How Blind People Tell Time

Author: The Tommy Edison Experience

(Tommy) Two old guys are sitting on a bench, right, and one of them turns to the other and says, "hey, I got a brand new hearing aid." The other guy goes, "really, what kind is it?" First guy goes, "about a quarter to three." (laughs) (music starts) This is a good one. A lot of people have been curious about how I tell time and I used to tell time back in the day. Well, it just so happens I've got a braille watch right here. But here's the thing. So you look at this watch. And it's, you know, a nice watch, right? Gentleman's watch. Look... It opens.

So this is cool. I got to learn to tell time just like all the other kids and there's stuff inside this watch to make it easy for me, right? So look... So "12" has three dots. "3" "6" and "9" each have just two. And then the rest of them have one dot to, you know, between the "3" "6" "9" and "12" right. And then you can feel the hands. There's the big hand over here. And the little hand over here.

So that's how I used to tell time back in the day. So I would say that it's about ten til three. (music resolves) There were a couple places that you could buy braille watches. You could get them at the Lighthouse for the Blind in Manhattan. You could order them from them. Or I guess there were other places that sold them too, but you know you had to go somewhere for them. It wasn't at every jewelry shop in town. Were there other types of braille watches? Yeah, there were other -- I had a big pccket watch that I probably still have somewhere but I could never find.

But it's a big, giant pocket watch. And that one's really cool. And it's just larger than this.

How Blind People Tell Time

That's all. It's just bigger around. The thing about these that was a problem for me was that your fingers had to be very, very clean to use it. Or else whatever was, you know, whatever was on your fingers would get inside and then stop the watch and it would be broken. You know, it would only be right twice a day. (music starts) And then came this thing. And this thing sort of replaced the watch.

I mean, you know, I could just hit the button on the bottom here (phone VOX) "10:25 PM" (Tommy) Plus, when I'm on the laptop, I have that setup to tell me the top of every hour anyway. So I use this weird voice on it. It's like, (robotic voice) "it's 11 o'clock. This voice called "Zarvox." I love it. I don't do anything else with it, but man it could tell me the time every hour. It's tremendous.

How about another piece of technology from the past. This was a cool thing too. I remember getting this as a gift.

I think my mom gave this to me. And this is a talking Caller I.D. Device. Yep. So, what I could do when I want to know who's calling or when the phone rings it will just tell me. And it will speak just like this. (computer VOX) "October 4 at 12:39 PM" 907-6581." (Tommy) Doesn't he have a nice voice? If I had a voice like that I would have been good on the radio. Yeah, so that's the way that works.

And then what you do is you keep pushing the button and it will give you more calls so we can go back farther. (Computer VOX) "September 30 at 3:42 PM. Number unknown." (Tommy) And that's a good one.

You get one of those... I have no idea what that is so I, you know what, I don't answer. (credits music) Imagine how big a watch would be if you did 24-hour time. It would be like twice this size. (chuckles) it would be like Flava Flav. (beep) You know what time it is when an elephant sit on your fence? Time to buy a new fence.


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