Take it from One Who Knows: the “thoughtful gift” of a real Cuckoo Clock is NOT always thoughtful – and in some cases, can actually prove thoughtless.
The ONLY people who should be receiving ‘gift cuckoo clocks’ are those who can’t actually look it in the mouth (in this case, beak). To wit: the deaf and nearly-deaf.
Second item of note: thankfully the Postal Service has, in its infinite wisdom (temporarily at least), made the shipping of batteries illegal. Which means (for all you criminal types out there) that you can’t actually ARM the ticking bomb before shipping.
Now, I know that sending dangerous items through the USPS is blatantly illegal. I am NOT advocating mail bombs – no matter how tempting. (Besides, everyone knows you just must use UPS for some items; especially those banned by USPS regulation.) I am simply placing the ubiquitous Cuckoo Clock on the list of Hazardous Materials when a battery is included. (And often, even when it’s not….)
Some years ago a well-meaning friend, late for my birthday, decided to ship me one of these new-fangled cuckoos that don’t require winding and run on a plethora of batteries (8 ‘D’s to be specific. Further note: the only place a ‘D’ should go is in a bra cup. If your device demands double ‘D’s or more and it doesn’t involve clothing – just move on to the competition – or look for an electrical plug.) At the time “battery included” was NOT illegal to ship, so she thoughtfully placed enough battery power in Cuckoo to help him squawk every hour on the hour for at least a quarter century.
Or so it seemed like, when he arrived. Time didn’t merely pass with Cuckoo in residence. It FLEW.
And let’s face it: if you’ve watched waaay 2 many detective shows on TV (as I have…) and an ‘unexpected surprise’ package arrives literally MONTHS after your special day has passed, happily ticking away – well, wouldn’t YOU take a sledgehammer to it? (The Bomb Squad mysteriously has NO direct dial number, so don’t bother calling Police Dispatch and requesting a quick transfer – the conversation itself might exceed the time left to you, as the subject at hand literally is ticking away on your kitchen counter, compliments of USPS ‘next day delivery’ service.)
The conundrum: after sledging your b-day package ‘till the dangerous ticking stops, you are then free to open it (everyone who watches TV KNOWS a bomb won’t go off without a timer, no?) … and I’m first to admit, the ‘modern German cuckoo clock’ looked lovely. Once. Now it was in pieces and Sally was gonna be dropping by in no less than a month, likely expecting her gift of joy to be serenading the hours away (and believe me, ‘away’ suddenly looked better than ‘here’), prominently displayed on our wall.
2 weeks of searching the Net and yet another ‘next day delivery’ later – sans sledgehammer – and Sally’s next visit was rewarded with a Genuine Modern Cuckoo Clock prominently displayed on our wall.
The blasted thing squawked every hour until I found myself wishing for deafness (…something not likely to happen for another 30 years, anyway).
I also discovered that it should be renamed a Productivity Clock, ‘cause the insomnia factor around here increased 100%.
I finally bequeathed it to an elderly friend. Who was mostly deaf. And partially blind. So he couldn’t hear the hourly squawking nor be startled (into peeing) when an errant bird flung itself out of a small door right over his head like an insane harbinger of death, obviously ready to peck out his eyes.
So ask not for whom the cuckoo clock squawks.
It squawks for thee…
This. Is. Hell.