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The blinking, beeping monster

Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 9:17 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 9:19 a.m. CDT

From Birdie Sandeman


Free to good home - New one-week-old clock radio DIGITAL. Owner hallucinating, delirious and crazed.

Wandering down the electronics aisle of the huge department store my eyes fixed on asmall clock radio with blue DIGITAL numbers. Just the ticket. Now I can listen to soothing music, set the alarm and tell the time in the wee hours of the morning. A politeyoung man stopped and asked if he could help. Yes, I’d like one of these clock radios. Is it easy to set and operate? Of course, and with three easy clicks it was set to go. I traipsed up to pay the clerk, and she asked if that was all and would I like to buy a guarantee for a mere $6, eyeing me from top to bottom with a slight snicker. I quietly responded not today and left the store with my prize. Thinking back now what she really meant by the guarantee simply put was, I guarantee you will never get that wondrous marvel to perform.

Hurrying home to get it quickly set up per the “quick start up” instructions, it was amazing how simple everything seemed. Just set your time zone, power up and the clock in a mere seven seconds was automatically set to the correct time. Oh! The miracle of technology. As far as I can determine that was the last miracle it ever performed.

Plunging right in to set the alarm and get it up and running, my first clue that something was amiss is when I had to borrow a magnifying glass from my neighbor to set WAKE 1 and WAKE 2 . Does this mean I have two chances to wake up and just what does “mode” mean. So much for setting the alarm, and now on to the radio, which proved to be even more challenging.

The front of the clock had all kinds of little music notes, bells, suns, wheels, buttons MHZ and DVDs. According to the manual, the scroll wheel on top performs at least 31 magical tricks, clockwise and even more counter clockwise. For me the only duty it performed correctly was the cancel button. Another very important feature is the automatic brightness control sensor, which sounds very important but does absolutely nothing. Also, a marvelous feature was two buttons, a snooze button and a nap button. Duh! I thought they meant the same. Oh well, I will probably never use them anyway.

The start-up manual is chock full of “notes” and “tips” for dummies like me. For instance to solve your current problem “tip” larsque vous ‘e teignez alanne en pressant Ie bouton. ON/OFF or “note” if you have no new messages the unit will ring after the fifth ring. ON/OFF. Last night the alarm went off at 2:30. The off button worked but now it is blinking madly away. I packed it up this morning and put it in the trunk of the car to return to the store. Every day or so I can hear it faintly beeping. I don’t have the nerve to check the blinking. Please someone help me before DST returns.

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