Here is a list of the Top Ten Ways to Procrastinate.
10. Asking your kids to find their shoes? – a surefire way to procrastinate is to ask your sock-clad children where their shoes might be? Nevermind trying to corner them with logic, they will never ever remember where they last left them. The look of blankness that comes over their pudgy little faces, if you are naïve enough to ask them about the location of their footwear, is unparalleled. Probably, something akin to the look Michael Cohen had when the FBI raided his office in search of a silver bullet. Be prepared to send out an expedition to find the shoes, sneakers, flip-flops, jellies, etc., because your children that can remember every promise that you’ve made and subsequently broke for a greater good, somehow can’t remember where their stinky little foot coverings are. They could be standing in the center of the room, with their shoes hanging from the ceiling on a fishing line right in front of their faces, and they would be unable to see them. It would be as if the Romulan Empire came back through time and space and put a cloaking device around their kicks, so that no one could ever find them, and there would be no possibility of a Neutral Zone infraction. In summary, looking for your kids shoes is one of the biggest time sucks in the universe.
9. Taking a nap – opinions on this might vary, but a nap is a great way, if not the greatest way to procrastinate. Just imagine you have a laundry list of thing to do, well, wouldn’t they all be more easily accomplished with a good 1-2 hours of rest to put you in the proper state of mind. Naps are the greatest thing since, well, naps. Children generally don’t have the capacity to understand the importance of a nap. Once they pass through pre-school and into kindergarten, the nap is eliminated from their repertoire. They actually bring that behavior home, and expect to stay awake for the entire day, helping to send Mommy and Daddy to the asylum. All parents know that no-nappers are crank-yankers. As Ricardo Cortes so eloquently put it in his book of the same name “Go the Fuck to Sleep”! When our children reach adult life, only then will they have a true grasp of the value of a nap. Then we can laugh in their faces and tell them to buck up. They must learn for themselves the tragedy that naps can’t be banked, and are totally underrated. I can think of no finer way to put off the inevitable, than by stretching out on a divan and getting unconscious for a spell. Whatever needs to get done, will eventually get done, and hopefully by someone else that is disgusted with your inability to get it done in the first place. I like to dream about these folks while I’m napping.
8. Doing the dishes – this is my Go-to subterfuge in the domestic realm. If you don’t believe me, ask my domestic partner. She’ll go on record just to shame me for my aversion to most forms of housework and all of the diversions I create to get out of having to do them. I could wash dishes all day long, most especially if it means that by doing them I can get out of having to do laundry, washing floors, dusting, etc. Just give me some dish soap and a sponge and I’m a happy guy. My domestic partner and I play a game called “Fill Sink/Empty Sink”. Her objective is to cook an omelette, but to use 9 dirty pots and dishes to fill the sink. The play then passes to me, where I empty the sink onto the sideboard. Then in the ultimate of strategic moves, she makes a dessert with another 6 pots and dishes where she fills up the sink again. Stalemating not only happens in chess, but in Democratic National Conventions and in dishwashing. Nothing like dirty stagnant bilge water circling the drain.
7. Looking in the fridge for something to eat – I’ve spent countless hours of my life opening refrigerator doors and staring deep into the void. There is no Alchemy that can brighten and enhance the juxtaposed vessels populating the inner universe of any fridge I’ve encountered. To my mind, a refrigerator is a place where food goes to die, and then subsequently is a place that needs to be freed of spoiling encumbrances. So, the fridge is really a twofer: a good place to stare endlessly with indecision as well as a place to curate organic waste that could do harm.
6. Suggesting to your spouse that it might be a good time to have sex? – a huge time bandit; suggesting to your partner that you should indulge in the pleasures of the flesh. You got married, forget it. You got kids, forget it. The great irony of having kids is in having sex to get them, and then they become instrumental in you being unable to ever have sex again. Trying to convince your poor partner to put a little steam in your stride after they have taken care of a mob of littles for 12 hours, has all the appeal of waterboarding. The amount of time you spend trying to convince someone to allow you to play patty cake is amazingly large. The actual act itself, not so much.
5. Facebooking – Unprecedented in wasting frivolous amounts of time, social media is the antithesis of being social, and quite clearly is the biggest and greatest waste of time in our current age. Moments are precious and few. Getting a daily dose of your conservative friends calling your liberal friends snowflakes and vice versa just melts my patience. Facebook is full of opinions, and people who hold opinions are monstrous assholes. A little humility is what the Dr. Ordered, drink up. A new app is being developed called SavingFacebook. It will help people regain their dignity once Facebook fails, and you also gain an additional swath of time. Facebook = time-suck.
4. Working hard to make it look like you are working while at work? – if you put as much work as you did into doing the actual work, rather than working twice as hard to make it look like you are working, then maybe you would get some of that to-do list done. Wasting valuable work-time by giving counterfeit efforts as an end to a ruse just might make you a professional procrastinator. The downside is that you always need to look busy, the upside is that they pay you for it. Procrastinators of the world unite and takeover.
3. Looking for something to watch on cable television? – going through all the channels, all 999+ of them, and there is still nothing on. Trying to find something to watch on Cable Television is akin to finding something edible in your fridge. You have zero to little chance of finding anything to watch but network singing contests and brainless fodder. In addition, there are way too many channels, and too many of those channels are in other languages you can’t understand. For instance, the BBC Network is impossible to watch without subtitles. I really wish they would speak English. You can spend days surfing through channels looking for something to watch, days. I can’t believe I pay for this shit.
2. Cleaning one room to avoid cleaning another – Popeye’s pal Wimpy would gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger he could eat today. I am Wimpy to my wife’s Popeye, only my idea of paying you on Tuesday for a hamburger today is to clean rooms that don’t need to be cleaned, rather than the ones that actually do need to be cleaned. So far the strategy has confused only me, and left my wife in a state of consternation. I suppose I will be sleeping in a different room, rather than the room I should be sleeping in.
1. Marathon pooping – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? Not quite, more like The Brotherhood of the Dropped Drawers. There are many ways in which men and women are different animals, but I’m not here to enumerate on all of those differences, save one. Potty Time! Men and women log toilet time differently. Women are precision drones that hover over their target for the minimum amount of time required to deploy their payload. Once that is done, they leave the target site under the radar, and it is very likely that no one will ever know that they were ever there in the first place. Quick, clandestine, secretive. On the other hand, Men approach Potty Time like a fortress siege. Provisions are stocked up, the walls are secured, and they settle in and wait for the bombardment to commence. This is simply one of the greatest ways to procrastinate. The bathroom is theoretically the only place where privacy still matters. That is of course unless you have children. Naturally, they can’t find the shoes they are looking for, but if you were huddled in one of the hundreds of bathrooms of the Mirage Hotel in Vegas, trying to read the Fiction piece of the latest New Yorker, it is virtually guaranteed that they will be able to find you before you can get half way through the first sentence of the piece. Children are great siege enders, and along with hating naps, hate the boundary of a bathroom door. All bets are off on procrastination if your kids are home, and you are looking to peruse poetry and prose while marathon pooping.
0. Reading a self-help book on how to mitigate procrastination -the Mobius Strip of Procrastination: procrastinating a behavioral change by reading a book about the best books that can be read to change your procrastinating behavior. Speaks for itself.
-1. Helping a friend with a task that needed to absolutely get done this very minute – this might be the oldest trick in the book. Whenever something needs to be done at home, and you want to avoid it, you need to find a friend that needs help moving, fixing something unfixable, or just needs company in avoiding whatever they are trying to avoid. This is procrastination in harmony. Why waste time by yourself, team up and let that synergy create waves of wasted time. You know how they say that misery loves company, well so does procrastination.
And the list…of the top ten things that make me feel neato!
10. The Twofer-when you purchase an item from the vending machine, but two items fall into the collection receptacle. Can someone say “Peanut M&M’s!” ?
9. The Unplanned Express-when you set out to drive to your destination expecting misery, but you catch every light and there is hardly any traffic or construction delays along the route. Getting to a colonoscopy early is an added bonus.
8. The Finding Cheddah-no matter if you find it on the ground while walking, in a freshly laundered pant pocket, or in an envelope from a score of years ago, finding money is always a special. The folks at Dunks appreciate it when I find money.
7. The After You-when you arrive at a location as the same time as someone else and you say “After You,” and then they say “After You.” And you realize that you could possibly be stuck in a Mobius Strip of After Yous, so you proceed forward before it gets uncomfortable. Not only do you get points for courtesy, but you get to be the first one to get prime picks of the newly discounted Peeps.
6. The Kid Napped-when all the kids, pets, and anxieties of your life succumb to sleep. Now a good chunk of time to do with as you please, but ultimately you fall asleep trying to figure out what to do with your liberty.
5. The Amazon Prime-when your out in public and nature calls, your expectations of available bathroom possibilities makes your cramps seem like birth contractions. Somehow, by chance you happen upon a clean, well lit, and warm bathroom that hasn’t been fuddled up by some harried hovering hoggithah that usually streaks the seat. Be like the birds ladies, nest! nest! nest!
4. The Pet Detective-when your watching BBC Detective shows and you figure out the killer before the Chief Inspector does. It makes you question your scholastic choices, and regret not going to Bunker Hill Community College for an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. So sorry, Pet.
3. The Rainy Day-sleeping comfortably on an inclement weekend morning. Hovering in cotton warmth somewhere between sleep and consciousness with the pitter patter of lolling raindrops against the slightly cracked window. Then suddenly realizing that it’s actually Thursday, and that you were supposed to be in work two hours ago.
2. The Stratego-when you arrive at your destination and there is a parking spot right in front, which you can pull into without any difficulty. It starts to sink in that the place is closed, when you attempt to open the front doors and they are locked.
The Unexpected Journey-when you go out for a night on the town with old friends, and the circumstances arise where you either meet or exceed all of your bad habits and vices, and somehow between the first pint at the local watering hole in Boston, and the last shot somewhere in the Arizona desert, or is it Mexico, you awaken without pants and dignity, and shake an admonishing fist at the sky, as if God had anything to do with your poor choices and midlife crises. Hangovers get uglier over the course of the day and the amount of water you need to recalibrate can only be gained if the polar ice cap melts and is pumped directly into your veins. Ahhhhhh, good times, great times! Neato!
The year was 1995, and I turned 21 that year. It was an auspicious time, filled with many misadventures and many happy circumstances. I was blessed with a great deal of luck and privilege, and my guardian angel surely deserved an award for guiding me past any and all adversities that came my way.
On Thursday, March 16, I crossed the threshold at 77 Broad Street, around 5pm, wearing my Tartan Scally Hat. I was to meet my Da there, for an after work birthday pint. To those not in the know 77 Broad Street, Boston, is one of the finest drinking establishments in town, Mr. Dooley’s Tavern. It is a place that is both small and large, and contains the kind of charm that a wide-eyed late teen/early twenty-something would covet from afar when starting to desire and plan to drink legally.
Somehow, the word got around to my Uncle Mikes (I have two Uncle Mikes, a paternal and a maternal ) that I was meeting my Da for a pint at Dooley’s. If there is a crossroads of time, or an alternate universe where I could re-experience this night again, I would do so. The magic of it is well remembered and cherished.
I sat and waited for my Da to come, and in walked my first Uncle Mike.
He was also wearing a Scally Cap. He sat and we shared a drink. A moment later, my second Uncle Mike walked into Dooley’s.
He was also wearing a Scally Cap.
Last but not least, in walked Da, and you guessed it, he was wearing his Scally Cap too.
The mood was convivial, and I felt as if I had been baptized, brought into the club, as if I was one of the guys. It felt great. It still feels great.
On this, the 23 anniversary of that event. I thank the universe for such a gift.
Although, Da has moved on to Broader Streets,
I still have my Uncle Mikes, and when I lift a pint, I think back to that night, huddled in a booth,
sipping pints, four huge Irish-American heads covered in Scally Caps, welcoming a young lad into the fold.