Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Grandfather Clocks


Grandfather clocks didn't terrify me when I was a kid, but there was something spooky about them. So tall and imposing. Part casket, part evil Victorian robot.
They'd stand there, patiently ticking, as if to say no, I'm not waiting for a chance to pounce on you or anything like that.
Then came the striking. First a snap like a twig breaking. The clock hissed.
A deceptively friendly chime played. Then the hour chords. Deep and angry, like the clock was mad at you. Or telling a morbid story in clock language.

Even broken ones made me nervous. They looked down on you with angry faces. What if they fell on you? Or started striking on their own?

7 comments:

Sally said...

Great illos. they gave me the creeps too. There was also the admonishment not to touch the darn things at other friends' houses, when they weren't even appealing to touch, just big old creepy relics that adults fussed over. bong, bong.

Namowal said...

"Big old creepy relics" is a good word for them, Sally. Rather ironic that adults would think we'd want to touch them in the first place. No thanks!

Black Cat said...

This is exactly how I felt about them as a child. Both my grandparents had them on half-landings on their staircases and I was always afraid they would fall on me!

I found your blog via Chase. You made a lovely picture for her:)

Linda said...

This is very funny. But TRUE! Funny because it's so true and I never realized it exactly.

stray g said...

They ARE scary. If I stayed overnight at someone's house as a kid and they had a grandfather clock, it would SO wake me up in the middle of the night! (Even the ticking, not just the chiming....)

booda baby said...

What is an illo?

Very fun pieces. More and more storytelling in a 'snap'.

Anyway, I love/loved grandfather/mother/ clocks - kind of solid and guarding over me and ticking so patiently.

But then I came from a household where there wasn't a lot of that calm tick-tockiness.

Namowal said...

Black Cat,
Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad to know I wasn't the only kid afraid that a grandfather clock would tip over on me!
Hi Linda,
I had no idea this would strike (har) such a chord (har har).
Hello stray g,
That used to happen to me too- I'd be staying over and wake up to a clatter of chimes, followed by innocent slow ticks, as if the clock was saying What? That wasn't me you heard.
Hi Boodababy,
Thanks for an alternate perspective. I suppose a good clock has properties like the sun, moon and stars. Sort of a reliable anchor to counter the craziness and chaos that life dishes out.