Cheap City

The Broken clocktower

This page exists to inform the general public of the history of the Cheap City Clock Corporation.

In the early 1902 C.E. (cheap era) an Italian immigrant named Gaetano Caito began to manufacture wall clocks, wristwatches, pocket watches, and grandfather clocks in a storefront on 2nd street. Caito’s business grew quickly and by 1928 the Cheap City Clock Corporation was among the 20 largest employers in the city. Older folks will surely remember the clocks and timepieces with a bold “CCCC” emblazoned on the back. Younger folks may remember seeing the CCCC logo in piles of trash they had to climb through to get to school in the aftermath of the CLOCK EVENT. The Cheap City Clock Corporation was one of the only businesses in Cheap City to survive the Great Depression. Caito explained this success with a simple, “Time doesn’t stop!” In the immediate postwar era the Cheap City Clock Corporation doubled and then tripled in size when it seized on the new time-centric American Dream. When the older folks are done thinking about the “CCCC” logo they might remember the ads in newspapers and on the radio - a jazz quartet singing, “How are you going to buy a house and a car if you’re late to work? You need a watch you little twerp!” In the 1960s the Cheap City Clock Corporation grew to such a large size that its public image became more of a concern than the quality of its product. Steve Caito, the companys CEO and Gaetano’s son, set up a number of fake charitable organizations in the Corporation’s name in order to gain goodwill with the public. In the 1970s the Cheap City Clock Corporation began to specialize in developing first the software that runs digital clocks, and later the software that makes computers remember what time it is even when they’re turned off. Soon every building in Cheap City was in someway related to the production of clocks: Dormitories for the workers, factories where the clocks were made, shipping centers where the clocks were packed and sent to far corners of the world, stores where customers could buy clocks and watches of their own, office buildings where payments were processed and insurance claims were settled, offices where lawyers attempted to discredit the global atomic clock, offices where other lawyers tried to find a way to make the global atomic clock the property of the Cheap City Clock Corporation, and even a museum where tourists from all over the world could learn about Gaetano Caito’s humble beginnings and how his family helped to develop Cheap City. In the 1980s the Corporation began to slash worker wages and benefits while buying any remaining businesses and living spaces in Cheap City, effectively buying both the land and the people. For the next twenty years the people of Cheap City lived in a sort of servitude to the Corporation. While workers rights advocates argued that any resident of Cheap City was an indentured servant, naysayers on internet message boards frequently used pictures of clockworkers on vacation to argue that they were being treated very well indeed.


Nervous Ashers was born in 1992. Not much is known about his early life but surviving journals and documents describe his dropping out of high school after he was assaulted by “the boy with the diamond earrings.” He began to work at the Cheap City Clock Corporation (as did all residents) after getting over a fever that lasted 40 days and 40 nights. In the late 2000s he brought a large stone with him to work and placed in one of the cogs that ran the central clocktower at the center of Cheap City. As the clocks gears began to twist and break other workers across the city began to sabotage equipment and burn down factories. This resulted in the ultimate destruction of the Corporation as a whole as well as the liberation of the people of Cheap City. In the aftermath of the CLOCK EVENT Mayor Amanda Thompson instituted a public works program comparable to Roosevelt’s New Deal in which all residents aged 18-65 were put to work cleaning the mountains of trash that now dominated the city.

It may be of note to the curious reader that the dancehall chronicled in the audio documentary “Lightning Struck the Dancehall” was built on the site of Caito’s original workshop.