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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Watch Me Now

That's my wrist in the photo above... though that's not important. What's important for this blog entry is that watch.

It's not a gold watch, but is a gold-colored watch. It's a Seiko Quartz watch I bought for $189. Best deal of a lifetime.

I replaced the glass watchface about 19 years ago, and the watch strap two years ago... right now, that strap is a silver color but that's due to fading of cheap materials.

But... when I got this watch back in 1983, I was just about to go to York University and graduate and become involved in advertising. Five years later I had a political science degree and then went to Humber College for a diploma in journalism. Oh yeah, while I was in university I was taking night school classes at Humber in marketing and advertising.

And that watch was with me.

I bought the watch back in 1983 while I was on a week-long trip in the Bahamas. I bought it with my winnings playing $0.25 slots at the casino at Cable Beach. Every day I would play with $50... and everyday but one, I would at least double my money... once making $400 in a day.

I was there in the Bahamas staying with my mom's sister, Pam and her husband Garor whom I was meeting for the very first time. I was there with my bestest friend Rob Jones - Rob will be doing something incredibly ballsy this Sunday... the EdgeWalk around a very high point of the CN Tower. I know we've been high together, but this takes the cake. He's going solo.

But I'll still be wearing that watch because I can't watch him do his thing at the CN Tower.

That watch accompanied me to Japan back in 1990-1993. I wore that one on my left wrist and a Donald Duck watch on my right. I was a strange bird to be sure. Donald Duck was my hero because he didn't wear pants. It's my old 30-year-old joke and I still think it's funny.

I set the Seiko Quartz watch (in the photo) to Japan time, and the Donald Duck watch to Toronto time (16 or 17 hours earlier). 

About three months after arriving, I lent the Donald Duck watch to my on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again, on-again girlfriend, Ashley Paige Benning, a cutie-pie American chick who, like myself, was in her first year of teaching English in Japan on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme.

She was going to Thailand without me (plans made after we were off-again), so I wanted her to have something of me while she was gone... while I was staying home in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan.... at Christmas... by myself. (Okay, Matthew Hall made sure I wasn't completely suicidal and dragged me out on New Year's Eve! and bothered me on Christmas, too).

Ashley came back a couple of weeks later... but Donald Duck didn't. While I knew that white ducks can't fly (Black ducks like Daffy can - just like real life), apparently they can't swim either as she lost it in some Thai river while riding an elephant. She bought me a white elephant wooden puppet. I just looked up the term 'white elephant'. Just read the first paragraph, and assume as I do she had no idea of its meaning as a gift. ELLIE. I just learned that story now! How weird is that?

But at least I still had that watch.

While climbing onto the roof of my seven-storey apartment building, I accidentally cracked the watch face. As such, whenever it was humid or raining water would get in and then fog up the watch.

Now, I'm not completely stupid. But... in order to dry out that watch, I would stick it in my convection/microwave oven and heat it up for 14 seconds... any more and the oven would start arcing lighting all over the interior of the cooker. How do I know 14 seconds was optimal? I saw what happened at 15 seconds. Holy armageddon!

So... every day for months, I would nuke my watch.

When I went back home to Toronto in 1992 for a vacation, I had the watch face replaced. Then I went back to Japan for my third year. With that Seiko watch.

Matsuda Seiko
There was a Japanese singer named Matsuda Seiko (surname first) that the kids - boys of course - would joke with me about, claiming she was sitting on my wrist. It was a running joke between myself and the kids at Ohtawara Chu Gakko (Ohtawara Junior High School)... and it seemed as though it was passed down every year, because even the first-year (Grade 7's) would grind my gears about it... ahhh, tradition... with that watch.

No one has ever looked at that watch and thought it was cool - unlike my Donald Duck watch given to me by my parents before I left for Japan.

No one has ever worn that watch, but myself.

I feel naked when I accidentally leave the house without that watch... and was very distraught when the battery died in it earlier this year... the first time I ever had to replace the battery, which is a pretty good deal considering that watch is 29 years old.

That watch was with me in Las Vegas when I got married. I was going to dress up as Elvis, but despite bringing my Elvis costume with me, sanity ruled and I wore a suit. Yes... I do own my own Elvis costume, thank-you very much.


The only thing that watch missed was the birth of my son. For some strange reason, I wore a cheap Burger King giveaway watch featuring Darth Maul on it from Star Wars... holding my son who will one day rule the Universe... hopefully not wearing the Burger King watch (which I still have)... but while wearing my Seiko... you know... that watch.

I did promise my son that one day I would take him to Japan. You can be damn sure that one of us will be wearing that watch.    

You just watch me now,
Andrew 'I'm wearing that watch now' Joseph

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