The best thing about working in the Junkyard was also the worst thing (sometimes) and, always, the weirdest– that would be Bud. Boss, sensei, teacher, gadfly– Bud always seemed to know exactly what Jack was thinking. Why else was he busy just now going through a shoebox full of big old mechanical watches, gents’ style? Because Iowa had a watch she never wore: a little tiny ladies’ thing she couldn’t see and she was always afraid of breaking. It had been a high school graduation present from somebody who didn’t understand her very well.
But something big and sturdy that she could read at a glance, something that appealed to that funky, brainy, half practical, half steampunky, clogs- and-a- red roadster sensibility she had going … (Yes, Jack was paying attention. You couldn’t keep up with His Best Girl otherwise.) Bud probably had the answer to Iowa’s Big Present in that shoebox, or strapped to his arm, without Jack ever asking him the questions.
“Tik tok” indeed, Josef, my friend. Better watch out or you’ll start making sense.