Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Birth of the World Renowned Traveling Belgian Clock Circus

The spent clocks lie about everywhere after the eleventh - their faces and hands assuming odd new poses and their many little numbers and gear bits doing a different sort of progression now.
All of this universally amused in a spontaneous sort of way that suggested a formula to have fun that would be practical, and which might make use of the materials at hand, considerations which still appealed to the sense of thrift (and it's funny-looking fraternal twin, the sense of wry humor) that somehow emerged unscathed from the late tumult.
Here are some excerpts from the diary of E. H. Dharvies, a Vermonter caught up in the war by accident while touring Europe, who had survived the war by cleverness, good fortune, and by benefitting from a random series of confusions, to be part of the genesis of a legend - the World Renowned Traveling Belgian Clock Circus

" ... so many things lying about in the jiggly grey landscape of war-weary Belgium were just bricks now, or pieces of bricks, or things that were now bricks or pieces of brick regardless of whatever they were before, (they were that or they were black crumbly stuff), that the nice little clock remains with their clean engineered edges and moments looked both comfortably familiar and funny at the same time, especially when lofted about in the air in clever manners, employing gravity and light, which were both still amply abundant, and (at least for the moment) free.
Something tall was found to attach a large rope to, I tied little Billy to the trailing loose end, along with the big gilt No. 4 from the East face of the clock from the 1687 Wilderhaaven Guildhall clock tower, and gave him a good healthy New England push, to the great delight of young Billy (his real name eludes me now and no one could or would pronounce it then as unduly soft-sounding), and to the even greater delight of the assembled crowd, all captivated with the magic of Pendular Motion and G-forces - thus the World Renowned Traveling Belgian Clock Circus was born of a rope and a shove.