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Now that the midterm elections are behind us we can all get back to doing the important things we were doing before politicians interrupted with their speeches and television ads.
Thing is I can’t remember what those things were, exactly, I just know they were pretty important.
Ever notice how you can be distracted when there’s something you have to do and deep down you don’t want to do it?
I once had something important that I had to write and I managed to convince myself that there was no way I could write anything while wearing my old sneakers. So, first I took my sneakers off and began writing in my stocking feet.
Almost immediately I realized that my bare feet would never work, that no one ever wrote anything worth reading while barefoot. So, I convinced myself that the only way to get back to writing was to drive to the New Balance outlet in Oxford and get myself a new pair of sneakers.
The decision became a tad complicated because before I could go to Oxford I had to go to my bank’s ATM and punch out some money for fuel and to pay for the shoes.
At the first branch I went to they were fussing with their ATM and had a sign saying it was ‘temporarily’ out of order. Rather than drive all over town looking for an ATM that was ‘in order’ I drove back to my office, went online and called a few branches to see who had an ATM that was ‘in order.’
Once I found a working ATM and got my money I headed to a nearby gas station. I made a point of going to one of the few full-service stations still operating so I could also get someone to check my oil, before my long trip to Oxford. After filling my tank and doing the dipstick routine the attendant came around to my window and asked when I last had my oil changed.
“That’s right!” I said. “I need an oil change.”
So, I paid for my gas and headed to one of those quick-change oil places and got in line. Did you know that those oil places not only drain your old oil and pour in fresh oil and give you a new oil filter, but they also make sure all your belts and hoses are in good shape and all the fluid levels under your hood are on the level and right where they’re supposed to be?
I always feel so good when I drive out of those oil places, don’t you?
Maybe I wasn’t getting my writing done but the things that were getting done were important.
Now that I had a full tank of fuel and fresh new oil in my engine block and had been assured that my belts and hoses were fine and my fluid levels were fabulous I could now drive to Oxford in complete confidence.
It was a few days later that I finally got back to writing. I can’t say how the piece turned out but no matter how bad it was at least I couldn’t blame my footwear.
John McDonald is a humorist and storyteller who performs regularly
throughout New England. John’s e-mail address is
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