Friday Filler- It’s Not About the Watch

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

I have to admit, when I saw that Grandpa was the main character in the first act of the new “Holiday/Christmas/Winter” event, I was a bit put off. Especially when the opening lines had to do with Death coming to take Abe to “the other side.”

But, the fact is, I was mostly bummed because it meant that I couldn’t keep Abe and Mona perpetually feeding pigeons into the black hole, across the street from the SuperCollider. This is important, as it keeps things stable in my Springfield, balancing out “the end,” by feeding just enough matter into the black hole, to keep it from sucking everything we know and love, into the black hole.

And then, I read the article about the super, super, black hole that is in our very own galaxy…that is a gazillion times bigger than the black hole that is supposed to be at the center of the galaxy…and just for good measure,  looked out of my window, and saw everything in place…not being sucked up (at least that I could see). So, rather than freaking out, decided instead to look back and focus on the watch. 

Which watch you say? Well…I can tell you that there is more than one addled old grandpa story about a watch. Read on!

When I pulled the trigger on the Premium Item being offered in this Chapter (I call them chapters, as they are supposed to be related to the same overall story-line…but kind of aren’t), I saw a character that I really didn’t remember.

Old Tut, and the Panacea for Disagreeable Juveniles is one of those random building/character sets that begs you to go on a Googlefest.  It turns out that like so many things in our game, it only showed up in a flashback (as in a flash…blip…gone) in one episode- S38E18…A Father’s Watch.

I didn’t remember Old Tut, or Orville, or the lineage of the Simpson men that were told as a long line of “kid stranglers.” But, I remembered the watch.

This is one of those episodes with so many characters and plot twists that you can get lost pretty easily.

See if you can follow along: Bart screws up…has low self esteem…Grandpa gives him a family heirloom pocket watch that makes Homer jealous.

Homer then starts a “Kid Trophy” business to mock and make money from the parents who reward their kids for every small deed they perform in life. Lisa is jealous. Bart ends up losing the watch…then finding it after Milhouse hocks it…and then Bart breaks the watch…all this after we find out that the Simpson men come from a long line of Dads who strangle their kids.

I didn’t remember much of any of this…except the watch.

Because, I had a watch incident similar to this.

On my 13th birthday, I was given my Grandfather’s pocket watch.  It is an Elgin, from 1912, which he got on his 12th birthday.  It made me feel very important…and as the first-born grandson, pretty special.

I bought an expensive gold watch fob to go with it, so I could use it without fear of losing it. I took it to school. I wore it like it was supposed to be worn, the fob attached to my belt, and the watch in the “watch pocket” of my Levis.  Yes. That tiny pocket in your jeans isn’t for coins…it is for a pocket watch.

I treasured the watch, and took great care of it…right up until the day that my Mother decreed that she would feel better if it was in a “safe place.” The safe place she chose was a lock box at the bank.  Which of course meant that I would not be able to see it, hold it, or enjoy it…because I didn’t have access to the box.

Years passed.

How many?  Try 42. That is not a misprint. Forty. Two.

On my 55th birthday, I opened up a small box from from my mother, with a note in it.  “I want you to have this now. Happy Birthday.”

I tried to be gracious. But, I finally asked her, “So…what did I do to finally earn the watch back?  What is different between now, and who I was ten years ago…or twenty?”

She didn’t miss a beat.  “Oh…we forgot it was in there, and we changed banks.”

Nice. Such a special, thoughtful gesture.

I didn’t mount it in a window box frame, as my Mom suggested.  I didn’t put it in some hallowed location where it could be revered by all who saw it.  I didn’t start wearing it, as she had discarded the fob, the item that I had actually saved up lawn-mowing money to purchase back in 1967. Instead, I put it in a sock, and placed it inside of a WWI shell casing that I display on my bookshelf to remind me of my Great Uncle’s service…and left it there, untouched.

Then, on the 13th birthday of my oldest, first-born grandson, Andrew, I bought a nice box, and a small window frame, and presented it to him.  He was excited, amazed, and full of reverence for the gesture.  It’s been four years since.  He is an amazing young man who is smart, talented, and kind. I have never asked about the watch again. It is his watch.  It is his to enjoy. It comes to him with earnest love from both me, and my own grandfather, who was a good man who taught me the value of hard work.

When I told my mother what I had done, she was horrified.  “I hope they put it away somewhere safe!” she scolded.

“Well…I would like to see him enjoy it, before he turns 55,” I replied. “It’s a nice watch. But, in the end…it’s just a watch that doesn’t keep very accurate time.”

The fact is, like most heirlooms that are passed from generation to generation, they do a pretty crappy job of telling the whole story.  I appreciated the watch, because its case was worn by my grandfather’s hands, as he worked in the tree nursery he ran from a very young age.  I liked having it by my side, in my “watch pocket,” and also enjoyed something as cool as a “watch fob” during an era when “Timex” was king. I liked telling my friends that it was my grandfather’s.

However, other than knowing it was valuable…and once mine…there is no real connection to the watch for my grandson.  He never met my grandfather. He didn’t know about the watch until it was his…because it was either in the lock box, or sitting inside the WWI artillery shell. He only knows that it is now his…and I trusted him to have it.

Stuff. We get so attached to stuff.  I have a lot of stuff that has great meaning to me, which ultimately will have no meaning whatsoever to the next generation. The value is in the relationships…in the nurturing of love and trust that we share…without the stuff.

The lesson of the watch? Unconditional love doesn’t require “trophies”to make the memories valuable.

Oh…and, I never choked my kids.



11 responses to “Friday Filler- It’s Not About the Watch

  1. That was touching (in a non sexual way).. it gave the feelings. my Fuhrer/Fah-cher (Austin Powers reference) gave me a ring he made when he was 17… now I am waiting for my lil Chewbacca (starwars reference) to grow up so he can inherit such ring to bind us all. (lord of the rings reference)..

  2. Or, one could go in a different path introducing new Characters in TSTO 🤔

    Per The Simpsons Uncensored Family Album (it offers up both the Simpson’s and Bouvier’s Family Trees, worth the $6 spent)

    1st Generation / Great-Great-Grandparents

    Father: “Old Tut” Simpson (1st Week’s Premium)
    Mother: “Happy” Simpson (née Dinsdale)
    Daughters: Bonita Simpson, Elrita Simpson, Twitta Simpson
    Son: Orville J. Simpson (1st Week’s Event Prize)

    2nd Generation / Great-Grandparents

    Father: Orville J. Simpson (1st Week’s Event Prize)
    Mother: Yuma Simpson (née Hickman)
    Sons: Abraham J. Simpson II (Grandpa Simpson), Cyrus Simpson, Chet Simpson, Tyrone Simpson, Bill Simpson, Hubert Simpson

    3rd Generation / Grandparents

    Father: Abraham J Simpson II (Grandpa Simpson)
    Mother (1): Edwina (during WW II in the UK)
    Daughter: Abbey (born in England)
    Mother(2): Mona Simpson (née Mona ‘Sunny’ Olsen)
    Son: Homer Jay Simpson (The Dad)
    Mother (3): Gaby (Shelbyville Carnival)
    Son: Hubert Powell (adopted by Edward Powell and Mililani Osler)

    Some of these Characters we have, some we don’t (some have been in a Simpsons Episode, some have been featured more in the Comic Books) Wow! This means the Writers must be digging deep for TSTO Content! 🤔

  3. As I commented before, this isn’t a Winter Wonderland Event in TSTO – it’s the Fathers Day Event we never got! 😂

    I’m glad, in a way, because the Simpsons Family (Abe Simpson’s side) is worth exploring (hopefully, we will get some voiced!) and discovering that “strangling your male offspring” is heriditary! 😯

    Per The Simpsons Uncensored Family Album (you should all get this book) –

    1st Generation

    Father: Abraham Simpson
    Mother: Gabby Simpson
    (will these 2 Characters become available with a Building next week? next year?) 🤔

    2nd Generation

    Father: “Old Tut” Simpson (1st Week’s Premium)
    Mother: “Happy” Simpson

    Brothers: Hugo Simpson, Gaston Simpson, Lou Simpson

    Sister: Dulcine Simpson

    3rd Generation

    Son: Orville Simpson aka “he who runs the ‘Professor Simpson’s Universal Panacea for Disagreeable Juveniles” (1st Week’s Event Prize)

    Daughters: Bonita Simpson, Elrita Simpson, Twitta Simpson

    So, that’s potentially 10 more Simpson’s Family Members as Event Prizes and/or Premiums (ok it’s 8 according to what I see in the Character Group? Hey that’s a healthy start on Simpson’s Family Last)😊

    Kudos for bringing up the Episode ‘The Father’s Watch’ , great Watch Tale,Sir and a safe Holiday to ye 👍🏻

  4. Thanks for your story Patric 😍 it’s very special!

  5. Rusty Shackleford

    Stuff is ok if you use it or like it…but if it’s just taking up space in the basement or attic, and it’s been years since you looked at it…then get rid of it.

    After having to clean out a deceased parent’s house, we came home and lightened our load. It feels good to live sparsely. Sure I have a few special things, but whoever cleans my house out will probably pitch them. And so it goes…

    • My concern, is that we are in the process of “off-loading,” and my Mom has tons of stuff ear-marked for us to take when she is gone. It’s a never ending cycle.

  6. I totally get it (says the raging hoarder in me). Im waaaay too attached to stuff like that. But to me its healthy. It reminds me of who or how i got it. Memories i wouldn’t just think of without a prop. Lol
    I STILL have and sleep with (Go ahead and make fun. I don’t care) a stuffed plush Siamese cat named Sam. I got it for my 1st grade report card….all A’s😊👍. My grandparents took me to toys r us and bought it for me. I was about 7? Im almost 45. I think of them every night because if it. It was in the hospital for both my C sections. Vacations. Even my freaking honeymoon. Lol.
    If it helps me remember my grandparents when i could reallty use 1 of their hugs, it isnt really weird to me at all.💙

    • You’re not alone, Sandy.. and I’m older than you. I still have my stuffed dog. “Buttons” is my prized possession. My aunt and uncle gave it to me when I was six months old. My mother told me she used to prop my bottle up on Buttons in my crib.

      The eyes fell off when I was just a few years old, and my mother sewed on buttons— hence the name “Buttons.” I dragged that stuffed dog everywhere.. every vacation, sleepaway camp, college, and even judo training camp. It has no fur anymore, and the material is so thin, it keeps ripping, letting the stuffing out… so Buttons is now in a dark cabinet to preserve what’s left of him. If there was ever a fire in my house.. I’d grab my parrot’s cage in one hand, and Buttons in the other. They’re the two things that I treasure the most.

      Buttons is retired… but OK.. yeah.. I now sleep with Ted… not a husband, but a stuffed bear. 🙂

    • sandytoes74

      You are not alone …. every 10 years I buy a plush Cheshire Cat from Disneyland (theme park, not the store – I’m OCD like that (lol!) …. so that’s 5 of them (55 and still going) all looking very different (some decades we’re better quality then others) … and I hoard them like the Mrs does her favourite plushies (bats, bats, bats – blame it all on The Daydreamer (1967) a Rankin and Bass ani-magic movie we both ♥️)

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