Now Watch This!

Fellows. Fellows! You will find it difficult to believe what my new watch can do! Most incredible. Timepiece. Ever. Would you enjoy a complete inspection? Then you are well-advised to be seated and to grasp something sturdy!

First, and most obvious: This watch does not sit idly in my vest or trouser pocket when not being consulted. No, I can wear this watch on my wrist! The deceptively simple tanned-cowhide-strap-and-metal-clasp arrangement permits the chronograph proper to reside on my arm at all times. No more rummaging around in my apparel in search of a miniature clock! My watch is now always accessible. All I need to do is glance at my carpus... and knowledge of the current time is immediately mine!

But the time at hand, as it were, is often all-too limited, isn’t it? The life of the gentleman is no longer the simple affair it once was. The modern era is considerably more complicated than olden days, packed as each present moment is with challenges and opportunities—from horse-racing to horse-trading to horse-thievery, to name just three noble but fast-paced pursuits! Therefore, while an hour hand and a minute hand have been de rigueur for ages, the truly contemporary watch is possessed of a second hand. Now I don’t merely know when it is, say, 3:09 post meridiem, but indeed I can know when it is 3:09:16... 3:09:17... 3:09:18... and so on, all around the dial. For every sixtieth of every minute of every hour! That’s a feature second to none, so to speak!

On the other hand, if you follow my meaning, there are occasions when one does not need to know the time with any great specificity at all—for instance, when one is at leisure and enjoying the soporific effects of an opium poppy preparation—but at most what day of the month it is. So this watch has the capability to tell me that, too. Alas, the onus of knowing which month we might be in is still mine, but I have heard a gratifying report that the next iteration of this miraculous device might assume that responsibility as well.

Now, let me just unfasten this closure and remove the watch from my wrist... like so. Regard the reverse of the item. Look closely, chaps: Below the hallmark of the craftsman is an imprint in smaller type—but please do not read it aloud! It is Latin, yes. Any guesses as to its significance? Is it a sentimental inscription from one who bestowed the watch upon me as a gift? It is not. It is an incantation—an magickal invocation that when spoken will summon a demon from Hell to do my bidding! Genius, is it not?

But what makes this watch truly... smart is that when I push the stainless steel crown back into the locked position—after making the sort of minor adjustment that a timepiece of this caliber requires every so often—invariably the skin of my arm will be nipped, causing me a not-insignificant amount of sharp pain. I have contacted the manufacturer about this circumstance, with hopes that there might be a solution forthcoming, but I was assured that this is not a fault of the device but rather a feature: the periodic pinch lets me know that I am not dreaming, that indeed my magnificent timepiece-cum-accoutrement is quite real and absolutely cutting-edge!

Matthew David Brozik wrote this and many other short humor pieces, which have been published in print and online by The New Yorker, Adult Swim, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Grin & Tonic, The Big Jewel, and no one.

Read more humor here. Or read some fiction here.