Monday, November 15, 2010

MacGyver's Alarm Clock

Margaret is as handy as I am not. In the almost two decades we have been together one of us has asked for - and received - a number of handyman tools for Christmas. I am not the one.

I loathe change. A lot of people do not like it. I take it to a new and entirely different level. I will do whatever I can to resist it. In retrospect I should have realized that my level of enmity that I have for all things different likely would have doomed my move from one end of Parsippany Road to the other even if I had not hated the gig from the moment I arrived there.

For as long as I can remember I have awakened to the sound of the same alarm clock. Once upon a lifetime ago I purchased it at some now-defunct retailer (Caldor's or Bradlee's) for a ridiculously low amount of money for my parsimony knows no bounds. I have had it at least since my junior year of college. It has awakened me in the Mountain Time Zone and in the Eastern Time Zone. For years it aroused me out of too many drunken stupors to count during (principally) my bachelor days. It has for years without fail awakened me at 3:00 a.m. six days a week. It has faithfully served me both at home and on the road on the rare occasion when I travel. It not only provides its own distinctive alarm bell but it answers the bell.

Given how faithfully it has served me it should come as no surprise that when I was awakened Sunday morning by the other reliable pre-dawn alarm in our house (one of our animals shrieking for no discernible reason), reflexively reached over to turn off my alarm clock and discovered that the alarm button was broken, I was horrified. Only a couple of days removed from saying goodbye to T, I was not in the mood to be face to face with having to replace yet another invaluable member of my support team. It was as if the wheels were coming off the wagon completely.

I fought through my depression to go grocery shopping. All the while through the aisles of the A&P at least part of my focus was fixed on the next errand of the day: replacing Old Reliable. I was not looking forward to it for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that I have no confidence that my model alarm clock is still available for purchase.

However while I was at the grocery store, Margaret was channeling her inner MacGyver. Using an array of tools and gadgets that was as unlikely as it was diverse, Margaret managed to coax at least one more morning's work out of my beloved alarm clock. I think the technical term for what she did is called, "glue the plastic pocket tab from the clicky pencil to the bottom side of the alarm button on the clock."

That may be the technical term for what she did but the better description for what she did is perform a miracle. It may be a reflection of the far-flung scope of my mental illness but I smiled this morning when my alarm went off. Welcome back old friend. Welcome back.


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