Time life

1970s clock“Sweet smoking Jesus, what was the matter with these people?” asked James Lileks in his epic Interior Desecrations: Hideous Homes from the Horrible ’70s (New York: Crown Publishers, 2004), and you may be certain that this ghastly clock, which I bought in an Eighties garage sale for $1.50 or so, does not actually hang in my crisp mid-century house, but in the garage, where it’s kept indifferent time for the last decade.

Usually it loses about three minutes a week; when it stops doing that, it’s generally time for a new C battery. Since New Year’s, it’s been gaining about three minutes a week; yesterday, it stopped dead. I duly fetched another C-cell from the pile, and it refused to start. Okay, fine, it’s more than earned its eternal rest. I set it back on its mount and started contemplating its replacement. About two hours later, I went out to the garage, and it had started up again. I assume it can’t be due to temperature variations in the garage — it’s been within a couple of degrees of 45 since Saturday morning — so it must be Just One Of Those Things.


  1. Quartz Clock »

    14 January 2013 · 9:52 am

    Dude! You really are an American Picker! – go get a new one like this http://www.fastestpc.co.uk/product/694227893/tfa-quartz-clock-for-bathrooms-wet-rooms.html – it will keep time – ok it’s more than 10 times the price – but well worth it ;o)

  2. Tatyana »

    14 January 2013 · 10:10 am

    You scared it to life!

  3. Roger Green »

    14 January 2013 · 10:54 am

    it’s posssessed

  4. Kirk »

    14 January 2013 · 11:56 am

    Well, you can take solace in the knowledge that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  5. nightfly »

    14 January 2013 · 3:33 pm

    It was just trying to take a five-minute break… but of course, being the clock it is, it wound up being a little longer.

  6. Lynn »

    14 January 2013 · 9:24 pm

    You need a new clock but not just any plain, ordinary clock. Fear not. Tackiness did not die after the 70’s.

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