Monday, January 12, 2009

Tempting the Fates

My watch was given to me by my parents as a graduation gift when I graduated from Baylor University in 1981. It's a Seiko, and it has never lost a second. It's a great watch, and I have told everyone not to buy me a new watch for Christmas or anniversary or anything, because I won't wear it.

This is a great watch.

The other day I noticed that it had stopped. No big deal; it's been a while since the battery was replaced. I was running errands in Walkersville, so I just decided to pop into Old Towne Jewelers and have them replace the battery.

It's a family business, and they are really nice people. I'm greeted warmly by a woman I don't recognize--maybe a cousin or something--and I tell her what I need done. As she takes my watch, I declare, "That is the greatest watch in the world. I've had it since 1981 and it hasn't lost a second."

Why did I open my big mouth? Usually I'm the friendly introvert, but, no, today I have to exercise my extrovert muscles.

She takes the battery out and puts it on a tester.

Battery is fine.

She puts the battery back in, puts it on some gizmo that detects that the electronics are working. That's good. I guess. I don't know. She puts it into some other gizmo and the second hand starts moving.

For about ten seconds. Then stops.

She puts it in the gizmo again, explaining that it is a strong magnetic field and can unstick stuff. She leaves it in a little longer, and the watch starts working again.

What a relief. Until it stops about a minute later.

"Maybe it just needs a cleaning. When's the last time it's been cleaned?"

Um. I assume it was cleaned before it left Japan in 1981.

But they don't do cleaning at Old Towne. There's a guy up in PA who has been doing all their watch cleanings for years. He's very good. They trust him a lot.

Yeah, but this is the world's greatest watch. I remind the lady of that important fact.

So she writes at the top of the ticket: "This is the world's greatest watch. Please take good care of it."

That should comfort me, but I'm pretty sure she's mocking me.

So the World's Greatest Watch is off my wrist and traveling to Pennsylvania. I'm wearing my running watch, and it's just not the same.

And if the cleaning doesn't work, then the World's Greatest Watch may have to be retired.

But if it does work, then never again will I declare to anyone that it is the World's Greatest Watch.

It will still be, but saying it out loud is obviously a jinx.

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