two hands indicating, if both are straight up, that it is twelve o’clock somewhere and not that it is being placed under arrest. Purchased at one of the dollar stores, though I was charged more than one dollar for my little friend (thank you, Tony Montana) It stood by my side and buzzed its way into my psyche at the required times with its peculiar blend of annoying electronic beeping sounds. It’s a wonder it survived as long as it did having been heaved into walls so frequently.

But, alas, it announced its demise one morning when, set for 7:30 a.m.,I awoke on my own at 9:50 for a 10:00 a.m. appointment at the doctor’s office, I discovered my little ex-friend had made no sound, annoying or not, when it was required most.

My quest began for a replacement. AHA! “There is a dollar store on my planned post doctor visit route”, I thought. What a simple task. That store had no alarm clocks.

I managed to survive a couple more weeks with a failed timepiece, making every one of my 354 doctor’s visits in the interim. Until yesterday. The sun was shining bright though temperatures were cold. I ventured out to get to the grocery store but, as I approached it, there loomed a CVS Pharmacy a couple hundred yards down the road. I detoured there first, entered the CVS, asked the clerk where I could find alarm clocks, was appropriately directed, and found the mechanical creation of my dreams designed to wake me from same.

There, ensconced in what I was to discover plastic packaging built to withstand Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction was a bright white happy looking analog alarm clock, its hands appearing to welcome me warmly into their figurative grasp. I gleefully accepted its beckoning, paid for it, stopped at the grocery to acquire sustenance, and headed home, safe in the knowledge I would wake in time for today’s medical adventures.

Once home I borrowed a jackhammer from the construction folks working on the building’s sidewalk and…VOILA!…a scant three hours later I had broken through the protective shield and was holding my precious cargo directly in my hand. Delicately I inserted the one AA battery necessary for operation and gently turned the requisite knobs on its back to the hour then at hand. And then turned the knob again, and again, and again.

Damn It! I’d bought a clock with erectile dysfunction. Its hour hand will not stay up. Not for four hours nor for four seconds!

Turns out I am now the Goldilocks of alarm clocks but with none of the three in my possession being “just right”

Anyone know where I can buy some Viagra for my clock?

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