Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Grandfather Clock - S. Trent Troop

Once upon a time, there was a young woman who had gone on a few dates with a young man of modest income. He seemed like a good fellow, but the relationship was not serious. This was in no small part due to the young man's punctuality. He had a habit of setting dates for precisely 6:37, but would show up minutes, or even hours, early or late. It was rare that he ever arrived on time and when he was in the general ballpark it was largely due to other obvious factors, like the position of the sun in the sky.

After the seventh or eighth incident of this type, the young woman came to her boyfriend's home with the intent of giving him a piece of her mind. When he let her in, however, her gaze was drawn to an old grandfather clock in the foyer. The hands were stuck at 6:37.

"I think," the young woman announced. "that you are in need of a new clock."

"But that clock belonged to my great-great grandfather. It's been in my family for generations. It is a part of our history."

"Then perhaps it could be fixed?"

"Fixed? But look at its fine carvings, the artistry, the quality of the wood and brass. No one makes these parts anymore and it would be a terrible shame to have to change such a piece of art."

"Oh, well if its just there for aesthetics and tradition, maybe you could get a new clock, one that is accurate and actually runs, to tell time and keep the old one around to look at." The woman was getting exasperated but for the sake of the man's feelings and out of respect for his sentimentality she didn't let it show. Or at least, not much.

"Ah but I don't need to. My clock is perfectly accurate when it is 6:37."

The woman thought about this for a minute or three and, without another word, simply turned and walked away. Under her breath she resolved that the next young man she asked on a date would have the sense to own a digital watch.

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