My mom bought me this alarm clock in 1987 to encourage me to try and get up for school on my own. It's seen me through thousands of mornings. That penguin sticker was added by me in 1994. If you look closely to the bottom of the radio dial, there's a tiny blotch that my dad made with white-out so I knew where the put the dial to sports radio, WWWE AM 1100 (now known as WTAM). I would often be scared at night, so I would tune it to WWWE and listen to the quiet murmurs of sports DJs, or maybe the Indians playing a west coast game, while I fell asleep. I listened to the Top 40 station Power 108 in secret (religious upbringing, etc), and then when I would forget to change the channel, I would claim to my mom that it was the daytime programming for one of the sports channels.
This alarm clock freaked me the fuck out once, too. It was the middle of the night, and the radio came on for no reason. I woke up to country music blaring (not sure why it was set to that station), and I could only presume it was a haunting of some sort. (Side note: I told the therapist I was seeing in middle school about this. She wasn't very helpful when it came to reassuring me. She asked me if I had some sort of connection to country music, i.e., that it made sense somehow in the supernatural realm. What an asshole. But I digress).
The clock has two alarm settings there on the right. The bottom one stopped working several years ago, but the top one has kept going. The top one was distinct because the alarm was loud as fuck. No bells and whistles on this alarm to ease you awake, just a loud blast of an offensive ring that could be heard from miles away. When I moved to Hawaii in 1997, the clock came along with me. Once I had to get up at an absurd hour in the morning, and I kept sleeping through the alarm going off for I don't know how long. Eventually, a neighbor in the apartment complex came from several units away, and up a stairway to tell me to turn the fuckin' thing off.
It followed me to Columbus, and then here to DC. I feel like Mary Alice has always had one suspicious eye on it, wondering when it was going to kick off. But on it went, throughout the years, perfect serviceable. That is, until a few days ago. I noticed the buttons becoming non-functional, and the time being way off. I took the time to sit and observe it today, and my fears were confirmed. The numbers there are flashing in and out, and it seems to be changing minutes every 20-30 seconds. It's finally time to say goodbye to the old fella.
I'm not as sentimental about possessions as I used to be, but this one hurts a little. I've had this clock for 30 years by my bedside. Godspeed, lil' trooper.