Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

A well-regulated, but not necessarily efficient or organized, militia.

The Swiss Army, let it be said, must be doing something right. Switzerland remains smack dab in the middle of larger, greedier, more powerful European powers, and nobody comes in and messes with them just to see if they can make them blink, the way that tourists make faces at the Queen of England’s royal guards. Besides creating all those nifty knives, it was a fabulous defensive tactic to put all those Alps up.

And here in the U.S., we still fiddle around with missile defense shields. Fools! Cretins! Alps are the way to go!

That said, I must take the Swiss Army to task for their customer service and repair department. Upon my graduation, I received from my grandfather a wristwatch produced by the Swiss Army. Some months later, the watchband breaks, and I stop wearing it, and since the other watch I received for graduation will likely never return to me [1], I stopped wearing a watch entirely. Finally, my girlfriend convinced me to get the Swiss Army watch repaired. She took it to her workplace, a department store, and the department store, apparently ill-equipped to repair or replace a simple watchband, sent the watch back to the manufacturers. Ten weeks, we are told. It apparently takes ten weeks for Swiss people, the same people renowned internationally for their quality timekeepers, it takes them ten weeks to repair or replace what a major American department store could not.

My frustration is perhaps showing through. It is worth noting that before my watch became part of a cautionary tale about bureaucracy, I kept it out of my sight, on my dresser, never to be used again. I am reminded of the words of Abraham Simpson. [2]

Yesterday, the ten weeks were up, and we discovered that my watch was lost. Lost, possibly never to be found. As such, today I will go to the department store and pick out a new Swiss Army watch. This is, all things considered, a good thing–not only do I not have to pay for the repairs that may or may not have been made on the watchband; the truth was that the watch itself had the occasional quirk of stopping for seconds at a time, and then restarting, so that after a month or so, the watch would have subtly worked its way into being ten or twenty minutes behind.

I am contemplating, but not seriously, weeping over the loss of “a watch my grandfather gave me.” [3]

Speaking of my grandfather, he, my mother’s father, discovered today that my sister has moved out, into the city, with a boy who is not her husband. I do not like to hear that my grandfather is scolding my mother for her failures as a human being, in part because I have a great deal of respect for my grandfather and don’t wish to view him as a tyrant, and in greater part because my mother is not a failure as a human being. She is not a failure as a mother. She is only a failure as somebody who can connect properly with my sister. To be fair to my mother, this is no easy task to do. My mother’s older brother is apparently cutting off communication with my mom, as part and parcel of the Shuntacular Crapfest that is cultural cruelty. My mother is being cut off because her daughter may be a bad influence. It raises my blood temperature and my hackles, whatever hackles may be.

I do not like to hear my mother cry. She has long had her faults, and we ourselves do not see eye to eye, but she is my mother and I do not like to hear her cry.

And I wish I were not the rational one, so that this didn’t keep falling to me.

[1] I left the watch back in Urbana, and despite occasional discussion with my old roommate about getting the watch back, I also continue to procrastinate actually sending him the package and postage to send it back to me.

[2] (“Where did you get this money, Grampa?”) “From the government! I didn’t earn it. I don’t need it. But if they miss one payment, I’ll raise hell!”

[3] He did not keep the watch up his ass in Hanoi. Nor did Christopher Walken deliver it to me.

Current music: A Perfect Circle, “Mer de Noms”

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This entry was posted on January 29, 2002 by in Life.
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