Are you a Timex or a Rolex?

timex expedition

I’m a purist about some things.  I admit it.  I’m the sort of guy who exalts function over aesthetics and chooses products because of their simplicity when it comes to performing the task before them.

I drive a Subaru Legacy with symmetrical four wheel drive that gets thirty miles to the gallon. I like classic Hogan golf clubs so hard to hit that even Ben Hogan himself could probably not have landed a ball in the fairway with them.

I grew up playing a cheap guitar much like the one Rodney Crowell sang about. “Black Diamond strings on a catalog guitar.  That’s pretty tall cotton whoever you are.”

I figure if you can make music on a guitar like that, you can play anything.

I was supposed to be writing about wrist watches, so here’s the transition.  I love watches. I’ve owned dive watches, stop watches, and all assortments of watches designed for everyday use.

I’ve come back to Timex.

Not one with a digital read out, a stop watch built in, a world clock you can toggle to.

No, I just bought a Timex Expedition at Target for $29.  It has a second hand, a minute hand and an hour hand, a little window that displays the day of the month and a back light feature so I can tell time in the dark.  It also came with a ten year battery.

That’s a battery that will probably outlast me by about eight years or so.

I know a good number of persons who own Rolex watches. They are beautiful pieces of equipment, just as impressive pieces of jewelry. But I just can’t go that route.

I always think of the old joke when I consider Rolex watches. A guy was riding in his convertible in downtown Dallas, his arm draped over the side of the driver’s door, when another car came along and side-swiped him, severing his arm to which a Rolex was attached. A pedestrian picked up the arm and ran off with it. When the authorities captured him a few blocks from the scene, they charged him with…

Armed robbery.

But really this post is about writing and my approach to it.

I’m a Timex sort of writer. To me writing is a matter of function, not flourishes.  In other words, prose that gets the job done is that which speaks plainly, although the story may be extraordinary.

It is prose that can take a licking and keep on ticking.

If you don’t know the reference I just made, click on the You Tube video below. It has a surprise ending by the way.


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