By J. D. Pendry
Typically, unless necessary for some reason I cannot at this moment contemplate, I do not wear a watch. I do have a couple of nice ones. Suzie-Q bought them for me. One is about thirty years old and the other about 10. Not heavily used, both look practically new. In the Army, I always had one of these cheap takes a licking and keeps on ticking watches with its OD Green nylon strap. If a truck ran over my arm, or some other minor catastrophe occurred there’d be no great loss. I’d just trot over to the PX and lay out 10 bucks for another. Watch that is, not an arm. I think I still have the last one in a box somewhere. It’s been twenty years so I’m guessing the battery is dead.
I was so impressed with my daughter-in-law’s snazzy smart watch; I convinced myself I needed one. Suzie-Q finally agreed but advised me the cost of it comes out of my next month’s allowance. When I told her I would probably need the next two month’s allowance, she gave me the look. I explained to her all of the great things the watch could do. Looking at me with a slightly furrowed brow she asked, “Can it vacuum the floors? Do laundry? Wash the dishes?” I said no. “Then you are going to be a busy man.” And that’s how negotiations go around Pendry manor. I should be off hard labor in a couple of months.
So, we headed out to the local store that sells all manner of tech gizmos and kitchen appliances. Looking at the display of watches I pointed to one I thought rather Chic (sheek). Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever used that word to describe anything. I added the parenthetical phonetic spelling for anyone like me who may not routinely use such expressions. Truthfully, I spelled it wrong the first time around. Not being a fashionista, anything considered Chic would definitely clash with my extensive wardrobe of jeans and tee-shirts. Suzie-Q declared it looked like a woman’s watch. The cranial hard drive reprogrammed itself to never wear anything considered Chic and to actually expunge the word from my memory. I settled on a more masculine look. It was round, but about the size of a flat screen TV. I gave the young lady who’d been doing a great job of telling me about the excellent choice I made my more than two month’s allowance and headed home.
The watch tethers me to my phone. Which is nice if I’m at the gym and want to listen to Hank Williams Jr. sing Born to Boogie, I don’t have to carry my phone around with me. As way too many people do. It’s really annoying when someone has their oversized rear-end sitting on a piece of equipment I want to use scrolling through their messages. But I can endlessly talk about the gym life some other time. Being tethered to the phone is not good for me. I used to be able to drop my phone on the kitchen counter and head down to the Bunker allowing me to say sorry I missed your message earlier. Now, I can leave the phone in the kitchen and my arm buzzes. And of course, I have to look. The Bunker is no longer a refuge from text messages.
The phone has some good features. It keeps track of my heart rate. Tracks my calendar and tells me about the appointments I’m late for. It keeps track of whatever workout I do at the gym complete with elapsed time, heart rates, and the 5 or 10 calories burned. It also has about 7 dozen different watch faces from which to choose. You can go from elegant (not Chic) to something an F-35 pilot might appreciate. Or you can just go straight boring digital.
There is one other thing. I believe it has the soul of a married woman and maybe a school teacher too. It nags me. “You’ve be sitting too long, get up and move.” And she keeps at it unrelenting until I do actually move. Then she cheers, “Great job!”
© 2019 J. D. Pendry, J. D. Pendry’s American Journal, All Rights Reserved