Thursday 08 Dec 2016

Blizzards
Jennifer Flaten

Well, here we are rapidly approaching the end of 2012. I’m not sure if I am pleased or disappointed the apocalypse was a dud. On the plus side, since the world didn’t end, I got to open my presents; on the negative side the rest of the world is still here in all its idiotic glory.

I was too busy shoveling snow to worry about the end of the world. Yes, snow.  For the first time in 2 years, our area had a blizzard. A real blizzard is not one of those made for television blizzards.

In a television blizzard the streets, and more importantly, your driveway remain miraculously clear, in a real blizzard, the snowplow comes by and buries the end of your driveway in two feet of snow.

To make matters worse, he does this at 2 am so, when you go outside at 7 am, the wall of snow resembles the iceberg that bought down the Titanic. Nothing short of a tank is getting through the snow. Still, at this point, trapped in the house, with three Christmas-crazed children, for a day and a half, if you don’t get out, something bad will take place. Not that I am speaking from personal experience or anything.

I decided that, despite the weather, it was important that I get a replacement watchband. Damn the snowstorm. Yes, I was that desperate to get out of the house. I really did need a watchband though.

I have two types of watches, a daytime watch and a nighttime watch. The daytime watch is fancy-it has animated singing frogs on it. The nighttime watch, a Timex Ironman watch, is purely utilitarian.

The best feature the Ironman watch offers is the light up display and the alarm. Why do I need a special night watch’ no, it’s not because I am weird. I have children. I frequently need to see what time it is in the middle of the night.

For example, I might use the watch to check what time it is when I hear a kid sneaking into the living room on Christmas Eve. For the record, it was at 2 am. It also explains why I also like having the alarm strapped to my wrist, one that beeps insistently so I can’t ignore it, you would too if you spent all of Christmas Eve patrolling the living room and finally fell asleep at 4 am. The alarm helpfully wakes you up at 6 am.

Anyway, the strap broke-again. This is the third strap. Now the original strap that came with the watch lasted fifteen years before disintegrating. The first replacement strap broke within two years; yeah, the watch is that old, so am I. The next strap didn’t even make it a year.

Therefore, off down the snowy streets we went in search of a replacement strand. I will condense a very long and frustrating search into a few words. No one wears watches anymore. At least that is what every clerk told me at the five stores I visited in search of a new band. None of the stores carried bands, but ironically, they carried watches.

Apparently, what the clerks meant was no one wants to take the time to replace a broken band, instead just toss the watch and buy a new one. Hmm, let me see $8, the price I paid for last replacement band or $25 for a new watch.

I declined to buy a new watch, instead I Mcguyvered a solution. It involves a safety pin, it is ugly but it works.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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