My best friend David Biedny has had many lives, many adventures. One of the things I find interesting about David is his relationship with watches. You read that right. Wristwatches.
Like myself, David doesn’t wear a watch. My reasons are they always interfered with my guitar playing, and phones have made them obsolete since I got a bleeding edge mobile phone in 1995. Jenn doesn’t wear one because she’s often cooking. David’s reason is more mysterious.
Hand David a watch, and it’ll soon stop working. That’s right. It has to be seen to be believed, but it’s true. In his early life, decades ago, he bought a few watches and was given several as gifts. Shortly after getting each one, it stopped working. All of them did. His colleague Nathan came to work one day flashing a fabulous vintage Soviet submarine captain’s watch. It was a gift from his girlfriend. “Here, David,” he said. “Check it out.”
“You don’t want me to do that,” David told him. Eventually Nathan forced him to hold the watch. Reluctantly, David looked at the front and back, turning it over a few times. A day later, the mechanism stopped keeping time. Figure this one out, scientists, skeptics, conspiracy theorists, et al.
David knew it was a bad idea, but Nathan had pressed on. Precedent had been set, not only during David’s childhood, but with his wife, Hellene. A few months after they had moved in together, Hellene’s watches, one by one, stopped working. “She had a whole collection of them,” David recalls. “She was not amused.”
Although not as mysterious as stopping timepieces without any physical explanation, I have my own history of making innocent devices worthless. My area of specialty happens to be pepper mills. Yep. Pepper mills and I are two, to adapt a Woody Allen phrase.
Pepperball by Chef'n. ©Reel Chow