Free is just another word….

I have a mantle clock. It is just a small little thing. I received it as a going away gift when I left my position as a Shipper / Lead Hand at a small manufacturing company back in the winter of ’99.

The curious part of this was that I did not receive the going away gift from my employer, but from a supplier who took me out for breakfast and gave me a catalogue from Amway. I was allowed to pick anything I wanted from that catalogue, it was already paid for.
I’m never good at picking a ‘free’ prize. It’s like some kind of test that I ultimately end up failing.
In my senior year of High School I won a writing award. the prize, donated by the local historical Society, was a $10 gift certificate at ‘Sam the Record Man’. This is back in 1986 and $10 would have gotten you any album in the store.
So there I was, standing in the store and looking at all of the cassettes. Anything I wanted! I must have looked for over an hour!
Def Leppard? Dire Straits? How about some Men Without Hats?
All the choices in the world and what do I walk out of there with?
ABBA, The Album.
Yep.
The last time I remember listening to it all the way through was on a mini vacation, driving across Manitoulin island right around Midnight back in ’93. I still have the cassette though….
Years later, I was at a Fork Lift Rodeo (there used to be such a thing). It was a skills competition. I was pretty good at it, but truth be told I liked it just for the chance to be able to drive the nbice new Toyota propane Fork Lifts. At the end of it all, there was a prize table and you got to pick a prize from the table based on your standing. Being that the competition was put on by the Industrial Accident Prevention Association, most of the prizes were safety related. I found the one that wasn’t.
A propane torch.
Realistically, I did not own a house. But I knew that I would….someday.
Three years later I bought a house. Now I would finally be able to put that torch to use!
Interestingly enough, home ownership does not guarantee the need for a propane torch.
So I waited. I was patient.
In 2004 my patience was finally rewarded! In a cold snap of over -40, the pipes in the crawlspace under my house froze solid! No problem! I had just the tool to tackle that task! A brand new, nerve been used propane torch! I knew right where it was not just a little bit of smugness that I retrieved it from its safe storage in the garage and eagerly prepared to save the day! I turned on the propane and flicked my bic and…..
Nothing happened.
Apparently if you leave something like a propane torch sitting for 13 years, it may or may not work. My model came down decidedly on the ‘may not’ side of things.
Which brings me back to my clock.
My clock and I lost tough for a few years. Many things happened in my life, much change. Some change the clock was around for, some it was not. At some point though, the clock stopped working. I knew it awhile back, but had always assumed that it was a dead battery type issue. So the other day I ‘found’ the clock again and happily put a new battery in it.
Nothing happened.
The clock hands remained immobile.
Well, there goes another ‘pick your own prize’ down the tubes!
No worries though. It really is a good looking little clock, and it still tells the right time, if only twice a day!
 clock

Just some thoughts…