Sunday, October 18, 2009

Making Alarm Clocks Obsolete

How many people still use alarm clocks?

I don't. My cell phone has my weekday alarm, my weekend alarm, my after work nap alarm, (almost never used, naps are for when you're dead) programmed and saved. All I have to do is touch one button and its set.

Unlike alarm clocks you can program whatever music you want to wake you up. Maybe I'm feeling a bit gangster and need Jay Z in the morning. Perhaps I didn't get much sleep, I could have Death Cab for Cutie slowly wake me. Whatever your taste, you now get to choose the noise that wakes you up. Granted if I ever hear my alarm clock songs on the radio, I start panicking, and even if I'm dressed, I start looking for pants to put on.

There are two alarm clocks I distinctly remember.

The first one I had was old. It was passed down from my parents who I'm sure had it passed down from their parents, and so on. I date the alarm clock to the 70s because it actually had wood paneling on it.

The alarm clock sticks in my memory for several annoying reasons. For one, it didn't have memory so you couldn't save a time to wake up in the clock. Every night I would have to hold down a button that would scroll through all the numbers, counting them up, eventually getting faster. Every time, like pumping gas at the pump, I would overshoot my goal by just enough that I would have to scroll through the numbers again.

The second reason I remember this clock is "BWAMMMPPH BWAMMMPPH BWAMMMPPH BWAMMMPPH!" I never woke up in the good mood. This clock would make the more shrill, soul bruising, noise ever. I was never late for anything, but I partly blame this alarm clock for my lack of social skills the first hour I'm awake.

The second alarm clock I remember is one my Grandpa Story gave me. I thought, "Finally, I can dump this other one."

It was my birthday. It was always interesting when my grandpa would bring gifts because we didn't see him quite enough for him to know what we would really like, but he was great at finding the generic gift that kids would like. For instance, one year I was given a football and another year I was giving a red Power Ranger costume. (That was about 10 sizes too small. Brett got his birthday in July that year and wore that costume until the legs only covered to around his knee.)

So I opened the box this year and got a Tazmanian Devil alarm clock. When the alarm would go off Taz would pop out of his tornado clock and scream "Bwal, bwal, bwal, wake up!" Just annoying enough to wake me but still cool.

Now this memory gets filed away in the "Keep" pile of my brain because it was defective. Taz decided I should wake up at 2 am, 3:47 am, 4:17 am, and then it would skip when I wanted to wake up at 6:15, but let me know I was missing the bus at 7:05.

You know what, good riddence alarm clocks. I fully support the use of cell phones.