The Legend of the Broken Timer
It’s time to tell my brother’s favorite family memory… the broken timer! It’s a treasured story that he dramatically acts out for his children and anyone else who wants to listen to a good yarn. Much merriment is had by all.
When I was a young’un, I was pretty good at repairing things. One day my Mom showed me a broken kitchen timer that had split into several pieces.
No problem, I could just glue it back together. But my Mom didn’t want me working with glue in the house, so I went to an outbuilding on our rambling farm to do the work.
One problem: It was nighttime, so it was dark out there. I was deathly afraid of the dark at the time.
So I ran out there, my heart thumping, to where I could snap on the lights, do my glue job, then after the glue had set, snap off the lights and run back to the house with the repaired item in my trembling hands.
I gratefully entered the lighted kitchen of the farm house, not knowing that my brother David was lying in wait behind the refrigerator.
As I walked past, he jumped out with an enthusiastic “Boo!!”
At this point my brother pantomimes how my entire body contorted and spasmed as if I had been hit with a taser, to the delighted laughter of his audience.
I’m fairly sure his depiction is accurate. While I’m no longer afraid of the dark, my kids learned early on to be very careful not to startle me when approaching me from behind: my reaction is something to behold.
My arms flailed every which way as the timer flew from my hands in a graceful arc to be dashed into pieces against the wall.
So I needed to go back out to fix it again. And again I came in, and again darling brother was there to do his “Boo!!” thing, and the timer was dashed to pieces once again.
At this point Mom told him in no uncertain terms to knock it off.
While I glued the timer back together for the third time, Dave positioned himself behind the refrigerator once again.
“You will never know the joy I felt hiding behind that door trying to be quiet,” he told me recently. “It was one of my better performances, I have to admit.”
And of course, the third time was just like the previous two, and my Mom decided we were done and disgustedly tossed what was left of the timer in the trash.