Is there anything more universally needed and hated than an alarm clock? Most of us who have yet to retire have some form of this device ripping us from slumber each morning. If you are like me when I’m on contract far from home, you have at least two. One which is some form of this thing and the one built into my phone.
Of course, when I was younger it was simply two alarm clocks. One by the bed which had a radio in it tuned to a news station or an NPR station if the area didn’t have a 24-hour news station. I learned rather quickly that a music station was absolutely worthless at waking someone. When you are paid by the hour you don’t want to be late.
The other alarm clock was placed on the far side of the room and set to use the most annoying beep/buzz it had. You either had to endure it for the half our to hour they would continue screeching or you had to dynamite your butt out of bed and turn it off.
Destroyer of great writing
Some time later in life, when writing really took root, I found alarm clocks to be cruel for a different reason. My mind is a dangerous place. I try not to go there very often. My subconscious is a malicious entity bent on torturing me. Torturing in a manner far worse than that person in Hell surrounded by heat and fire with water that remains just inches from their lips. For the past few decades it has taken to starting really great dreams just before one or more of the alarms was about to go off. Dreams I can only partially remember after the shock of the alarm clock.
Today was no exception when it comes to the torture. In fact, today was particularly hurtful. It started a really good story about two British street toughs that were in the process of doing something insanely stupid and beep beep beep. Just five minutes later and I would have had a really great short if not a novel!
I was hooked. After beep beep beep I got so honked off I forgot half of it. I mean I keep a pen and pad by the bed not only to record movie titles for my rental list but also to record potential story titles, plots, etc. I even keep a nice comfortable laptop plugged in on my dresser in case I remember a huge chunk of something really good. Yes, it is running Linux. Professionals don’t do Windows.
Why the Second and not the first alarm clock?
Why the second alarm on a Sunday morning and what happened to the first alarm? Well, the above alarm clock is kind enough to let me tell it to only wake me on Monday through Friday. In fact, until I had to stay in a high rise in Chicago I never had a clock radio with that feature. Looking out my window at the radio tower for the station I wanted to hear, the crummy GE could not pick up the station. Too much electrical interference.
I never spent more than $10 on a clock radio prior to that. The high rise force an upgrade. Now, here I am with a close to $50 Sangean. It was the _only_ clock radio with any reviews from people living in Chicago high rises. Those reviews said “Yes, even in a Chicago high rise this clock radio picks up AM news stations and FM NPR stations.” Guess what? They didn’t lie.
Is there anything more universally needed and hated than that second alarm?
No getting around that one. Getting old sucks! If I want to stay on the cheap diabetic drug which doesn’t work for anybody else, I have to be a better boy and I have to take it as close to 12 hours apart as possible. There is no more sleeping till noon on a Sunday.
Another five minutes though, that would have left me with a good story.