When Time Stopped Again


We had a Christmas lights timer that over New Year’s stopped working. It had this simple mechanism, a dial that turned over the course of the day, with lights turning on or off based on whether the pin for that time was in or out. But it stopped at about 8:00. And it got stuck again, and again. Something was stuck in it.

Finally we got desperate enough to avoid other chores to open it up and see if we could fix it. The timer had this outer dial with the in-out pins and, when taken apart, it turned easily without getting stuck. The inner clock mechanism turned easily too. We put it back together — after turning the outer dial and the inner gears some crazy number of times — and it got stuck, consistently, at 8:00 again. That was a little creepy, so we took it apart again and turned the dials some more so at least it would get stuck at a different time on the clock face. But that didn’t work, and it got jammed at 8:00 again. It still does.

Now, we’ve got a mantle clock. It’s charming and gives us a regular steady ticking noise so that we can reflect on how much of the day is going by without our doing anything worth note. Also how we really ought to get the chimes fixed but that’s so hard to do. And it stopped, though it was fully wound, at a little before 8:00. We started it up again and it stopped at about the same time.

And then my love’s watch also stopped at about 8:00. That was easy to explain, as it’s a holiday watch with little decorative bits that came loose and sometimes jam the machinery. It just needs to be shaken and it goes again. However:

There’s a house in mid-Michigan where analog clocks consistently stop at eight o’clock-ish? So far this is the most boring magic-realist novel ever.

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Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there.

9 thoughts on “When Time Stopped Again”

  1. Have you never heard the old expression “he has a face that would stop a clock? So who comes home, or goes near the clocks at eight? Someone with an unusual amount of energy? Or do you just have a subway or a power station or wind mills that vibrate at eight`?

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    1. Oh, yes, I have heard the expression. But there’s nobody who comes home around eight, and the only one near the clocks at that hour would be our pet rabbit. He doesn’t seem bothered by clocks, typically, though, since he’s got hay and he gets food when we eat.

      Liked by 1 person

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