Stories by Dan

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Stories by Dan


If you read our biography titled "About Us", you will know that I once worked for a large mechanical contracting firm. The branch manager had a birthday so the office staff planned a party for him. Everyone knew that I repaired and sold cuckoo clocks, so they asked me to get a cuckoo clock as a gift for him. This was kind of a housewarming gift as well as his family had just moved into a new home.

We presented him with the clock at the party and he really liked it. Several weeks later, I asked him how he liked his new clock. His answer was kind of vague and I could sense that something was wrong. I asked him again if it was working ok. He told me that it worked for one day and stopped. He said that he had tried several times to get it to work but it would only run for minutes at a time.

Thinking that something might have happened to it in the shipping process, I asked him to bring it to me and I would look at it.

I took the clock home, hung it on the wall and it ran perfectly for several weeks. I had done nothing to it but hang it on the wall and start it. I gave it back to him and told him that I had found absolutely nothing wrong with it. I then asked the questions about heat registers, ceiling fans, drafts, etc. He assured me that none of these problems existed. He took it home again. The next time I saw him I again asked about the clock. Same answer, it only runs for a little while. Again, I asked him to bring it to me. At this time our company re-located him to the Omaha office and he would bring it to me after he was settled in his new area.

Several weeks went by before I saw him again. We had a district luncheon so again, I asked, "where’s the clock? He told me that He had hung it in his new house and it ran perfectly since he put it up!

Here’s the kicker…….
He sold his other house to a friend who also had a cuckoo clock. His friend put his clock on the same wall as did my boss. It would not run. He had had his clock for many years and said that it never missed a beat for as long as he owned it. He moved it to another wall and still it would only run for short periods of time.
Go figure………………………



I have always wanted a cuckoo clock. A big baroque job with all kinds of carved foobahs, wheels that turn and guys that drink beer, and a little bird that comes out and hollers an existential comment about being locked up in that tiny dark hole most of the time. So I got one for my best friend who also happens to be my wife. See, the way the deal works is that she usually doesn’t like what I get her for her birthday anyway, and I usually end up with it so I figured I might as well get her something I wanted in the first place, so when I get it back I can truly be grateful.

She gets the thought and I get the gift. I know it’s wicked, but it always works.

Anyway, I wanted an authentic antique cuckoo clock, but they cost a bundle and this store had new ones, overstocked and at special pricing, so I plunked down the cash. There were two messages written in small print on the carton.

The carton produced five plastic bags of miscellaneous parts and a Bavarian alpine goat herd hut marked “genuine simulated wood”. To top it off a plastic deer head that looked like Bambi’s mother. I put it all together with no parts left over and hung it on the wall. I pulled up the weights, gave the pendulum a shove and stepped back to watch the miracle I had just created, ticking away.

The hour struck, the little door opened but the bird did not appear. Deep from its little hole came a muffled “cuckaa, cuckaa, cuckaa”. Three cuckaas, that’s it? That’s all? But the hands on the clock said 12 o’clock!

I peered deep into the innards of the Bavarian alpine goat herd hut made of simulated wood. Ah Ah, there was the bird. Using an ice pick and a chopstick, I tried to pry the creature forward. It seemed loose. I reset the clock to three. The clock ticked and tocked and all of a sudden the little door flung open but still no bird. Out of the darkness came ����cuck���� but no “oo” not even an �������aa”.

Applying the principle of “if it won’t move, force it”, I resorted to a rubber mallet and coat hanger, followed by vigorous shaking and reset the clock. The next hour struck, the door opened but still no bird and… dead silence. Close inspection revealed a small corpse with a spring around its neck, lying on its side.

Not many people can say they have murdered a cuckoo bird but I had done it. I could see the look on my wife’s face the next day when I say to her. Happy Birthday dear, here is a cuckoo clock for you. The bird is dead!!







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