Sad Trombone Music

I get to the end of this article from the front page of the August 17, 1893 edition of The Chatham Record, and I imagine the protagonist turning toward the camera with his shoulders shrugged and lip pooched out.


“You Don’t Get the Clock.” 

An old custom once prevailed in a remote place of giving a clock to anyone who would truthfully swear he had minded his own business alone for a year and a day, and had not meddled with his neighbors. Many came, but few, if any, gained the prize, which was more difficult to win than the Dunmow flitch of bacon. Though they swore on the four Gospels, and held out their hands in certain hope, some hitch was sure to be found somewhere; and for all their asseverations the clock remained stationary on its shelf, no one being able to prove his absolute immunity from uncalled-for interference in things not in any way concerning himself. At last a young man came with a perfectly clean record, and the clock seemed as if it was at last about to change owners. Then said the custodian, “Oh! A young man was here yesterday, and made mighty sure he was going to have the clock, but he didn’t.” Said the young man seeking the prize, “And why didn’t he get it?” “What’s that to you?” snapped out the custodian; “that’s not your business, and you don’t get the clock.” – New York Dispatch


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