As I sit on the front porch drinking my first mug of coffee, I reluctantly concede that I am "the king of all procrastinators." Although it's a beautiful, summer morning, my front lawn hasn't been cut in two weeks, the inside of my house looks like I've just been robbed and the only thing that seems to be properly situated is my butt on this chair.
I think it all started a few years back when I started accumulating empty two-liter pop bottles on the lower shelf of my microwave cart. I never used to save these five cent nuisances until I heard about recycling, the depletion of our natural resources and my friends personally telling me I accelerate global warming.
After a few weeks of stacking, gathering these sticky pests, I'd come home from work and find one rebellious empty bottle sitting on the kitchen floor, obviously planning its fruitless escape. I can't really imagine what would possess one of these bottles to sit dormant for weeks and then suddenly want to make an escape off the cart to some sort of temporary freedom. I knew when two or three of these refused to stay (as they were told), it possibly meant there wasn't any more room.
Four days later I got a garbage bag and proceeded to fill it up. However, do you think I took that bag right back to the store? Oh no! Not so fast -- not enough money to make it worth my trip. So off to the basement it went -- chucked against the wall and out of the way. No big deal, right? Even the most efficient person couldn't fault me for not returning that 75-cent gold mine right away.
And look what we have here; a microwave cart with a clean shelf to start over. This process continued for months until a bunch of bags lined the basement floor. Seventeen to be exact, forming a trail completely around the basement wall. So I did what any quick thinking, coffee drinking, lawn staring, TV remote pushing person would do; I walked upstairs, knocked on my tenant's door and said in my most philanthropic tone of voice, "There's a pile of bags with empty bottles in the basement if you want to take them back. Must be $10-$15 worth. I'd take them back but I figure your kids could use the money."
I had just tripped over bag No. 18 when I said, "That's it!" Instead of being mad at my tenant (who was obviously not appreciative of my humanitarian gesture), I did the only logical thing; I walked in the backyard, rubbed my palms together and shouted, "Kids! Want to make some big money?"
"Yeah!" the 6- and 9-year-old boys screamed simultaneously.
"Take those pop bottles in the basement back to the store and get the money. I wouldn't be surprised if you were rich when you got home." The four-legged tornado flew up the stairs around the time I said "money" and screamed, "Mom! We're gonna be rich."
I'd like to say that plan worked, but the truth is four weeks later, I took the damn things back myself and made $14.25.
I'd like to say I've changed since then and become more mature and productive, but the truth is the morning paper just arrived and I've got a chair on the front porch waiting for me. I know the sink is filled with dishes, the bathroom's a mess, my car needs to be washed, the laundry is piling up and the lawnmower is out of gas, but hey!
Maybe this afternoon.
Jim Schneegold never hesitates to put off everyday tasks, dubbing himself "the king of all procrastinators."