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the dreams of a boy

I was about 11 years old and a boy scout (i might have still been a cub scout at that time). like any self respecting scout, i had a subscription to boy's life. if you've never read boy's life, you were missing out. boy's life was the single greatest cause of loss and destruction to every tool in our house. i tried to build so many things in that magazine. that magazine probably gave birth to half the steam punks out there.

boy's life also did something else very well. it flooded the market with cheap greeting cards. yes the back of every boy's life had a catalog of things you could obtain by simply selling overpriced greeting cards. they taunted you with a picture of a go-kart and a 10-speed bike but you could never sell that many greeting cards in your life. no matter, my heart was set on this beauty.

oh how i dreamed of having a calculator on my wrist. the possibilities. i would never again be without a device to do quick calculations. i would be able to tell time and find the square root of 999999 all with one device.

so i signed up. and i sold, and i sold, and i sold. family were more than generous. no one needed that many greeting cards but they loved my effort. i'm fairly certain most of them still have a full box of cards in their basement somewhere. but i did it. i sold enough cards to adorn my wrist with the greatest technological advancement in the history of the world.

the day the watch arrived was one of the greatest days in my life. i opened the box and the smell of new plastic arose from package. i pushed a button. it was a weird rubbery knob that kind of rocked. there were so many buttons! i had never seen this many buttons on a watch before. and there's a stopwatch. sweet! i'm going to time my pinecar derby racer.

i stuck out my left wrist and strapped that baby on. it was too big. i was a scrawny kid and this watch was massive. no worry, one of the useful skills learned in boy scouts was how to punch leather. a plastic watchband is nothing compared to leather. my awl went through that black rubber like butter. now the watch fit. it was like king arthur pulling out excalibur. i hopped on my bike and swiftly rode over to my best friend jason's house. we marveled at it. we did calculations. "what is 1000 times 1000?" "make the alarm beep" "oh cool, spell a word. type 7734 and look at it upside down!"

a year later i went swimming and forgot to take off the watch. it died. i tried to dry it out but it was too late.

you can have your fancy TI scientific calculator. i'll take my casio calculator watch any day.


The really cool kids with this watch would have been punching in 8008135 and not even turning the thing upside down.

(Water resistant—nice touch.)

They made me take mine off for math class. It met the same end, sadly.

I got mine by making my parents subscribe to Discover magazine. They thought I wanted to read about science -- I just wanted the free watch. Suckas!

I had the same watch, no surprise. Loved it. Can't remember what caused its demise. I know in college I carried a pocket watch though. Now I carry a cell phone.

I had one too...bought it from Fleet Farm. I too was required to put it away during Math...when they caught me! Ha Ha!!

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