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Tales from a Tall-Tale-Tellin' Tennessean

What Time Is It?

by Donna Guffey
September 12, 2003

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Tales from a Tall-Tale-Tellin' Tennessean_Donna Guffey-WHAT TIME IS IT? Well Folks....

Now that the whole world has internet service and e-mail (which I just discovered about three years ago)... we all get those cute jokes that go around the web three or four times... and I, too, do my part to keep them going. But anyway... a good friend out on the west coast recently sent me a few Andy Rooney quips and quotes that had me holdin' my sides and practically rollin' in the floor... and I thought, "You know? I'll just bet he could find a story in an alarm clock!!" And guess what?? I remembered that I ALREADY have a story about an alarm clock!! Soooo... Here Gooooooes!!! (Look Out Andy!!!)

When my daughter, Amanda turned 16 years old, Johnny and I bought her a car for her birthday. She was, of course, on the proverbial "Cloud Nine" for several weeks, and naturally wanted to show it off by driving it to school each morning. That was fine with us, but I did tell her that she should stop by and pick up her cousin Audrey every morning so she wouldn't have to wait on the bus. That wasn't a problem... (Audrey was only three months older than Amanda and they had spent almost every day together since birth)... and if you've ever been around teenagers... then you already know that teenagers travel in packs of two's ... three's... four's... or twenty-five's... kind of like wolves!! They can't tolerate being alone!!

Well... since Amanda, an early riser, was always out the door and on her way 30 to 45 minutes before she had to be at school... (I suspect she and Audrey did a bit of pre-school "cruising" to show off her new car)... I was surprised and dismayed to get a letter from the school a couple of weeks later informing me that she had several tardy slips and would I please "address the situation".

When I confronted Amanda with the letter from the school, she explained that Audrey, a night owl, was always late because the alarm clock didn't go off... or she didn't hear the alarm... or she hit the snooze button once too often... always an excuse to get ten more minutes of Z's!! So I decided to fix THAT!! I stopped by Wal-Mart the next day and purchased one of those old fashioned alarm clocks... The Big Ben!! I remember my own days of hittin' the floor every morning to those mind-jarring jangles!!! So later that evening when I presented the clock to Audrey, I informed her that I'd better not see any more tardy slips... and then went on home, quite convinced that I had very neatly solved THAT problem!!

A couple of hours later the telephone rang and an exasperated-sounding Audrey was on the other end, complaining that she couldn't figure out how to get the new alarm clock to work.

"What do you mean... how do you get it to work?" I asked. "It's really very simple... you just set the hands to the time you want to get up... then pull out the little button on the back... wind it up... and that's all there is to it!! How much more simple can you get?!

There was a long pause on the other end of the line... a big sigh... and then Audrey said... "Yes... you told me that earlier... but... How do I know if it's AM... or... PM?????"

I was still rollin' in the floor laughing three days later when Johnny found me!!!

"The Tall-Tale-Tellin' Tennessean"

PS: This one just happens to be a true story!!!

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Mike from Merritt Island Florida writes:
September 12, 2003
I can totally relate to Donna Guffey's article. Raising teenagers in the early eighties I began realizing how much of an antique I was becoming - I've since become a family heirloom. Back then the frustrating thing to me was that none of my kids knew any of their friend's surnames.

Typical conversation: who are you going to the football game with? answer, Sheila. follow-up, Sheila who? Answer, I dunno. This being a person my daughter had known for five years!

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