What with the many many clock threads in vogue these days, I thought I’d throw in this amusing anecdote.
When I was a teenager, my brother somehow managed to aquire a backwards clock. That is, the hands ran counterclockwise and the numbers were backwards. Pretty much like this. It confused me at first, but within a couple of days I could work out what time it was. Within a week it became second nature. In fact, after a few years, normal clocks threw me for a loop for a second or two.
When my brother left home, I inherited the clock. I brought it to my first apartment, where it was our only mounted timepiece. This caused my roommate no end of consternation.
Him: I don’t get that clock. Why can’t we have a normal clock?
Me: It’s easy. See, it says three o’clock.
Him: No it doesn’t. It’s all backwards.
Me: It’s backwards, but it still says three o’clock.
Him: No it doesn’t. Because if the numbers are backwards, the hands run forwards.
Me: No, they run backwards.
Him: But then the numbers should run forwards. Why aren’t they upside down?
Him: If everything is backwards, then it should be upside down.
Me: Paul, you’re an idiot. Look at it this way: On a normal clock, if the big hand is on the twelve, and the little hand is on the three, what time is it?
Him: Three o’clock.
Me: Very good. Now, on this clock, the big hand is on the twelve, and the little hand is on the three. What time is it?
Him: Eight thirty.
Me: No! It’s three o’clock. Three. Fucking. O’clock!
Him: Not upside down and backwards, it isn’t.
Me: Bangs head on wall
Him: Can’t we just get a normal clock?
This conversation went on for a YEAR.