Accustomed to the Confusion


Here’s the story of cake, clocks, and nice smelling rats.

I know that when that clock reads ‘8:15’, it’s actually 8:45. Equally, I know that when my wristwatch says 8:15, it’s actually 9:30. When the clock on my bedside table says 8:15, it’s probably around 8:20. My tablet and my computer agree in that they would say it’s 8:10 when it’s actually 8:15. And as for my phone, I’m not sure, the clock stopped working on that a while ago. You might wonder how I know it’s 8:15 then, if all my clocks disagree on what the time is. In fact, that is precisely my point. I have no idea what time it is, yet I’ve developed a system where I’m never late. Because I know just how far behind or ahead my clocks are, I instinctively know what time it really should be. Some would say that I should just change the times on them, but I’ve become so accustomed to the confusion, I think I’d miss it…

You see, the problem with the bathroom clock is that I’m the only person on the planet who thinks a clock in a bathroom isn’t weird. I campaigned endlessly to the parents to let me put a clock in the bathroom. They said it was the strangest thing imaginable putting a clock in such a room. But… but… how do you know if your morning routine is running to schedule if you don’t have a clock? If you have to be out in five minutes but it takes you ten minutes to brush your teeth, you’re going to be late for work! Put a clock in the bathroom, damn it! It prevents so much misery! Yet time and time again, everyone I spoke to said it the weirdest thing imaginable. That nobody has a clock in their bathrooms. Well, I was outraged. Every room should have a damn clock. A world without time is a chaotic confusing hellscape. Admittedly, it’s a weird thing to be outraged by, but I didn’t say it was the only thing I was outraged by. Mum giving me back socks I put in the wash to be thrown out is high on that list…

So when I got a new alarm clock for Christmas, I put my old one in the bathroom. Mum and dad did have a good old chuckle for a substantial period of time over that one. I overheard them telling a few people about it. They found it amusing to. DO YOU WANT TO BE LATE FOR WORK! NO? THEN WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING! I’m calm. But the problem is, is that that particular alarm clock is now 23-years-old. It doesn’t really work anymore. Hell, most of the time it thinks it’s a toaster.

But you see, when you live with your parents, there are boundaries. You pay for your stuff, they pay for their stuff. But stuff that concerns both parties is a tricky subject. The bathroom, being used by both parties, is one such subject. Sure, I’m allowed to suggest things to them, but if anything needs doing to the bathroom or I want to put something in there, or take something out, it’s not my decision to make, but theirs. They tolerate my alarm clock, but they don’t support it. It’s kinda like if your teenage daughter decides to become a Goth. You’ll assume it’s a phase and you’ll tolerate it, but no way in hell are you buying her Goth stuff.

So it’s a stalemate. If I buy a new clock for the bathroom, it’ll need to be mounted to the wall. But they have said that I’m not allowed to nail things into the wall. I did suggest Blu-Tack, but they didn’t think that was funny. I could buy a standing one to put on the windowsill but the one that’s there now keeps mysteriously disappearing every time mum cleans that bathroom. I’m thinking, right, that next time they go on holiday, I buy a huge grandfather clock and put that in the bathroom. I’d like to see mother move that…

I’m not happy about the situation, either, but it’s manageable. The only real problem I have is that the plastic screen on this decades old alarm clock has fogged up a bit. Didn’t happen here, though. It happened in New York. Fine before, ruined after. I tell you, New York shower steam is very different from English shower steam.


As for my wristwatch, well, the clocks changed recently in the UK. Was it March? Recent-ish. I know what many women are now thinking. ‘Ah, you’re one of those guys who never changes his watch when the clocks go back or forwards – bloody typical.’ No, no – no. First of all, tad sexist. Second of all, you haven’t seen my watch. The strap is sewn on the back of the clock face. You cannot change the battery, for instance, without unpicking the stitching and removing the strap. It’s a design flaw, but it’s not the end of the world. Why is this relevant? Because the watch model number is on the back of the clock face, hidden by the strap. And I need that number to Google it to find the instructions on how to change the time. It did come with an instruction manual, but I lost it. Now that I will agree is bloody typical of a guy…

It’s complicated. It goes something like this. Press right button for 17 seconds, and whilst holding right button, press left middle button six times, whilst holding down the right middle and top left buttons at three second intervals. Then, when the light flashes for two and a quarter minutes, release finger three and finger two, in that order, before pushing left top in six times. Whatever you do, don’t press it seven times or that activates the emergency response thingy that sends an alert out to the police that you’re in trouble. Sigh. Ridiculous.

I could buy a new, better watch, but my brother bought me that for my 21st birthday. You have to wear the crap your siblings buy you. I mean, he bought me a real fancy pen for my 13th birthday, which was then stolen, and I never told him because I felt awful. Clearly my fault, that. I like things from relatives. It’s a connection. I still have that teddy my granddad bought me before I was born. He never got to meet me, he sadly died before I was born, but things are tangible. My other brother gave me that crappy alarm clock. I think of him every time I look at it. Probably not how he wants me to think of him…

As for my bedside alarm clock, I don’t know what’s wrong with that. And as for my tablet and computer, well, like with the alarm clock, they’re a bit senile. Oh, and my mobile phone, well, lots of things don’t work on that, not that it could do much in the first place. I mean, it cost eight quid and I got it from Argos. Say no more, really.

And before I forget, you may be wondering why I put socks to be thrown out in the wash. I’m not sure. I’ve always done that. When I go to throw out some ruined and useless old clothes, I always wash them. I really don’t know, but my brain just won’t let me throw something out unless it’s been washed first. It’ll end up on the rubbish heap, I know. But there’ll be some very comfortable and nice smelling rats in there, I tell you that much…

It’s my last week, this week, readers. The last few days as a 25-year-old. I don’t want to be 26. It’s a ludicrous age. So damn old. Well, if there’s a sponge cake involved, then it won’t be so bad, I guess. That’s my message of the week.

Don’t let anyone tell you you’re too old for birthday cake…

English comic actor, filmmaker and composer, Sir Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), once said: “We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity; more than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.”

Peace Out :|:

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Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other blog:

To Contrive & Jive
New Posts Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday
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