Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Cranking Out the Time

purdy hurdy gurdy does time stamps
  [vote for,

During my lifelong search for remarkable clocks, I tried a new street in the old quarter and entered with anticipation a shop filled with antique toys. After perusing shelves weighed down with dolls and mechanical animals, I divulged my mission to a diminutive, old lady behind the counter.

Her eyes sparkled as she disappeared behind some curtains and, after some sounds of rummaging, she reappeared blowing the dust off a 6-inch square, polished walnut box. She plugged it in and urged, “Turn ze handle.” As I cranked, the thick lid slowly opened and the hand organ played a tinny “Rock Around The Clock”. At the same time, a door slid aside in the bottom half of the box, revealing an opening from which a tiny, white, twirling ballerina arose.

I asked if the shiny figurine was porcelain, but she answered shaking her head, “Zis beesvax.” She explained that the music box was quite old but had been updated with “new” music and with electricity instead of kerosene. I explained that this was not what I had been looking for, but she shook her index finger at me and insisted, “Vait, you see.”

I cranked on, and to my surprise a panel opened in the box lid exposing the treaded, metal sole of a boot the size of a baby shoe. The sole was imprinted with some peculiar symbols, and I gaped astonished, as the boot slowly emerged from its compartment in a curved path towards the ballerina.

When I pointed, the old woman warned me, “Is very varm,” and the hot boot on its animated leg bore down upon the delicate, wax dancer. With sizzles and hissing she was transformed to a flattened lump, and the motorized leg retreated, leaving the correct time pressed into the surface.

When the shop owner explained that the wax is automatically cast into a new figurine, ready to display the time again five minutes after closing the lid, I was compelled to add the box to my collection.

FarmerJohn, Jan 26 2003

(?) a sketch http://www.geocitie...nie/hurdygurdy.html
[FarmerJohn, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       I'd like some of whatever you're taking/smoking/drinking. +
Marassa, Jan 26 2003

       how many boot stamps are in that box?
po, Jan 26 2003

       I guess the stamp is somehow reconfigurable. Nice one...
snarfyguy, Jan 26 2003

       Or there could be a small stereolithographical polymer printer in the housing that creates a new boot sole for each time request. Of course, a small robotic boot cobbler will be needed to carry out the sole-changing tasks.
bristolz, Jan 26 2003

       It's a horrible Karmic Cycle.
You are born.
Time kicks you in the ass and you die.
Then you are reborn, and the cycle repeats.
pluterday, Jan 26 2003

       Sorry, I was watching Sopranos. //how many boot stamps are in that box?// Like [snaryguy] wrote, I was thinking of a system like a physical date stamp with metal bands. Whoops, I mean [snarfyguy].   

       [UnaBubba] Just tie the bug to her head like a bonnet.
FarmerJohn, Jan 26 2003

       [farmer] squishing ballet dancers, tying bugs to her head? you O.K. honey?   

       BTW what nationality is the old crone in your idea? & thats *snarfy*
po, Jan 26 2003

       Ja, I vas tinkink somesink vis Wagner.
FarmerJohn, Jan 26 2003

       Mees vinks you insane. (+)
Shz, Jan 27 2003

kaz, Jan 27 2003

       Been watching too much Monty Python, methinks. Hard to manage the automatic casting - a supply of replacements might be better - but croissant anyway.   

       I can also see this as a PlayDo or Plasticine set (just the clock stamper and ballerina mould, not the music box), perhaps with kiddie-settable messages. Actually, let's keep the boot, scrap the clock, and put in molds for all kinds of woodland animals.   

       [Anyone else ever see "Bambi vs. Godzilla"?]
DrCurry, Jan 27 2003

       //"Bambi vs. Godzilla"//   

       Yup, but only in ascii.
Shz, Jan 27 2003

       // Hard to manage the automatic casting //   

       No, you'd be surprised. The old hot-metal Linotype machines that compositors used to use were amazingly effective.
8th of 7, Jan 28 2003

       Doc, seen it. Loved the action. Loved the credits even more. (2 minutes of title credits, 3 seconds of action, for those of you who haven't seen it).
RayfordSteele, Jan 28 2003

       Kickass sketch
thumbwax, Jul 09 2003


thecat, Jul 11 2003

       I am enjoying seeing old amazing ideas being recalled this week. Thanks for the link FJ.
dentworth, Oct 22 2004

       They're new to some of us. And all the better for it.
wagster, Oct 22 2004


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