A Bell Won't Toll If You Throw It...

Monday Morning...

...I have to buy a new alarm clock. The one I have suffered a tragic "accident" this morning. It tried to do it's job, waking me to this new day, but it failed to realize something was amiss when I groaned for it to "Go away..!" Instead, it relentlessly bleated its call from the bedside table. The flashing digital eyes glared, declaring in a silent scream directed at me: "7:15am! 7:15am! 7:1..." It stopped mid-declaration after a short flight out my bedroom window, landing hard on the fake cobblestone driveway that runs along the side of my house.

A couple hours later, after I could no longer delay my "post-Rams-debacle" day, I showered, dressed and carried my cup of coffee outside. I stood over the remnants of my clock as a light breezes rustled the trees above my drive way. Standing there, I considered each shattered piece of the clock for a moment or two. A clock is in the business of being a personal "Wake up call", and it carries risks indeed. While my nosey elderly neighbor, Mrs. Flannery, looked on from her near by porch, I spoke to what was left of my clock...





"You brought this on yourself. After what happened yesterday, I just wasn't ready... But you kept yammering at me to get up and do what? Be happy? Inspired?" I kicked the largest remaining piece of the clock down the driveway. Mrs. Flannery's head swiveled, her eyes following the the clock as it bounced, coming to rest twenty feet from where I stood. I looked up at her in time to see her patented eye roll combined with a gray haired head shake. I shrugged, then turned and walked into my backyard, standing in the half finished fake cobble stoned area between the house and three car garage at the rear of my property. I'm not sure how long I stood there, but the last sip of my coffee was ice cold if that's any gauge. I had been waiting as much as thinking. Waiting for who now stood in front of me: Mrs. Flannery, holding a broom and dust pan.

"That's the third clock in as many weeks," she squeaked at me in a mildly judgemental tone.

Since Mrs. Flannery is all of five feet nothing in height, I looked down at her artificially sweet smiling face. "It tried to escape..." My comment was met by a snickering "pffft" sound caused by her loose fitting dentures.

"Just because that football team you like so much loses, doesn't mean you can act like a Ninny hammer." She shook a bony finger at me, "And stop burning furniture. The smoke killed my Begonias!" Then she kicked me. It didn't hurt. She was old enough to carbon date so if she really kicked me hard she would have rattled apart. I made a show of it, giving her a complimentary "Yeow!" and faked limping around. I learned that if you didn't fain pain, she would keep kicking you till you acknowledge her through some sort of scream or grimace. The first time she kicked me, she followed me around kicking me for an hour until exhaustion and a hitch in her fake hip made her stop.

"Quit kicking me! I bet you didn't get away with kicking the Pharaohs... have you noticed that the Sphinx look an awful lot like you?" Another kick attempt that missed. I caught her before she fell, though I had to admire the leg extension. She swatted me away, moving her hands to her gray hair to make sure it was still neatly in place.

"I'll quit kicking you when that team of yours stops you from being a fool," She was pointing a bony finger at me again.

I held both of my hands out to her, palms up, "I'm a Rams fan Mrs. Flannery, and that means I have the fool gene. One day science may find a cure..." I looked at her with a fake serious expression on my face, "You are looking at a man who suffers from Rams-initis Lose-icus." Then I slapped myself in the face with my right hand and made my left hand look like it was having convulsions. Mrs. Flannery stared at me.

"The symptoms of Rams-initis Lose-icus are," I held up a twitching finger, "First, if you are a Ram fan, you have to get used to being slapped in the face." I held up a second wobbly finger, "Second, your right hand can never know what your left hand is doing." I made my right hand wrestle with my left, a- la Steve Martin in the classic comedy "All of Me".

Mrs. Flannery stared at me for a second, then began backing away, "You're nuts!" She turned and did her best to run from my yard as fast as she could.

"How did you know the third symptom?" I yelled after her slowly receding form. I took the broom and dust pan Mrs. Flannery had left with me and walked over to my clock wreckage. As I dumped the broken pieces of clock into the trash can, I shook my head and mumbled, "The fourth symptom is that a Rams fan will never give up..."

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