Back in my Exwork days, one of my favorite fellow workers, Bonnie Sod, and I used to crack each other up with tales of our aging antics. She’d describe her frustration at dropping her Bluetooth earpiece in the kitchen, and when she leaned over to pick it up, her reading glasses would fall off, and when she stepped forward to get that, she’d kicked the earpiece under the refrigerator, and in her attempt to scoop out the Bluetooth with the handle of a fly swatter, her phone would slide from her pocket (I might be remembering me, but similar things happened to her). Then I’d recount my own quirks at home.
I liken them to a Shakespearian play if he had written one called A Comedy of Distractions. But more accurately, any given day of mine can resemble one of the better segments of the cartoon strip Family Circus when it maps out where the kids have gone in their house or around the neighborhood.
Imagine the following as a newspaper cartoon presented as a screenplay:
Vince is sitting at his computer, writing. He suddenly thinks of something and gets up. Remembering that the roll of toilet paper in small bathroom is almost empty, he heads out to get more. Walking through the living room, he stops to open the blinds behind the couch and opens the blinds in the dining room. Spotting a bowl and spoon in the kitchen sink, he rinses them and puts them in the dishwasher, then takes an empty soda can that was draining in the left sink rack out to the recyclable bin in the garage.
Vince opens the big door with the button, opens the side door with the knob, turns on two floor fans for ventilation, and pushes the power button for the big TV on the old table. He notices the tools he used the day before, for his wife’s garden project, sitting on the table and puts them back where they belong.
After putting the tools in the shed, he rolls up the garden hose, leans the wheelbarrow against the back wall, and remembers that the gas can for the lawnmower needs to be filled, so he gets that from the shed and sets it on the floor of the garage, sort of in the way so he won’t forget.
Vince picks up the framed family picture the cats knocked over last night and puts it back on the end table in the living room. That reminds him that he needs to remove his yesterday’s underwear from the bedroom floor and put them in the hamper.
While there, Vince makes the bed, opens the blinds, and almost forgets about his underwear after going to the bathroom, where he discovers the roll of toilet paper there is almost empty.
INT. HOUSE—LATE MORNING
Vince takes care of his underwear, then gets a roll from the hall closet and puts it in the master bathroom. Then he remembers to do the same for the small bathroom. Back in his office, he sits down, puts fingers on keys, looks to his right, sees his empty mug, and remembers that he needs more coffee, which is why he got up in the first place.
I often get a lot done on my way to do one thing.