Birthdays are like that

Saturday December 4, 2004

Why it was that Graham should have put a new wristwatch on his birthday list I don’t know. I really don’t know.

“But you’ve already got two watches,” I protested.

“What’s that got to do with it?”

“It’s just that…”

“Don’t try and get all logical about it. I fancy this one as well.”


“Because it’s different from the other two. Because sometimes I fancy a change.”

“Oh,” I said, not really convinced.

And that’s how come Graham had a new watch today. Along with a couple of DVDs and a remarkably silly pen with a yellow foot and blue-purple feathers. Well, if having three watches is in style then giggling at a silly pen must be, too.

But, really, I don’t understand the watch thing. I have one somewhere, a stupidly expensive chunk of Swiss stainless steel on a heavy Swiss stainless steel bracelet. Used to render the cuffs of my stupidly expensive shirts all ragged. It’s not a problem now—the watch is in a box hidden in a drawer, and the last of my business shirts was converted to a dust-rag a long time ago. I don’t wear a watch anymore, and I don’t wear shirts with cuffs much, either. Don’t really have a need for either. Haven’t for years.

“You’ll have to wear a watch in London,” Graham said.

“I don’t see why.”

“You’ll never know what time it is if you don’t.”

“Sounds good to me.”

“Suppose you need to know how long you’ve got before a show starts?”

“There’s a clock on my phone. And a count-down timer. And an alarm, come to that.”

“Suppose it’s sunny? You know how hard you find it to read the display on your phone in bright light.”

“I’ll manage.”

“Hmmm. I think you should put a new watch on your Christmas list.”

Gold hunter pocket watch, photo borrowed from ebay listing
Can I have a gold Hunter?

“If you insist. Can I have a gold Hunter?”



“You’d get mugged, and for conspicuous consumption like that you’d deserve it. Besides, you don’t wear waistcoats any more.”

“Ah. But I might when we’re in London.”

We left it there, which is just as well because I could have gone on for hours and hours countering reasons why I should wear a wristwatch ever again. But you know what? I think I won the argument.

At least, there isn’t a new wristwatch on my Christmas list. It’d better stay that way, too, because if one should turn up in my stocking I shall trade it in for a waistcoat when we get to London, see if I don’t. I shall keep a small pack of extra strong peppermints in the pocket, though, rather than a gold Hunter.

A silly entry? Of course. Birthdays are like that.



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