The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I have this digital alarm clock I keep in my spare bedroom. It's ancient; I've had it since high school. There's no particular reason for holding onto it, other than that it still works.

Strange thing about this little clock: For the longest while now, every time I would set it to the correct time, the electricity in my apartment would cut out, typically while I'd be at work. I'd find evidence of this when I got home in a number of ways: Chiefly, the water filter on my aquarium would be turned off (no dead fish as a result, yet). Other indicators included my television's last-channel setting being re-set, and, of course, that little digital clock's display blinking on-and-off.

Rationally, I know the clock couldn't have anything to do with the outages. This is Florida, and at certain times of the year, the weather (thunderstorms, high winds, intense heat leading to increased power consumption for air conditioning) will cause fairly regular (but brief) power failures. And the thing is, I never actually unplug the clock; it stays connected to a wall outlet, mainly out of my laziness. I'd just never bother to re-set the time on it, because I figure my luck would strike again in the form of another power cutoff. Sure enough, every time I correct the time, the futility of having done so would be apparent the next evening, when I'd come home to see it blinking, almost taunting me.

So anyway, last night I did some furniture rearrangement around the apartment. As a result, I decided to slumber in the spare bedroom. So I set that little digital clock to the right time, with the alarm, so it would wake me. It did the job the next morning, no problem.

I got back tonight. The aquarium's water filter was not working. My television's channel setting was re-set. And, of course, that digital clock was blinking, blinking, blinking.