About a week ago the bit on my watch broke that holds the band in against itself, you know, this bit.
It's just a tiny bit of rubber but it's really frustrating to not have it, every time I look at my watch I feel a bit out of sorts, like I'm wearing a nice shirt but it needs an iron and I haven't fixed the collar and the buttons are done up wrong and the sun is in my eyes, (as demonstrated in this photo my Mum took of me yesterday on Frankston pier).
On a side note, does that bit of rubber have a name? Hang on a sec, I'll look it up...
...Watch band centre dot com calls it a "Folded loop".
All the other sites I looked at, including world of watches dot com, call it a "Strap keeper", so I'm gonna go with that.
Anyway so the day after my strap keeper broke I went to Mr. Watchworks in Knox City to get a replacement.
When I asked Mr. Watchworks if I could buy a replacement strap keeper he picked one out of a big pile and said "fine, that'll be five dollars". I was very polite about it but I said "really, but it's just a tiny piece of rubber?" "It's five dollars" he said, "I'll think about it" I said.
I couldn't bring myself to pay Mr. Watchworks the five dollars. I might've paid him four dollars, maybe even four fifty, but not five, na uh, I mean my whole watch only cost 15 dollars and I'd be very surprised if a third of that went towards the strap keeper.
In hindsight though I should've just paid the five dollars and got the new strap keeper, that would've been the end of it, then I would've just gotten on with whatever I was doing. Instead though I've been thinking about it all week. It's taken over my whole brain. What I should've been thinking about this week is how increasingly unsatisfied I am with my art, or how I don't have a love life, or how I need to get back in to preparing my meals from home so I don't have to keep buying them, and how I should be doing more to help people less fortunate than me and I should be actively trying to get a better grasp on politics and societal issues and what the hell am I even doing, or how I should really change my phone plan, or how come there isn't any garlic bread flavour of flavoured milk? Maybe that last one isn't such a great idea but any of those other things could be worth thinking about, instead though I've spent the whole week thinking about how that Mr. Watchworks has a lot of nerve to try and charge me five bucks for a strap keeper.
For a while my plan was to go into one of the cheap shops near my studio and take a strap keeper off of one of their cheap watches. It'd be so easy to do but I just can't bring myself to do it.
Here I am in one of the cheap shops contemplating it.
What made stealing a strap keeper from here especially tempting is that the name of the shop is "Gypsy's in the city", and as much as I looove howling along with Stevie Nicks when she sings about feeling like a gypsy there is of course a stereotype that gypsy's are known for stealing.
(Swanston Street, 5p.m.)
One time on a crowded train when I was in Rome I actually caught a Gypsy with her hand in my pocket. To avoid being being pick-pocketed I was holding onto my phone and wallet so I think the only thing to steal from my pocket was a Posca marker. When I caught her trying to do that I didn't really know how to react, I said "Hey, get outta there!" and I took this photo of her.
After I'd taken the photo we stood next to each other awkwardly for a few a minutes until she got off at the next stop. Even though I wouldn't let this gypsy take my permanent marker I do know that they have it rough so I won't judge them too harshly and I won't steal a strap keeper from their shop on Swanson Street. I keep thinking about the unlucky person who would go into the cheap shop after me and buy a strap keeperless watch and have to deal with this awful burden of having no strap keeper. No, I won't let this situation sink that low, not on my watch.
On the one hand when I realised I'd lost it I was really glad I hadn't bought a new strap keeper, that would've been like buying a full tank of petrol and then writing off your car, but on the other hand, the hand that usually tells me the time, I thought about how much I loved that watch and all the good times we could've had ahead of us.
When I lost my watch I thought about how if I could do it all over again I would've bought that strap keeper in an instant and who cares about five stinking dollars I just want my watch. In my head I had one of those moments like in the movies, you know when someone's on a plane that's going down and they promise to God that if by some miracle they survive this they will change their ways and donate all of their money to charity.
A few minutes after that I found my watch, the plane didn't crash, and now I'm torn between whether I want to donate all my money and buy the strap keeper like in my panic I told myself I would.
Descions, desicions. I think I have to, the final clincher that made me make up my mind is that earlier today I visited Victor the goat.
Victor's a goat that used to belong to an 85 year old man. A couple of weeks ago the 85 year old man went to sleep with his electric blanket on and during the night his bed caught on fire and his house burnt to the ground and the 85 year old man burned to death. Now all that's left is charcoal sticks on an empty block of land and for the time being Victor the goat still lives there too. None of that unfortunate event is particularly relevant to this except to say that now lots of people in the community visit Victor daily and feed him and he's fatter than ever and today when I visited him after feeding him an apple I was giving him a pat and because my watch strap was unkept Victor had a good chew on it.
I must admit I really did enjoy watching Victor munch away at my watch band like it was a Redskin, but still, that shouldn't be happening.
And so ok, I think I've come up with a way that I can pay the five dollars for a new strap keeper and still feel good about it, and so on the off chance that you happened to still be reading this then I'd like to make you an offer.
Earlier today I sculpted a strap keeper out of clay, unlike my real strap keeper this one is in perfect unbroken condition, and my offer to you, dear reader, is that you can acquire it for your art collection for the ridiculously low low price of six dollars and fifty cents, (the additional $1.50 will go towards the cost of the materials, the clay firing and the postage, so long as you live in Australia, otherwise postage'll be a little bit higher). As a result of this you will have a great timeless artwork that you can keep by your side throughout the ages and I will use the money to buy my watch a new strap keeper from the very strapping Mr. Watchworks.
I just took this ceramic strap keeper on a tram to the kiln not one hour ago and I'll be sure to let you know once it's been fired and glazed.
So yeah, there you go, thanks heaps for reading and I hope you're not too mad at me for writing 1500 words about my broken strap keeper but I guess that's just how I roll...ex. That's how I rollex. Good one Kenny. Alright already it's time for bed. First though I'm gonna end the day with some nutritious oven baked garlic bread dunked in a refreshing glass of goat milk.