Time for a new alarming alarm clock

I bought myself a new bedside alarm clock the other day.

The electric one I had still told time, but the alarm part of it decided it was time to retire or quit without further notice.

I got wise to that after about two or three weeks of paranoid episodes of setting it at night and checking it and re-checking it before I went to sleep to make sure it was set and would go off.

Despite my nighty-night ritual, it wasn’t making any noise when it was supposed to, so I was falling into this morning pattern that wasn’t very flattering, especially if I had been caught on “Candid Camera” – the blaring, staccato dut-dut-dut-dut-dut alarm doesn’t go off, Janice wakes up late, Janice gasps, Janice doesn’t say nice things, and now Janice is very awake and stomping and storming around, convinced the world will stop revolving without her. Better Half, meanwhile, is wide awake now even though he doesn’t have to be.

To restore spousal snooze order and marital harmony, I bought the alarm clock even though some would say, why not just use your cell phone. It has an alarm.

Too hard for me to figure out and set, I say. Besides, I’m old school. I want a real alarm clock.

It’s been a long time, though, since I shopped for one, so I was a little surprised with what was available. Not a whole lot of choices.

I opted for a battery-operated clock instead of an electric one.

I came home with a Big Ben twin bell alarm clock, satisfied with the purchase since the box noted it had a “loud bell alarm,” a “light on demand,” “luminous hands and hour markings” but no snooze alarm. Perfect.

I do not need a snooze alarm. I need an alarming alarm.

It was an old-fashioned looking clock so it got instant credibility points with me.

It was hard to get out of the box, though, attached to it by two screws thread tightly through two washers in the back.

I tried to tug it loose, my efforts in vain.

Some product packaging is really frustrating, especially if it means going on a junk drawer treasure hunt for a phillips screwdriver.

Getting it out of the box was the first challenge. Finding a working battery for it was the next. We never have new batteries in our house – just a bunch of loose batteries rolling around in drawers or maybe in baggies. I don’t know what the deal is there.

The good news is there was one battery up for the job, and the clock ticks, and the alarm rings.

It sounds like the ring, ring, ring, of an old rotary dial telephone, but it rings.

When I put it on the nightstand for the first time, it occurred to me that I didn’t have an alarm clock when I growing up.

I had my mother, who stood at the bottom of the steps, and tapped her left hand on the banister so her wedding ring made an impatient click click sound.

Then she said “Ho!!” not like a Santa Claus “Ho-Ho,” but a “Ho!” get-your-dupa-out-of-bed-for-school kind of “Ho!”

There was no snooze alarm with her.

And no need for one now either.

Sweet dreams.