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The Modern Procrastinator

Bells, whistles and default system sounds emanate from various devices around my person.

They remind me of personal tasks that I must accomplish or my world will reach chaotic mass and implode, or not.

In my situation, not is the norm. I am the most technically savvy and organized procrastinator on the planet.

There is not a device that I own that is not set up to remind me of something that must be accomplished with the future of my world at stake. As a single man, procrastination about cleaning the bathroom ranks just as risky as SPECTRE’s latest plot.

My phone contains location based reminders of items that must be accomplished around my home. Upon entrance to my garage, it shouts out with attention grabbing noises and reminds me of the items that I promised my self I will get done at home. Time based reminders are so passé.

I’ve got location reminders setup for when I reach home and when I leave home. Yes, I have them coming and going. I have reminders set for particular things I absolutely have to buy at a particular store. The problem is that I’m not much of a shopper. I rarely frequent a store unless I have a pressing need. New underwear falls into that rare category. Procrastinator and underwear do not appear in relative proximity in my lexicon.

One of the few shops I frequent with any regularity is my local coffee shop. I really do not need a reminder to buy coffee while I am there. It’s on the same level of the grocery store , I am hungry therefore I shop. Just now I was interrupted by my microwave reminding me I just warmed up a cup of coffee. I ran to it like it was a long lost love. Actually it kind of was.

When all is said and done, it usually has been my devices having a lot of say and I getting nothing done, except of course if coffee or underwear is involved. After work and a round trip two hour commute, most leftover energy is being sapped by the sinus headache I have 70% of the time. I have a very small window with which to accomplish outside chores. If my world is not going to implode as a direct result of not doing the task it probably will not get done within the first 5 appearances of said reminder.

Doing laundry usually involves underwear so that task gets taken care of upon first appearance of it’s scheduled reminder. Currently I look at my device reminders as a record of shame reminding me of all the things I have not accomplished. I am currently scheduling surgery on said sinuses hoping to shrink the size of my archive of failure. This event currently falls within the same priority as clean underwear so I know the status of that task will soon be done.

Work for me is a different story, I am a work-a-holic and procrastinator is not part of the job description. I do not need a reminder that dings and pops up text mentioning something like “work your self to death.”

I seem to have an internal scheduling device that I am not very savvy about. I can’t seem to turn that one off.

Fences

Stimulated by todays DailyPrompt at WordPress.   No humor here. Laughter does not exist in a vacuum…

images – white picket, steel barbed, concrete.

What’s on the other side?”

“Don’t know.”

“Kind of ugly isn’t it”

“Yeah. Wasn’t always this way.”

“Really. What was it like.”

“Wooden, white, actually kinda pretty as fences go.”

“Really.”

“Yea, the kind that reminds you of Tom Sawyer.”

“Sounds nice. What happened?”

“What always happens.”

“Whats that?”

“More things needed to be kept out.”

“Did it work?”

“Don’t know. Can’t tell the difference between either side now”.

Mr. Doe Goes To Washington

Location : Capitol Hill – An office in the Senate office building

The head of a senator pokes out from behind the door of his inner office.

“Doris, I am meeting with some constituents and I do not want to be disturbed for a bit.”

“Yes sir. They must be important constituents to blow off your committee meeting.”

“It’s an election year, all of my constituents are important.”

“Ooh. Are they lobbyists?”

“No, They’re hypochondriacs.”

“What’s the difference?”

“Both have irrational fears but the hypochondriacs don’t have any money to throw at their problems, only votes.”

“Ok, a half hour without being bothered, got it.”

Closing the door the Senator turned around to find his constituents arranged in front of him like a pair of his old socks bunched up around the ankles.

“So do I understand correctly people that later today I am to bring up your issue on the floor?”

“Yes sir, that is correct,”replied Abe.

“And what would that issue be,” asked the Senator.

“We sent you a power point presentation to bring you up to speed. Did you not get it?”

“Oh , I received it. I just haven’t had time to review it what with the debates and all. “

“But you’re not running,” stated Abe.

“No, but I have been taking notes so I could work the one liners into my weekly cocktail hour,” replied the Senator.

“Oh ok, Well I can summarize. Our issue is with the commercials being produced by Big Pharma theses days. As hypochondriacs it drives many of us to take on the symptoms of the medical issue the drugs are meant to address. “

“Now I remember. Can’t you just realize at the beginning of the commercial you haven’t been diagnosed with the particular medical problem?” asked the Senator.

“Would that we could sir. We’re hypochondriacs. Reason left our life stories some time ago. I would think you would be sympathetic to that.”

“Um, of course I’m sympathetic. I think?”

“With some of those commercials your lucky if you even realize the medical condition they are addressing.”

“Yes, I understand the problem but there are only ,what, ten of you here today?”

“Just a small sample of our group sir. Here is the petition I mentioned in the email. It has 20,000 signatures. All of whom are registered to vote.”

“Oh my, this is a problem. It must be addressed. I would like to lead off with the little blind kid with the white cane but I don’t want to appear I’m manipulating their emotions.

“Oh, he’s not blind. He’s a hypochondriac also.”

“Perfect it will humanize the issue without the exploit factor. Bring him up here.”

“Ok but he want’s to check his prostate first,” replied Doris.

Seeing the the boy kneel down and check his own ankles the Senator replied, “He seems confused.”

“He’s five years old,” replied his mother. “Would you like to show him where his prostate is?”

“No, thats quite alright.” This is a bigger problem than I thought.

The First Step is Admitting You Don’t Have a Problem (Pharmaceutical-Palooza cont)

“Ok people, lets get our weekly Hypochondriacs Anonymous meeting started.
We have a few business issues to get out of the way before we begin our session.

 

Remember, while there is a social aspect to the this group please exclude your feelings from your outside discussions. From what I hear quite a few of you got together with Howie Mamson for coffee last week and as a result this meeting is ten people short.

I believe all ten checked themselves in to City General with heart palpitations. The next time any of you see Howie, please remind him what the thought of caffeine does to him let alone drinking it.”

“Anyone have anything else to add? Yes, Stuart? Do you have something?”

“Yes, I do Abe. I just wanted to add that I had coffee with Howie and the group but I’m fine.”

“Very good Stuart, you’re making progress.”

Sam spoke up, “Not so fast. Abe, Stuart thought he lost his hearing that day so that was really the reason he wasn’t affected.”

“Thanks for ratting him, um, adding that information Sam.
So, he said he did not have a problem when if fact he had a problem which means he really has a problem and belongs here. Is that correct?”

“Um yea,” replied Sam. “It’s a good thing I don’t have a problem with alcohol. I’m going to need a drink.”

“Very well, lets move on to the next topic I want to discuss, commercials from Big-Pharma.”

“Oh, I can’t watch those anymore,” replied Sam.
“You know how hard it is to leave the house when you think you have bladder control issues, Crohn’s disease and ED?”

“Yes, Yes and no I have no clue, ” replied Abe. “That’s why we need to address the problem.”

“I don’t have a problem with the symptoms,” said Stuart. “It’s the side affects that are freaking me out. Oh sure the blindness is temporary but define temporary.”

“Which Is why I am going to recommend not watching any non recorded television,” replied Abe. Recording it will allow you to skip through the commercials. For those that are visually susceptible, I suggest they do not watch at all or have their significant other do the fast forwarding.”

“Abe. My wife is one of the ten in the hospital,” replied Sam.

“Oh well, I guess you’re going to have to quit watching all together or start net-flicking. “

“Folks; next weeks topic is “Avoidance may work but what about a solution.”
So have a good week and for gosh sakes people avoid any news about Zika.”

Pharmaceutical-Palooka (2 For 1 on Side Effects)

 

“You have reached Techno-psuedo-pharmica, my name is Derek. Can I help you”

“I sure hope so my son is a very suggestible hypochondriac”

“Hmm, well I am not sure we have a drug for that mam. Did you see a commercial that would suggest we do?”

“You can call me Deloris and I haven’t seen a commercial for that but you have one for every drug that you make and that is the problem.”

“I’m not following you Deloris.”

“Have you ever tried to explain to a five year old what a prostate is and that he can’t possibly have problems with his”.

“Uh, can’t say that I have.”

“Yea, well lucky you. Timmy, get over here and tell the nice man your problem.”

“I can’t mom, I’m checking my prostrate.”

“Timmy, the word is prostate. If you’re going to freak out at least be literate about it.”
“Derek, I’ll be a second.”

“Ok Deloris”

“Timmy, what are you doing? Oh for gosh sakes, your prostate is nowhere near your toes.”

“Derek, Here is Timmy. Timmy, tell him what you told me.”

“I have chronic prostrate problems.”

“Hi Timmy, do you know what chronic means?”

“Uh, its part of my prostrate?”

“Timmy, its prostate and you are much too young to have problems with it. Now go watch TV.”

“Timmy, give me the phone. Derek , TV is part of the problem. You’re not helping.”

“Sorry mam, Deloris, but you should regulate what he watches.”

“Easy for you to say, I have four other children Derek. You do the math.”

“I apologize Deloris.”

“Apology accepted Derek. But “Techno-Pharmacy-Whatsis” needs to get its act together by the time he hits puberty. Lord knows what will happen if he sees those ED commercials.”

“Yes Deloris, Have a nice day and thank you for calling Techno-psuedo-pharmica.”

Sometimes, It’s Just Too Much

St. Peter was back at his podium before the gates.

 

 

 

He was just beginning to get back in to the swing of things when the days first shuttle announced its arrival.

Peter felt something he had not experienced in quite a long time, sadness.

The shuttle arrived bourn on the strains of a soliloquy by Professor Snape and supported by the melody of David Bowies “Heroes” leading into the Eagles “Best of My Love.”

Peters view of the shuttle became cloudy and he wiped a tear from his cheek.

“Sometimes , this job is just too much and vacations are way too few.”

 

 

 

 

A White Elephant Never Wears The Same Stripes (Family Christmas)

My family has a holiday tradition that we have religiously followed for as long as my siblings have had children. Since we were all buying presents for said children we decided that the gifts for the rest of the family would be part of a white elephant exchange.

Now, while we all thought that was a stroke of genius, I can’t quite recall whose idea it was.

I will admit that while it was not mine, I was quite happy with the decision. I was living in Northern Virginia at the time and spending way to much money on luxury items such as food and housing.

The tradition has become quite enjoyable and now includes all of the children. They did not want to miss out on the fun. Yes, we consider the verbal abuse of each other, in a structured setting of course, quite fun. Doesn’t everybody?

The gift exchange has become a time honored tradition. The rules however are not so much of a tradition but more of a yearly agreement.

I am pretty sure we have not played by the same set of rules in any one year let alone consecutive years.

Some of you may suggest “why don’t you just look up the rules on wikipedia or google them.”

For you I would have two responses: 1) Wikipedia, really, are you nuts? You are asking to crowdsource information on something no two people can seem to agree upon. 2) Where is the fun in that? Sure we spend at least a half hour negotiating the rules before we start the exchange but that only adds to the fun.

Among the usual topics for negotiation are determining who goes first. Yes, it sounds simple and we do draw numbers but after that the process is pretty much a crapshoot. We are a very creative family .

“ Is the lowest number first or last?”

“A reasonable question. Let’s do the opposite of last year. Does anyone remember what we did last year?”

“Do we weight the numbers with the age of the person and if so do the older or younger persons have more weight?”

Now these are the less imaginative of the ideas , with any large group of people the suggestions can get quite outrageous.

“Can we consider birth order?”

“We already discussed age of the person so we have covered that.”

“No, I mean by the month. Which month you were born in, so like January comes before February.”

“Interesting idea, So you being born in January has nothing to do with that idea?”

“Of course not.”

“Nice try. Next.”

“What are the rules of stealing?”

“Rules, You mean is it punishable by law? If so I am not sure you understand the concept of the white elephant.”

No, I mean is there a restriction on the number of times a a particular person can steal?

“You’re still angry at me for stealing your waffler last year aren’t you?”

“That was two years ago. Of course not.”

“There is not a restriction on the number of times anyone can steal.

There is only a restriction on the number of times an item can be stolen.”

“What if it’s a really good item? Shouldn’t everyone have a chance to steal it?”

“No. That would be a disaster of biblical proportions.”

“Ok, how about no gift can be stolen more than 3 times.”

“Sounds reasonable.”

There is a limit on the amount spent on the gift. That was set a few years ago and probably will not be up for renegotiation until all of the birds have flown the coop and are on their own. I for one hope that my fifteen year-old niece will be working on a doctorate.

Black Friday: Twas The Night Before Christmas

The wrapping paper has been cleaned up but the laughter is still unfurling around my holiday break.  I hope your holidays were as joyous as mine and that this last installment of my Black Friday series  help conclude your holiday with laughter.

 

“Black Friday: Twas The Night Before Christmas”……ooh I can feel the joy already…or perhaps its the rum…..

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
were toys on display including a vintage Mickey Mouse.
There were games, there were gadgets, displayed in glass cases.
The collector was wary and kept his guests at fifteen paces.

The collector had food and drink to serve in his lair.
He would bring out his Pong to show off with fanfare.
The party was happening and many carols they did sing.
Until a band of toys appeared and a door bell they did ring.

The collector opened his door and failed to see
a band of toys underfoot as they scurried with glee.
With a major their leader so authoritative and quick
I knew it was Matt Mason, gosh he was slick.

More rapid than beagles his bandits they came
He whistled and ordered and called them by name.
On, Jan! On, Stosh! The Robots there were two.
On Yo!, On Larry, and perhaps a cow who did moo.

On Major! On Batman, who joined in the fun.
To rescue their friend, a brand new Xbox one.
To the top of the shelf and back towards the wall
Steal away! Steal away! Steal away all!

There was noise, there was chaos as the the batman yelled things not so holy.
He had a right to be upset for he landed in the guacamole.
When their friend was collected and their mission near over.
They all made a getaway in Major Mason’s moon rover.

The party lay in ruins, guacamole tracked across the floor.
The collector was convinced he would collect toys no more.
The band was merry and oh such a sight
as they danced and they darted off into the night.

So let that be a lesson to toy collectors all
prepare for uninvited guests at your next christmas eve ball.

So I in my kerchief all snug in my bed
decided my vision was just a dream in my head.

I finished off my Scotch and curled up in a ball.
With thoughts of good cheer and a Merry Christmas for all!

Black Friday: The Gathering

I apologize for keeping my readers on the edge of their seats waiting for this the third installment of my Black Friday series. The great thing about writing is the reader doesn’t have to see me trying to keep a straight face while typing out that last sentence.

Without further ado I give you  “Black Friday: The Gathering (Vintage Vendetta)”

Larry had been moping all afternoon. Xena was gone and he could not fill the void left behind. No matter how he reconnected his pieces he still had a big gap somewhere.

Yo had to listen to Larry whine all afternoon and it was killing him. It was time for some action, besides the only lubricant he had only worked on Yo-Yo(s).

“All right Larry quit your belly aching. It’s clear you are not going along with my ‘there is another XBox just around the corner’ philosophy. Besides I admit you were right,  Xena had that certain whatever the French say she had.”

“A certain I don’t know,” replied Larry.

“Yea I don’t know either but you know what I mean,” said Yo.

“Um, sure.”

“My point is we need to go get her. You’re not the only one who had a narrow escape from that vintage collector Larry.”

“If I recall correctly his name is Vince,” said Larry.

“Vince? Like short for Vintage? Your kidding me,” exclaimed Yo.

“Hey I don’t make these names up . That’s some other guys job,” replied Larry.

“Well this Vince guy has put the fear of Mattel in a lot of old toys I know and quite a few would be willing to help,” said Yo.

“You don’t say. And you can round them up in a moment’s notice?” asked Larry.

“Yep,” said Yo as he winked. “They’re also living here on the down low.”

“How come I don’t know them?”

“ Because as a box Larry you tend to be, um how do I put this, mobility challenged.”

“Fair enough. So who are these toys?”

“I’ll tell you what. I will go round them up and introduce you to them,” replied Yo.

“Ok Yo. I’ll be here moping.”
 said Larry.

“Ok, but you better snap out of this funk by the time I get back or you won’t be able to inspire the other toys to march into the mouth of danger.”

“Mouth of danger?” asked Larry.

“Hey I don’t make up these metaphors. That’s some other guys job.” laughed Yo and added “I’ll be back.”

“Was that an Austrian accent?” asked Larry. But Yo was gone. I could have sworn that was an Austrian accent.

Yo soon returned leading a parade of refugee toys. Larry took one look and thought he was suffering from flashbacks. If he listened carefully he could have sworn he heard either Wagner or maybe the theme to the three stooges playing in the background.

“Form up on me everyone.” ordered Yo.

It was clear he was either getting into the proper spirit of the moment or suffering from delusions of grandeur. Larry was voting for the latter.

There was a clatter of chaos and then from under a pile of what appeared to be every popular toy of the 70’s the voice of Yo could be heard screaming “I meant literally folks.”

“I think that’s figuratively Yo,” shouted Larry.

“Yea, they know what I mean.”

“No, it’s obvious they don’t. That’s why you are currently buried by them.” replied Larry.

A few moments later the pile had broken up and had formed a nice neat line.
Strutting in front of the line, as much as a Yo-Yo can strut, was Yo.

“Alright Larry, let me introduce our volunteer army or what I like to refer to a Yo-Yo’s little helpers.”

“Yo, you are starting to suffer delusions of grandeur.”

“What? Grand Illusion?” I didn’t know you were a Styx fan?” asked Yo.

“Um, up until they became a love ballad smorgasbord but I meant that you are starting to let your ego run away with you. Besides, you make them sound like elves and that is not going to inspire fear in anyone let alone Vince the collector”.

“Vince the collector. Sounds like a hit man.” laughed Yo.

“Well it’s definitely scarier than Yo-Yo’s little helpers.”

“Ill give you that. We can come up with a name later. Let me introduce them to you. Starting from your left and proceeding to your right…”

“Yo, I’m a box of legos I have no hands.” interrupted Larry.

“Yea, but you know what I mean. This here is Major Matt Mason. He is an astronaut toy from the 60’s. 1966 I believe. “

“He looks to be in good shape considering his age,” stated Larry.

“Larry, may I remind you that your shape is a box and you don’t have a right to comment on the shape of others”.

“Yea, that’s fair Yo.  So what can he contribute to the effort?” asked Larry.

“Ahem, Let me answer that,” replied the Major as he step forward and saluted.

“I have years of space training at the Mattel Space Camp.” stated the Major.

“Well that’s nice Major but we won’t be going into to space,” replied Larry.

“Well I have a moon rover and a really cool Jet Pack that can move us along a zip line,” added the Major.

“Welcome aboard Major,” said a smiling Larry.

“Next we have Betsy Wetsy,” said Yo pointing to a baby.

“But Yo ,” whispered Larry. “She’s a baby and need we go into whether her name is literal or figurative?”

“Hmm, you have a point,” said Yo and added “Sorry Betsy. I think you could help us better on the home front.”

“Our next volunteers are brothers Jan and Stosh the Rock’em Sock’em Robots.
They’re Polish and they claim to have inspired a generation of Polish boxers. I don’t know if that’s true but I’m not going to question them. I think they will come in handy if we get in a bind and need some muscle.”

“That’s a good point Yo. Welcome aboard gentlemen.” Larry did a double take and asked Yo.” “Is it me or is his neck unusually long?”

Yo looked at the robots and said “Hey Stosh, or Jan, whichever; Please re-engage your neck spring. It’s freaking Larry out. Don’t worry Larry it goes back down. It’s part of their design.”

“Yo, who is that box there,” whispered Larry.

“Oh that there is Spirograph. He’s an artist.”

“We will not have time for art on this mission Yo,” stated Larry.

“Yea, I knew you would say something like that.” interrupted Spirograph. “No body appreciates art.”

“That’s not true,” uttered Larry. “I would love it if you could whip something up to inspire the troops.”

“You got it,” replied the Spirograph. “Do you have any drawing paper?”

“We’ll find you some in a moment,” replied Yo

The introductions carried on for a while and when they were done they had assembled a nice unit of specialists ready to mount an assault on Vince the collector and take back Xena.

“Larry I think you left out Mr. Potato Dude over there,” whispered Yo.

“Yes on purpose. We can’t afford the law suit that would entail,” replied Larry.

“Oh yea. I see your point.”

“Yo. You mentioned that several of these toys had some problems with Vince. Do they know where he lives?” asked Larry.

“You mean his lair,” replied a Batman action figure (of the Adam West variety).

“Um, yes I guess you could call it that.” replied Larry.

“Robin and I were once a captive of the one you call Vince the collector. I can lead you to his lair in the dark if I have to”.

“Yo, Who is this Robin that he speaks of?” asked Larry.

“Keep it down will you. That is a sore subject. They parted ways and it wasn’t pretty.”

“Oops, my bad,” said Larry and then added “That would be great Mr., um, Batman.”

“It’s just Batman my boxlike friend.” replied Batman.

“Very well, Batman. You will lead us to the collector’s lair.”

Larry looked upon the rag tag group of toys that represented his last hope of seeing Xena again and shuddered. They’re not the dirty dozen but their all I have, he thought.

Will Spirograph finally be recognized as a true artist?                                                              Can Batman find Vince’s lair and if so will Xena trust her future to this collection of stooges?                                                                                                                                                  Do Jan and Stosh speak english or will the author have to translate?*                                 What will Vince do when he finds out that Xena is not a vintage Pong game?These answers and what ever the author dreams up after a late night snack to follow.

* He can if they just want to order lunch in a diner with soda water and/or beer.