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June 4, 2005

Volume 2, Issue 4

Your watch just stopped.

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I looked at my watch, a fancy one I had gotten in Kuwait on the way to Baghdad - 0930. At that moment a roadside IED went off, and everything went black.
I awoke in a ditch several minutes later, unnoticed by the rest of the patrol. My Hummer was still smoking, but the rest of the crew had been pulled out and already put into body bags. Still unnoticed, I walked over to tell everyone I was okay, until I saw an arm hanging out of one of the bags, with my watch on it, face smashed - stopped at 0930.

Posted by: hnumpah at June 4, 2005 6:29 AM · Permalink

Damn. Now what? I look at my watch at least three hundred times a day. Is today the fourth? Does anybody have a calendar?

Third ring: hello? Hi hon. Where are you?...OK. On your way home get me a new watch...I don't care - just make sure it has a leather band, the date and HANDS. Thanks, I love you. Bye.

Damn traffic. At least there is a clock on the dash.

Garage door opens and closes. Hi babe (kiss). Wow - this is nice, but no leather band. Take it back. I know I have a tan line on my wrist.

Posted by: Dan From Madison at June 4, 2005 6:43 AM · Permalink

Another day on the treadmill, running the endless rat race in the habitrail of life.

5:00 PM and a numbing day of drugery locked deep in a sea of cubicles over.

I join the sea of lemmings on the freeway, my concious on autopilot, and arrive at my mortgaged to the hilt castle in the suburbs.

7:00 P.M. I shovel the bland but healthy pre-packaged food into my body, while staring at the television, which is shoveling bland but unhealthy pre-packaged entertainment into my brain.

What's that? Trumpets? The sound is everywhere....my clocks have stopped..

But I'm not ready.......

Posted by: Gahrie at June 4, 2005 7:36 AM · Permalink

I wasn’t staring directly at the flash because I chose that moment to look at my watch. It was a crappy little five-dollar digital number, but it had one of those Indiglo screens, so I liked it. As I watched, the light blinked out and the numbers faded.

Crap, I thought. Electromagnetic pulse. I estimate I’ve got about 1.4 seconds until the flame wave hits and converts me and my crap watch into incandescent vapor. While part of me screamed in abject terror, another part mused that I’d never know if my estimate was correct, because my watch just stopped.

Posted by: David at June 4, 2005 11:45 AM · Permalink

My watch had stopped, or at least it moved so slowly that it would be another minute before the next second had ticked away. I didn’t have the watch though, I was just watching a java application that I wrote, a small popup that floated on whatever screen I happened to log into that looked just like the watch I gave my son before he got on the colony ship and left for the stars. He chose to go with his mother and her new husband, and at his relativistic speeds I’ll never see her or him again. Goddamn relativity.

Posted by: joe at June 4, 2005 11:57 AM · Permalink

Gorag the Warrior was secured tightly to the wall. The massive sinews of his arms and legs strained futilely against the heavy chains. But help was on the way.

The Serpent King had granted Gorag one hour of life. And to make his point, the king turned an hourglass and set it down before his vanquished foe’s feet. The spilling sand counted the minutes until Gorag’s execution.

The Serpent King was starting to realize how much time had passed when a guard ran up to tell him Gorag had escaped.

Later examination revealed the sand was somehow clogged by urine.

Posted by: Jim Parkinson at June 4, 2005 12:33 PM · Permalink

Justin knew every line in every episode of every Star Trek series. He knew the names of every minor character of every Star Wars movie. The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Battlestar Galactica (both series)…if it was sci-fi, then Justin knew it.

But that pretty Jenny was as alien to him as, well, the Alien. All girls were.

Then he bought “the watch”. Magical, mysterious…the old woman swore it made time stand still.

Justin waited until he saw Jenny walking toward him. He pressed the button.

Time stopped.

Jenny walked on by. She mildly wondered why the weird kid wasn’t moving.

Posted by: Jim Parkinson at June 4, 2005 12:50 PM · Permalink

“Is there a doctor in the house?”

The doctor took the napkin, wiped his mouth, sighed, and pushed his chair away from the table. The title that allowed him such good parking places, and filled his mother with such pride, also had its drawbacks.

“Here, Doctor. In the bar.” A small group of people clustered around the figure on the barroom floor.

Holding the man’s wrist in his hand, he looked at his watch and felt for a pulse. He cleared his throat. “Either my watch has stopped or this man is dead..”

Then Dr. Marx returned to his dinner.

Posted by: ErnieG at June 4, 2005 1:03 PM · Permalink

Old man Johnson was telling The Story.

“It was in Glory Wells, Kansas. I think the year was 1897. Could have been ninety-eight. That’s when the sheriff shot Whiskey Morgan right in the vest.

“He would have killed Morgan right then except the varmint kept an old watch in the pocket right over his heart. The shot knocked him down on his ass, though. Morgan thought he was dead for sure ‘til he realized the pocket watch had taken the bullet.

“It was the second shot that killed him. The dumb-ass should have strapped a watch on his forehead, too.”

Posted by: Jim Parkinson at June 4, 2005 1:28 PM · Permalink

It's rare when eternal friends meet for the first time. Every story told, some twice, some more, all interrupted with glorious laughter as night deepened.

Dancing, he decided, is very nice, but we've danced around this long enough. Finally he leaned in for a kiss, fighting vodka and gravity along the way. They were stronger, though, and pulled him passed her to the floor.

More glorious laughter as she leaned down to help him up, her eyes shining something more. He reached up his hand and saw his watch was broken. At least they'd always know exactly when it happened.

Posted by: marc at June 4, 2005 2:45 PM · Permalink

"What's the time babe?" she asked her husband.

"5:26PM. How are you holding out?" he asked with a glazed over yet concerned expression on his face.

"He he he hoooooo. He he he hooooo" she breathed through the contractions.

Twelve minutes passed and time stood still.

"Time of birth: 5:38PM," the doctor announced.

The world was now graced with a bright blue eyed, blonde haired little girl named, Ericka Renee. As Cristi held her newborn daughter in her arms the tears of joy and utter pain could be visiably seen on her face.

"Time of death: 5:39PM." Time stood still.

Posted by: Jade at June 4, 2005 3:42 PM · Permalink

The dealer had begged him not to wear it.

It's an antique, he'd said. The gears are ground, the springs sprung. "Put a battery in and in two months, it'll be junk."

That was five years ago.

He sat hunched at a corner table, his wrist beside the bottle, his eyes focused through tears on the tiny, struggling hands.

He remembered the repairman shaking his head. "Six months ago, maybe. But now...."

The hands shuddered. He stared, red and yellow stinging his eyes. One glove pointed at eleven, the other not quite at twelve.


He sobbed. "Godspeed, Mickey. Godspeed."

Posted by: Allah at June 4, 2005 4:39 PM · Permalink

HowLongHasItBeen? IKnowIHaveBeenOnThisCallForTooLongNow.
"Yes ma'm. Please unplug the modem for ten seconds and then plug it in."
DamnThisLadyIsStupid. IHateThisStupidTechnicalSupportCallCentreJob. AndWhyDoTheyHaveToTimeTheCallsAndTellYouHowManySecondsTheCallHasBeen. GottaHurry. SpeakFastElijah. SpeakVeryFast.
"Ma'am, now check your computer. Is it online?" "No?" "Then I will have to send someone." DamnNowSheIsTryingSomethingElse. WhyWhyWhyWhyWhy? InJustMereSecondsIAmGoingToHangUp. IHateThisLadyAndEveryoneWhoCalledInBeforeHer. WhyArePeopleSoStupid?
"Yes, I can have someone out there the day after tomorrow." "I realize that you work out of your home...."
ThenWhyDidYouChooseToBeSuchAnIdiot? IHaveToHurryOrElseThisCallWillBeWrittenUpAsOneOfTheLongCalls. HowLongHasItBeen?
"Ok, so there will be someone on Thursday coming out."
AndNowIHaveToMakeMyNotesForThisCall. SoFreakingMuchWorkForSuchIdioticPeople.
"What? It is working now?" "What did you do?" "Turned the firewall off? Great, have a nice day." YouSaidYouDidNotHaveAFireWall. GreatYouRuinedMyDailyAverageTimeBecauseYouLiedToMe. HaveANiceFreakingDay Ma'am.

Posted by: Elijah Rintrah at June 5, 2005 12:52 AM · Permalink

Since the invention of the pocket watch, the device has had essentially one function: to tell time. Or, more specifically, tell how much time one can or must spend at a certain activity before one must or can do something else.

With the miniaturization of the first wearable communication and entertainment devices recently, imagine the prevalence of implanted computers and other instruments enabling communication from mind to mind that the coming century will bring.

Instead of removing the ticking watch from a corpse, a coroner will hear a voice saying, “It’s time to get a new body — my human stopped.”

Posted by: Les. Really. at June 5, 2005 4:51 AM · Permalink

Check before you post!