The Clock Without a Face: Numbers 8, 5, 2, 9, 10, and 7

A peek at more of the numbers folks have found from The Clock Without a Face, McSweeney’s rtreasure hunt book. They’re gorgeous:

Christina Wagner, a high school senior in Wisconsin, found the eight:

Nadine Cox was part of a team that found the five in Ohio:

The two is my favorite so far. Lauren and Jim found it in Florida:

The nine was found in Texas:

Martin Morales and his fiance Lisa found the ten in Connecticut:

Michelle Senderhauf found the seven in Indiana:

The eleven, four, and three have already been found, so that just leaves six and twelve. Covet.

Clock Without a Face: Numbers 11, 4, and 3

Remember McSweeney’s Clock Without a Face treasure hunting book? The first three numbers turned up, and they’re lovely:

Eleven was found first in the California Valley.

“After maybe two stabs at the ground, the treasure was revealed. Or, leastways, a plastic baggie (with a rather large hole in it, which may have been groundhog mischief) covering another plastic baggie, containing a wooden box, was revealed. As we made very pithy proclamations, such as “I can’t believe this!” and “No way!”, I opened the baggies and then the box to find a cloth with a wax seal and string around it, as well as a piece of paper with a handwritten note.”

The four was found next in Virginia.

Number three was the most recent find in Washington. Photos of the container and wax seal are here. Those photos might give other sleuths an idea of how deep to dig.

Aren’t the numbers gorgeous?

The Clock Without a Face

Before Hank was born, I did a lot of work with 826 Valencia, Dave Eggers’s tutoring center. In my time there, I became friends with some of the McSweeney’s folks, who always work hard to make magical things. Their latest project is so, so cool:

The Clock Without a Face, is a children’s board book about a clock with jeweled numbers. The numbers are stolen, and each page provides clues to where they’re buried.

The brilliant part? The numbers are real. Here’s what the site has to say:

“We’ve buried 12 emerald-studded numbers—each handmade and one of a kind—in 12 holes across the United States. These treasures will belong to whoever digs them up first. The question: Where to dig? The only path to the answer: Solve the riddles of The Clock Without a Face!”

McSweeney’s had the numbers made by a jeweler, and then made a real-life treasure hunt for their readers by burying them all over the U.S. Can you imagine how much work went into this?

Anyway, the hunt is already on, and the main character, Gus Twintig, has a Twitter account. I’ll keep you posted as people find the numbers (go look for the numbers, my nerdling friends!), but in the meantime you should get yourself a copy. McSweeny’s never prints too many books, and this one is a keeper.

Good work, McSweeney’s. You guys are dreamy.

While I’m away, you should read McSweeny’s.

Strange and Obsessive Things I Did as a Kid in No Particular Order

Age 9:

Developed a fascination with TV Guide, specifically the
listings. Spent hours copying them onto loose-leaf
notebook paper – just the titles of shows, not
descriptions, and with the times bumped up several
hours to make it more interesting.

Age 8:

Learned how the Roman numeral system worked.
Subsequently filled a notebook by writing every Roman
numeral, in order, from I (one) to MMM (three

Age 4:

Owned a magnetic board with a matching set of
multi-colored letters of the alphabet. Storage conditions
for the letters, dictated by me, required that they be
arranged – yes – in alphabetical order, in a perfect
5-by-5 grid, with Z being remaindered to the side
compartment. I would only retire to bed once these
storage conditions were met, for a period of some
months. During active play, I would make abstract
patterns on the board with the letters; never actual

Ann Landers’ Parallel Universe

Dear Ann:

I hope you have room to print just one more of those
“how we met” stories. I was a young woman growing up
in Bombay, adventurous, strong-willed and determined
not to settle down until I had seen the world. One night
while attending a small gathering at a neighbor’s home, I
saw a stoop-shouldered, plain-looking man of about 25
standing at the side of the room holding a drink and not
talking to anyone. When I walked up and tried to start a
conversation with him, he handed me his empty drink
and motioned to the bottle of wine sitting in the corner.
As I was refilling his cup, I asked my father in a whisper
who this rude, arrogant person was. “That’s Rajiv
Sankar, the man you’re going to marry,” he replied. “It
was arranged between our families right after your birth.
You should get used to waiting on him.” Well, Ann, I’ve
been at his service for 40 years, and we’ve never been
apart-not even after I brought shame on him twice by
giving birth to baby girls.

Proposed Indian Names for Certain White People

Buys Plants For Companionship,

Comments On How Wonderful Bread Is,

Considers Soup Selects Salad,

Examines Skin For Moles,

Fixes Paper Jams,

Insists Pizza And Beer’s On Me,

Invents New Persona,

Proffers Swiss Army Knife When Inappropriate,

Prunes Roses,

Raises Voice In Anger Then Gets Sheepish,

Reconsiders Skydiving As Possible Hobby,

Recycles Same Joke With Different Friends,

Searches Flea Market For Treasure,

Thinks Of Self As Buddhist,

Wants To Hang Out,

Wears Matching Bra And Panties.


Yo mama jokes from McSweeney’s:

Yo mama so poor…

she can’t afford a Christmas tree so she goes and finds a sad little twig in the yard and cuts out construction paper ornaments so that she can bring just a glimmer of light to her children’s Christmas celebration.

1:47 p.m.



 wobble, but they don't fall down? 


 SUN: Does that mean they simply choose not to fall down, or that it is
 impossible for them to fall down? 

 WR: It is impossible for Weebles to fall down. And since Weebles are
 not living things, it is also impossible for them to choose to do

 SUN: Weebles aren't alive? But what about those creepy eyes? 

 WR: While Weeble artisans make a concerted effort to create a lifelike
 appearance on each and every Weeble, I can assure you that your
 Weebles are not alive. 

 SUN: But� 

 WR: Seriously, they're not alive. Get a grip. 

 SUN: Okay, can we back up a little bit? Because I'm getting confused.
 Weebles fall down, but they don't wobble? Is that it? 

 WR: No, no, no. This is not difficult. They wobble, and do not fall
 down. How many times do I have to say it? 

 SUN: Well, wait a minute now. I stuck a Weeble into some Silly Putty,
 and now it's lying down. What do you have to say to that? 

 WR: Just because a Weeble is lying down does not mean that it fell
 down. Lying down is something one does on purpose, while falling
 down is accidental. 

 SUN: But how can Weebles do anything on purpose if they're not

 WR: Hey. That was just a figure of speech. 

 SUN: Okay, I'm dropping a Weeble off the edge of the Grand Canyon.
 I think now you have to admit that it's falling, don't you? 

 WR: Ah, well, now you're just taking advantage of the broader range of
 connotations of "fall" vis-�-vis the comparatively narrow definition of
 "fall down". Perhaps this is a slightly abstruse semantic point, but while
 one can not fall down without falling, it is possible to fall without
 falling down, if you catch my drift. 

 SUN: Well, being seemingly unreliable, I don't quite follow you there,
 but let's move on anyway. What is inside a Weeble? 

 WR: Just plastic. Oh, and a single pellet of a mysterious superheavy
 compound from a faraway planet that fell to earth in a giant meteorite, of

 SUN: While I've got you here, you don't know what happened to my
 cat, do you? It was in the bedroom the last time I looked. 

 WR: Well, the Weebles didn't eat it, that's for sure! Because they're not
 alive. Ha ha. Really. Not... alive. Can't stress that enough. I have to go

10:17 a.m.