I love innovation. I love to read catalogs or visit websites where someone has built a better mouse trap. I mean who came up with glow sticks? You know, the little plastic tubes you can wrap around your neck and have it glow in the dark. Things like this always fascinate me. Every time I fly, I can’t resist perusing the Sky Mall catalog and seeing a thousand silly contraptions I can’t live without, but could before I knew they existed. Apparently there must be scores like me who dream but don’t buy because the catalog declared bankruptcy this week. I expect to find that putting green for FiFi with the attached fire hydrant for apartment bound dogs soon at a Big Lots near me for a steal.
My present need right now however is to find the perfect alarm clock. Of all the appliances in the world, the alarm clock has to be the most reviled and despised. I know this because my clock is typical; it has only two settings. I can either have it blare an alarm that sounds like we’re going to Defcon Five on the national defense readiness scale, or I can be awoken by an irritating radio personality. It’s uncanny, no matter what station I tune it too, I wake up to the most obnoxious commercial known to man. Besides do I really want to be yelled at by a used car salesman at 5 am? Now I’ve known others to place an upside down thumb tack on the snooze alarm button so they will be forced to wake up, but isn’t that just a bit barbaric?
When I purchased my first alarm clock I started out as most people do; I had a clock with small numbers. Now that I’m older and have the eyesight of Mr. Magoo, my numbers have to be the size of a dairy barn for me to read them. When I get awoken at 3 am, I always seem to play the guessing game, “squint and eyelid curl your way to the correct time.”
Now I may have stumbled upon a new way to wake up effectively. Some years ago when our oldest son was six, he needed some encouragement to use proper manners. He was beside himself with excitement when he discovered he could belch on command. In fact it was a favorite past time of his to surprise me by telling me he had a secret. Only when I leaned in to hear it would he part my hair with glee with his sour burp.
One Saturday afternoon after a large meal, I decided to take a nap on the couch. My son was in rare form. He had eaten enough to stir up within him a cyclone of swamp gas and he couldn’t wait to surprise me. And surprise me he did! As he leaned over to force his belch, he got a little too enthusiastic and promptly threw up in my ear. The surprise on his face matched the one on mine as his stomach acid filled up my ear canal and burnt it’s way to the eardrum. Let me tell you, the sound of someone vomiting in your ear has to be the most effective alarm clock known to man; I never woke up faster. And his apologies? As I made a beeline to the bathroom to clean up, his little feet on the floor kept rythym with his apologies. I couldn’t have heard this many I’m sorry’s if I had been a kindergarten playground monitor.
I don’t think I’ll ever find an alarm clock with the sound of someone heaving up their bootstraps but that’s too bad. I’d have to drink ten cups of coffee to achieve a jolt that effective again.