Perfect Blue
Kona Macphee
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Commentary: The malfunction

The most retrospectively guilt-inducing moment of recent years is the afternoon when I stupidly let my baby daughter play with my watch - and she promptly bit right through the watch-glass. Fortunately, and somewhat miraculously, she suffered no harm from the resulting mouthful of glass; the watch, however, was a write-off.

My husband had a couple of old Swatch watches lying around, and I adopted one of these as my new watch. On occasion, I found myself being atypically late; while it mostly kept good time, every now and then the watch would be inexplicably slow, sometimes by up to half an hour. I assumed that I must have somehow jolted the adjuster knob and caused the hands to move.

One day I looked down and was amused to discover the real source of the problem. The watch's second hand was moving the wrong way, anticlockwise; just for a little while, the watch was running backwards.

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