My alarm clock makes the following noise: “BoopBoopBoopBoopFuckingBoop”. I suppose it’s just doing its job, annoying me enough to get me up, but it’s just a bit…severe.

clock1.jpgIt also has, since I bought it in Ireland in 1995, the old-school AM-PM system. This is great for confusing the Swedes. They will attempt to set the alarm time but just end up staring at the little screen in dismay for a while, chewing thoughtfully at their lips. At which point they will look up with eyes like pits of despair and begin to whimper.

I proceed to explain: “It’s very simple really. AM means Antibus Mallevelous and begins at exactly 12 midnight. It continues right up until one microsecond before noon, at which point it becomes PM, or Particulate Monstrosity. So just remember that PM is afternoon and evening, except for midday, which is still AM.”

It actually makes less sense each time I read it. On my clock the AM/PM divide is represented, uselessly enough, by a little red dot, with the presence of said dot indicating PM. Unfortunately the clock uses a similar system – a red dot – to indicate if the alarm is active or not, leading to lots of amusing mix-ups and shouting at 9:23 on a Tuesday morning.

So I could just take me to a purveyor of annoying clocks and get a new Swedish one. But this would use the 24-hour system, which is the work of the devil. So I will instead buy one on postal order direct from England, the land of idiotic measurements, to ensure that I can confuse guests for years to come.

Or maybe I just need a girlfriend…

/ paddy

17 thoughts on “BoopBoopBoopBoop

  1. Alarm clocks are in themselves a bad thing – if it wasn’t for the evils of work, we could all just sleep until adequately rested, and then get up (around eleven). My alarm clock is even more old fashioned than yours – it has a clockface, and a ticking sound. But it has sentimental value, since a friend brought it as a gift from the US, and it’s also infinitely preferable to the alarm clock feature on my mobile, occasionally used in hotel rooms and emergencies, which plays cheesy 80s muzak to start the day to.

  2. Paddy, why are your guests setting your alarm clock for you? And how do Swedes cope with the type of clock mentioned above, which doesn’t even have a little am-pm indicatrix? So many mysteries in one little post…

  3. Land of idiotic measurements indeed.. I’ve been stuck using them for the last 15 years. I’m going to be using them for 4 more.

    Now if a certain tea-drinking Western Empire had just minded their own business and not colonised this dump, this wouldn’t have happened.

  4. Conor is right, alarm clocks are evil.

    But try being me: living in an AM/PM world but working for a military defense contractor where everything is oh-nine-thirty and thirteen-oh-five and is 13 really a valid TIME I ask you????

    Although yes, I was rather wondering why your guests are setting your alarm for you. Some kind of parlour game?


  5. Conor: I know, what is it with mobile alarm signals? At least you don’t have that most evil of devices – the 80s clock radio…shiver…

    Chris: I am only referring to guests who sleep over, in my bed, and therefore earn the right to touch my equipment.

    charliebadaboom: And you’d all be using some other arcane system instead…

    KimBooSan: The 24-hour clock is a piece of piss…how can you have trouble understanding it? It’s much easier than the other one. Or at least I think so.

    archaeozoo: I wish I had paid attention in spelling class…

  6. I, as an addicted earplug-user, rarely notice the clock´s face, I just hear a vague tone from far away and in slothmotion my hand knock the ticketitack-thing into the floor. Every morning.
    The sad fact is alarm don´t wake me up, but the conscience.

    A woman or a time-terrorist, hmmm…that´s the queastion. Perhaps a short abstemiousness from booth will do.
    To refresh your body and soul.

  7. Paddy: It’s not that I don’t understand it — father was military, so I grew up with it — I think it is more the going back and forth part that undoes me! There is no 13 o’clock in the AM/PM world but my brain tries to shoehorn it in and then I just get a headache.

    In fact I really don’t care either way, come to think of it: no preference. Just one or the other! Both is messin’ wit’ me mind!

  8. Everybody: Falling behind with my comment replies – please forgive me. Just remember that I love you all, hang in there, and pay the fiddler off till I get home again.

  9. My alarm plays either a CD of my choice or the radio, or both, if you want to set two alarms. I wanted one that would make me a cup of coffee but that was impractical, so we now have our coffeemaker on one of those timer plugs so that it’s all brewed ready for me when I fall out of bed at the butt-crack of dawn.

  10. Mr Glancetts: Can’t we have an alarm clock that gives us compliments? Like: “Morning gorgeous; mmm what a big boy you are,; one day all of this will be yours”. Sign me up.

  11. Hey, here in Sweden we need the 24-hour system. Otherwise it would take at least 10 minutes trying to establish whether you wake up at 5 am, or 5 pm during a winterday, because there’s no other way to tell. And small dots really don’t do very much to a recently awake persons state of mind.

  12. I have a cat, and she sleeps when we do. Often by our feet in bed. She just runs around crazy when she’s been very bored, often due to us being out of the house too long. :D

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