I am cuckoo for clocks – cuckoo clocks, that is.

A couple of Tales ago, I waxed eloquently about the coffee pot addiction in our house. We have more coffee pots than we could ever use and, every time we get a glossy Vermont Country Store catalog, and we get one every month, my eyes immediately gravitate to their classic stove top percolators.

Important disclaimer: We already have two.

This week I realized we have another near-addiction, cuckoo clocks.

It started when we happened to see a striking, made-of-wood, cuckoo clock, handcrafted in Germany. Kudos to the writer who crafted the copy: “Our deluxe cuckoo is part of a tradition that dates to the mid-1700s in Germany’s Black Forest.”

We could just imagine a quartet of Black Forest dancers spinning under the chalet’s eaves as a cuckoo emerges to announce the hour.

We were sold, or bamboozled. More about that in a minute.

We couldn’t swipe our debit card fast enough and, like Darren McGavin, the dad in “Christmas Story,” we were heavy with anticipation as we ripped open the carefully packaged container.

The clock was beautiful. Real wood. Cute little resin figurines. We shoved in the C-sized batteries, hung it appropriately just behind the sofa, and waited for the hour to strike.

Our Large Wood Black Forest Dancers Cuckoo Clock did not disappoint. On the hour, the cuckoo popped out to cuckoo, as the four dancers twirled away. Well worth, in entertainment value, at least, of its mid three-figure price tag.

Until daylight saving time came – or went. I can’t remember if we sprang forward or fell back, but we reset the clock and confused it, I guess. Because the cuckoo couldn’t figure out how many times to cuckoo. Soon after, it stopped cuckooing altogether. No more dancers twirling away.

It did look handsome, though, nailed to the wall behind the sofa. Until one night when we heard a crash and looked behind us. The authentic Black Forest wooden bottom clock had crashed to the floor, along with most of the innards. Not a pretty sight, especially considering its mid three-figure price tag.

We mourned for a while but soon bought a much cheaper Felix the Cat clock. Big numbers, which I require, and a tail that swung back and forth, counting out the seconds. Oh, so cute.

Until the tail stopped swinging. We changed batteries. Didn’t help. Changed batteries again. Still didn’t help. Took the tail off and tried to reassemble it. That certainly didn’t help. It was cute on the wall because the tail swung back and forth. No swinging? No reason to keep it. It was cheap anyway.

Now we have a new cuckoo clock. Bright yellow. Made in England. All plastic. No Black Forest wood to crash to the floor. No dancers twirling on the hour, but the plastic bird pops out cuckooing the correct hour. And it only cuckoos between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. so it won’t disturb our sleep.

We pray that it lasts through that dreaded daylight saving time change.

Now, I must spend a couple graphs of this Tall Tale thanking Humble’s City Secretary Jenny Page who made my job covering Humble city elections so much easier. While we shared the occasional phone call, Jenny and I mostly communicated by email – isn’t that oh, so, fashionable?

Jenny could have been just “cut and dry” and to the point, and she was, but she also had time for chit-chat, too. Believe me you have lots to talk about when you chit-chat about elections and politics. I am retired. I have time for chit-chat. Jenny knew that and delivered. She delivered the results I needed, too, even on a late Saturday night after a particularly challenging election. And she delivered the results with her characteristic professionalism, and with an email-smile. Jenny retired a couple of weeks ago. I will miss her.

Here is a personal message from me to Jenny, “Welcome to the Club. Retirement is wonderful.”

I hope you are sending kind thoughts to Jenny Page, too. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.

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