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Watch reversal


I notice that my Vintage Edradour hip flask is running alarmingly low and Juan says he is thinking about breaking into his Royal Lochnagar Reserve flask.  Realising the seriousness of running low on single malt, as well as being lubberishly behind schedule, we attempt to work out the best direction to travel in, to collect new supplies.  I remind Juan that the Boy Scouts say it’s possible to use a watch as a compass. Juan digs around in his pockets and produces a fob watch.  I am surprised as I thought Juan didn’t know the time of day, but he says that he is just looking after it for Logan.  I tell him to place a match upright against the watch, so that it throws a shadow along the hour hand.  When he has done this, I tell him that the hour hand is now pointing at the sun.  After a while, he asks me how this helps.  I tell him that I can’t remember the rest, but that he should be able to work it out for himself.  He can’t, and he says that, anyway, the watch is running backwards.

I look in the back of the watch and say that Dirk’s time reversal machine is powered by Dougal’s clock, which is connected by Ken’s machine to Angus’s pendulum, and it was quite likely that Angus, in practising for his part as Mr’s Mouse, in the Buchanhaven Play, has scampered up the pendulum, set the whole thing off, and made Logan’s fob-watch go backwards, so we shouldn’t worry about it, all we need do, I suggest, is to change the cogs around, and I draw him a diagram. 

This looks simple but, it turns out, it isn’t, and, failing to make a working watch, we have no other way of estimating the time, other than by estimating that it’s time to break into our Vintage Talisker Reserve flasks and, toasting the day, cheering and shouting with excitement, singing wild Tzigani songs and dancing wild Tzigani dances, we stagger on, to replenish our flasks, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink’s Diary