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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

No, Really — I Have Plenty to Do

In blog, no one can hear you scream.

It’s going to be a long weekend. I can see that now.

I’m in between jobs right now, so unless I have an interview or some sort of appointment, every day is pretty much Saturday, just without the drinking and all the fun. Or at least without other people to drink and have fun with, which only occasionally stops me. Still. This is just my first week ‘off’, and I really only had Thursday afternoon and Friday to myself. In that time, I mowed the lawn, did the laundry, and went to the grocery store. Which may not sound like much to you if you’re well-versed in this whole homeowner gig, but I’ve only had three months on the job. Cut me some slack; I’m easing my way into it.

But now I have a problem. The litany of accomplishments that I just gave you (and which I put on my resume, as well, thank you) also represents my entire list of responsibilities for the weekend. And they’re already done. This was a Gross Error in Judgement™ on my part, and I’m only now realizing that. See, there are only two directions that things can go in now, and neither of them are good.

The lesser evil, I suppose, is that I find some more little projects to do, and continue to get further and further ahead of myself. Now I’m a creative guy; I figure I could entertain myself in this way for a couple of weeks. I could give the dog a bath, and alphabetize my closet, and sanitize our phones, and build Christmas ornaments out of pipe cleaners, and… well, you get the picture. Little stuff. Stupid stuff. But soon I’d run out of things to do, and then where would I be? I could either write fourteen blog entries a day (and nobody wants that) or start watching soap operas

(Um, no. Oh, but wait! No. On the other hand… no. Just, no.)

No, I’d rather go out of my freakin’ mind with boredom, and run around the house naked and screaming.

(As opposed to naked or screaming, which happen with some regularity, but rarely together.)

So that’s Door Number One. Not pretty to begin with, and even less attractive once the naked screaming starts.

(As is usually the case outside the magical world of porno flicks.)

And what’s the other, more sinister option? Well, I’m glad you asked.

See, I’m married. And in most cases — though not all, these days — when a guy gets married, he’s issued a wife. And among the wife’s many responsibilites is to minimize the amount of time when her husband is either naked or screaming, or, heavens to Betsy, both.

(All the nudity and yelling tend to upset wives’ tummies, you see.)

So, of course, the womenfolk have come up with a ‘solution’ (my quotes) to this little conundrum, which is to keep the manperson occupied with a series of Herculean tasks, to exhaust him past the point of flinging off his clothes and scurrying around shrieking like a banshee.

Now, I have to admit, I watched my mother lay this trip on my dad for years and years, and the system does work. I almost never saw him screaming uncontrollably, and just the one time naked. *shudder* However, it doesn’t seem like a lot of fun, and there seem to be a lot of situations in which one could easily lose a finger. Or *gulp* worse. A lot of these jobs are oily and dirty, and usually involve back-breaking labor and side-splitting effort. So, given that I’m rather comfortable with my unbroken back and non-splitty sides, I’d like to avoid these sorts of activities at all costs. And believe me, when you live in a ninety-nine-year-old house, there are plenty of opportunities for both breakin’ and splittin’. Pee-lenty. We’ve got a porch to be stained, not to mention re-foundationated (yes, Virginia, that is the technical term…), gravel or concrete to be poured into the driveway, garden walls to be re-mortared or replaced, and the painting! Oh, the painting. Walls and ceilings and trim, oh my! If I weren’t already in my chair, I’d need to sit down, just at the thought.

So as you can see, there’s a lot to be avoided. Now, I’m not all about shirking work, mind you. (I did go to the grocery store, don’t forget. And I hate the grocery store.) All of the above challenges should certainly be met, as well as the fourteen thousand other things that I’ve forgotten about (but my wife probably hasn’t). And I’m up for doing, or helping with, most of them. Just not by next Tuesday, because ‘I have the time’, or because ‘I need something to do’, or because ‘I’ll start flashing neighbors if I get too bored’. Certainly, all of these things are true, no question. I’m just not quite ready to live in my painting pants and heavy gloves for the whole summer, especially if I can manage to stay out of work for that long. It’s almost enough to make me want to look for a job! Almost.

Anyway, I’ve learned my lesson. From now on, I’ll keep a couple of things back for the weekend. You know, ‘busy work’, so I don’t look like I need something else to do. ‘Cause what happens when the jobs I know about are done? What then? I don’t see myself shingling the roof or installing new lighting or anything like that. Well, I can picture it, I suppose, but there’s always a horrible, painful death at the end of those visions, so I try to suppress them as best I can. With beer, usually. Which is what weekends are for.

And that brings us full circle. It looks like I’m gonna have to bite the bullet this weekend and take on some sort of project or other. But I’ll get in a couple of beers while I’m at it, and now I have a system to maximize the beerin’ in future. I think I’m gonna be okay. But keep an eye on me, would ya? It’s okay if I do a little painting, or some yard work now and then. But if you see me on the roof, or fiddling with an outlet, just shoot me, okay? Right there, on the spot. At that point, I’m gonna end up dead, anyway, and you’d be saving me a lot of pain and agony. Just don’t aim for my head. I want to look good in the casket. I think I’ll be buried in my painting clothes and garden gloves, with a beer hat on my head and a six-pack by my side. Because you never know which way weekends in the afterlife are going to go.

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