Monday, October 15, 2007

Spring Cleaning in the Fall

It’s time once again for my semi-annual Spring Cleaning. One of my twice-yearly cleanings occurs in the Spring, and the other one, awkwardly, occurs in the Fall. Unless, of course, I forget one (or both).
For me, “Spring Cleaning” AND “Spring Cleaning in the Fall” are both comprised of the same activity: emptying my pockets, glove compartments, desk drawers, and assorted boxes, to find the little scraps of paper on which I have scribbled notes about ideas for future columns.
Most of those ideas don’t ever make it into my weekly column, primarily because I never see the scraps of paper again… until Spring Cleaning. By this time, the moment has usually long-since passed. Whatever inspired thought I had at the time has faded into oblivion.
Additionally, I suffer from ADHD: Attention Deficit Handwriting Disorder. I frequently lose interest in mid-sentence… occasionally in the middle of a word… and sometimes even in the middle of a letter!!! (You may think that’s impossible, but trust me… it’s not! Say for instance, you’re trying to write “Aren’t you witty?”, but lose interest before getting back to cross the “T”s. Now you’ve written “Aren’t you willy?”, which is totally different than what was intended, and makes it pretty near impossible to recall what the subject was on which I had once intended penning a column!!!)
So, between not being able to read my own handwriting, and not being able to recall exactly why I scribbled the word “banana” on a napkin, very few of my most inspired thoughts ever make it to my keyboard.
Out of the few sniplets which remain, however, I usually am able to string together some of these leftover thoughts into a “Spring Cleaning” column… or in this instance, “Spring Cleaning in the Fall”: a collection of random thoughts from the last few months, or perhaps, last few years. So here goes…
-- I can’t remember names…. but I’m no longer embarrassed about it. I’m old! Absent-mindedness is not such a bad thing, after all, now that I have a good excuse.
-- Many years ago, the comic strip character Pogo, said: “We are faced with insurmountable opportunities.” It was true. We were. And, we still are.
-- In the ninth grade in high school, I had to choose between taking Latin or Typing. All the college-bound kids were encouraged to take Latin. I just couldn’t see how that was going to do much for me, so I opted for Typing. As it turns out, I once knew how to make good decisions…. apparently in the ninth grade. Typing has come in very handy for me, like right now for instance. Had I chosen to other option, you would now be reading a column written out in long-hand… in Latin.
-- Do you get tired of being put on “hold” for what seems like hours at a time whenever you call a toll-free “customer service” number? I do. We have no choice but to wait, because it’s usually the only way to resolve our problem. But here’s an idea I came up with: After you conclude your important business, but before you relinquish the call, put THEM on hold for a change! When they ask, “Can I help you with anything else today, Mr. Turnipgreen?”, you reply, “Yes, can I put you on hold for one moment, please?”… then proceed to the kitchen to make yourself a sandwich, read your mail, and wash your car before returning to the phone. It will make you feel much better.
-- If I ever appear to be staring at you sort of sideways, there’s a very good reason: I wear contact. Not contacts… contact. Only one of them. I’m supposed to wear both of them, but when I do, I can’t read small print. Wearing one contact works well for me, except occasionally I appear to be staring at people a little sideways. (Also, I sometimes don’t recognize people… which is okay, because I probably can’t remember their names, anyway.)
-- At my house, exercise machines make good clothes racks. Especially the stationary bicycle.
-- I hope you’ll patronize our advertisers. I really do. I don’t say it often enough, but this newspaper could not exist without the support of the business which advertise on these pages, and our community would not be as strong as it is without a community newspaper of its own. So I hope you’ll remember to do business with those businesses who support us with their advertising dollars… and maybe even tell them thanks for doing their part to keep the community strong.
That’s it for this year’s version of “Spring Cleaning in the Fall”. Now I can throw away the scraps I used. (I’m still hanging on to the illegible ones, clinging to the possibility that some day they’ll make sense to me again.)
See you next week.

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