Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: PROCRASTINATE (08/04/16)
TITLE: The Professional
By Joe Moreland
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The teenager twitched violently and almost dropped the book.
“I need you to change your cat’s litter box,” Mike said, fully entering the room.
“Now? I’m in the middle of something.”
Mike glanced at the spot she was desperately trying to preserve in the book. “It looks to me like you are about three quarters of the way through something.”
“Whatever. You know what I mean. I’ll do it later.”
Mike looked again at the three hundred or so pages she still had to go in the book. “I don’t think later is going to come soon enough for me. How about now?”
Marie puffed out an exasperated burst of air. “What’s the big rush?”
“Ummm...I just overheard the cat on the phone trying to book a room at the animal shelter. He’d rather risk being euthanized than stick it out here another day.”
“Ha-ha. The cat can’t book a room. He hasn’t been paid yet this week.”
“Look. Do it now, and you won’t have it hanging over your head for the next few days and I won’t be coming in here every few hours progressively bugging, then yelling, then, finally, threatening you to do what you could have just done in the first place.”
Marie screwed up her face, like she was really giving serious consideration to what Mike said. “Hmmm. ‘Never do today, what you can put off until tomorrow.’ That’s what I always say.”
Mike crossed his arms and took a firm stance. “First off, Aaron Burr said that. And what he actually said was ‘Never do today what you can as well do tomorrow’. It will not be ‘as well’ if you wait until tomorrow to change the litter box. Likely, we will all die in our sleep tonight if it doesn’t get done today.”
Marie stuck her tongue out. “How’d you pull that one out?”
“I’ve been your dad for about seventeen years now. I know enough to study up on procrastination before engaging with a professional.”
“Did you study up on ‘walking the talk’ too?”
Mike shifted uncomfortably. “What does that mean?”
“Well, I mean you procrastinate too.”
Alarms were now going off in Mike’s head, but he asked anyway. “Like what?”
Marie held up her hand and ticked off fingers as she went. “Like you’ve been putting air in the car tire everyday for a week because you haven’t ‘gotten around’ to fixing it yet. You’ve got a check in your wallet right now because you can’t ‘find the time’ to make it to the bank to deposit it. There’s laundry struggling to escape from your room and you ate a freezer burnt corndog for lunch because you haven’t been to the store yet.”
“Yeah, well, all of those things are personal and don’t affect anyone else. So, none of that is in the same class as turning our home into a biohazard.”
Marie made a small pucker with her lips off to the side of her mouth. “That’s true. Except when you were busy not going to the store, you also didn’t get cat litter.”
There was complete silence in the room for about ten seconds.
“Well,” Mike spoke quietly. “Tomorrow it is then.”
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