Back in college, I developed a nervous habit of looking at my watch every minute or so. I doubt anyone else noticed the habit, but I sure did!
My wristwatch was a cheap old Timex, so here was my solution…. I took the back off and removed the movement and face. Then I disassembled the movement, threw the loose gears in the case, and closed it up. The useless watch went back on my left wrist.
True to form, I’d look down at the watch every minute or so. Every time I looked, I had to laugh at myself. There, under the crystal, were a bunch of loose gears, telling me absolutely nothing. Nothing except, “Hey dumb dumb. Stop looking down here!”
The Background Image
That’s not my watch. Who knows where my “Hey dumb dumb” watch got off to. Somewhere between college and now, I lost it (I really did). I’m tempted to buy a cheap old watch to recreate the college timepiece. Its photograph would replace the background image, created in Photoshop from a couple of Pixabay downloads.
When I first thought of writing this limerick, I immediately came up with lines 1, 2, and 5 (the “A A… A” lines). That left me lines 3 and 4 (the “B B” lines) to tell the whole “how I fixed it” story. Believe it or not, that was the hard part. In the prose above, it took me thirty-six words to say what the limerick says in twelve words! That’s one of the main things I love about writing poetry: the challenge and charm of compression.
Have you ever read the most compressed poem of all? Even I can remember this one: