Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Image borrowed from Bing


My mailbox is full of Christmas
come-ons these dreary days.
I go to the mailbox looking for hope
and keep getting hype.
I got one real zinger yesterday
that really peppered my soup.
A neato-keano-slicko IMPORTANT
ANNOUNCEMENT sort of thing.
“Pulsar, the first completely new way to tell time
in 400 years!”
“Called the new international status symbol
on coast-to-coast TV!”
“Pulsar delighted one of the world’s
last emperors on his birthday!”
“Pulsar is owned by celebrities, diplomats,
senators, governors, stars!”
“1500 transistors, no moving parts,
nothing to wear out or oil or maintain!”
“2500 times the force of gravity
will not harm Pulsar!”
“Go as deep as 100 feet underwater with Pulsar!”
“Pulsar contains a quartz crystal that vibrates
at 700,000 times a second!”
“Stainless steel - will not scratch,
corrode, mildew or rust!”
“Its computer mind knows the difference
between 30 and 31 day months!”
“And its little lamp will last more than
1,000 years of regular use!”
And so on, and so forth, and so on!

What it is a watch, folks, - a wristwatch.
The hottest necessity since the water pic.
Don’t think I want me to have one-
mostly out of fear.
Some night while I was asleep
it might decide to take over.
“Hello, Fulghum - this is your watch speaking -
you will getup now and pull
your lower lip up over your head.”
No. Don’t think I want one.
I’ve already got an old beat up pocket watch
that suits me fine, thanks.
It’s something I can relate to.
It’s kind of unreliable and unpredictable -
like me.
It’s easily affected by heat and pressure
and wet and cold and being kicked around-
like me.
It has a nice comforting tick - like me.
And it’s rusting and corroding and wearing out -
like me.
It needs lots of attention and care and patience -
like me.
It’s not “in” - no star or emperor
or senator wants it.
But it’s mine and it’s all I got - like me.
And, like me, it won’t last 1,000 years,
but it’s ok day by day by day.
For the time being, which is
all the time that’s important, me
and the old pocket watch will have to do.
Thanks, Pulsar people, but no thanks.
Yours is interesting, but mine is one-of-a-kind.

Robert Fulghum


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