Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Conversations with Dad 5: The Clock

We begin immediately after The Visit, when I enter my parents' house. Greetings ensue.

Mom: Sorry I didn’t make dinner yet. I didn’t know when you were finally going to show up.

Ces: But I'm early.

Dad: For once.

Mom: Plus, now Marcello’s not coming tonight.

Ces: Marcello’s not here?

Dad: Oh, you won’t believe what that worthless bastard of a brother of yours did.

Ces: What happened?

Mom: I don’t want to talk about it.

Dad: Then let me tell them.

Mom: He called five minutes ago to say he's coming tomorrow instead.

Dad: He called five minutes ago to say he's coming tomorrow instead.

Mom: I don’t want to talk about it.

Dad: Then why didn't you let me tell them?

Mom: What's there to say?

Dad: Apparently nothing now!

Suddenly a loud chirp comes from the kitchen.

Ces: Um, what the hell was that?!

Dad (Brightly): Oh! You heard it!

Ces: Did you guys get a pet bird?

Mom: Oh no. Not after we lost our poor canary Winter.

Dad: Stuck its own fingernail right through its eye. Died like that.

Mom: So sad.

Dad: It's own eye!

Mom: I don't want to talk about it.

Dad: Well, you're not the one who had to bury him.

Mom: Anyway, that's why we only keep fake birds in the bird cage now.


Ces: Sooo...the chirping?

Dad: What? Oh, that's our new clock!

Ces: Clock?

Mom: Doesn’t it sound beautiful?

Dad: It has a different bird call for each hour.

Mom: Finch.

Dad: Blue Jay.

Mom: Cardinal.

Dad: Sparrow.

Mom: Robin.

Dad: Blackbird.

Mom: Bluebird.

Dad: Yellowthroat.

Mom: Warbler.

Dad: Oriole...Hey, Ces! Remember when I coached your Little League team The Orioles. What year was that again?

Ces: Wait, the clock chirps every hour?

Dad: Every hour! You should hear it!

Ces: Even in the middle of the night?

Mom: All night! That last one was a mourning dove.

Dad: I love mourning doves.

Ces: You said every hour. But it's 7:10.

Mom: Well, the clock hasn't been working properly.

Dad: And whose fault is that?

Mom: The clock’s?

Dad: And who dropped the clock?

Mom: You did.

Dad: I mean the second time, the time it probably broke.

Mom: You dropped it three times, Frank.

Dad: Wait, when did you touch it again?

Ces: Is there anyway to shut it off at night?

Dad: Might have been. But then Isilda dropped it.

Mom: I never touched it!

Dad: Well, you dropped something!

Mom: I dropped the coffee machine.

Dad: Oh...Well, I hope you weren't expecting any coffee, because thanks to your mother here you're not getting any.

Ces: Wait, how often do you guys drop things now?

Dad: Well, you kids are never around to help us lift stuff.

Ces: How heavy was that coffee pot?!

Dad: Ask your mother. She's the one who dropped it.

Mom: This coming from the man who dropped all those wine glasses!

Dad: That's because you didn't dry them properly!

Ces: Guys, guys...about the clock...

Dad: It has a different bird call for each hour.

Ces: Yes...I know...Can we, maybe, unplug the clock before we go to bed? Y'know, so it doesn't chirp all night.

Mom: I think it runs on batteries, dear.

Ces: Then can we just take the batteries out?

Mom: But then we won't be able to hear the lovely clock.

Another loud chirp comes from the kitchen.

Ces: Wait, it's only 7:15.

Dad: Hasn't been working right since one of us dropped it.

Ces: It chirps every five minutes?!

Dad: I love to hear the birds chirp.

Mom: That one was the robin! Didn't it sound gorgeous?


Joseph said...

Wow, Ces, conversations with your family never get boring. Great to see you back online. Hope things are well with you. Looking forward to more ML and whatever other projects you have.

Jim said...

A former boss of mine had what appears to be that same model of clock on the wall in her office -- and if I recall correctly, the chirps on hers happened at around :55. Not a lot of quality control going on at the bird clock factory, apparently.

Bren said...

Oh, you most certainly can turn the chirps off. I learned that as soon as I had to stay with my grandmother for a while when she had surgery. She never changed the batteries so "chirp" is just a word I use for the sound it made towards the end. A sound I can only assume is similar to a cricket full of Jim Beam crying loudly and then choking on its own vomit.

Kio said...


I'd certainly buy your book! :)