The Madwoman's Journal
Copyright 1998 New Moon
-- all rights reserved --

  Prev 9 September 98

There are nine and sixty ways
of constructing tribal lays,
and every single one of them is right.
-- Rudyard Kipling

A kid went down to the dump intending to practice using his newly acquired wrist rocket (slingshot). When he got there, he discovered that someone else had been before him-- and whoever it was had been a very good shot. A piece of plaster wall board had been set up, and little target circles had been drawn all over the board. Dead in the center of each drawn circle there was a ding denoting a hit.

The kid set up his own piece of wall board next to the other, drew some circles, gathered up a bunch of suitable stones, and began to practice. He wasn't anywhere as near as good a shot as the unknown shooter, but he kept drawing new circles and trying his best to hit them dead center-- obviously, practice could make perfect, so he kept shooting. A while later, he was startled when a voice behind him said, "You're doing it all wrong, sonny." He turned to find an old, old lady watching him.

"Are you the marksman?" he asked her, indicating the first target board. "Yep," she replied. "Your're really good," he said. "Could you teach me?" The old, old lady regarded him for a moment, then said, "Takes most folks a lifetime to learn--" "Please," the kid begged. "Well... I guess. Might do you some good at that." And she pulled a slingshot out of her back pocket. She picked up a handful of stones and took a stance, saying, "Now, watch close, sonny." And without further ado she fired the stones, one after the other, at the plaster wall board he had set up. The kid watched, dumfounded, as not one stone hit any of the circles.

"I thought you said you were the marskman--" the kid began accusingly, but she held her hand up to silence him, saying, "Keep your shirt on, sonny. I ain't done, yet." She walked over to the board, and from her shirt pocket she took a piece of red chalk and proceeded to draw circles around each of the dings that marked her hits. Stepping back she said, "There's a lesson for you, sonny. Try not to forget it." And off she went.

To Do List:

   Get up
   Brush teeth
   Eat something
   Play back phone messages
   Water & feed plants
   Wash out stain in white shirt
   Look over meeting notes
   Ponder proof Fermat's Last Theorem
   Take shower
   Get dressed
   Call Jon
   Ignore message from idiot
   Ignore message from headhunter
   Potter around house
   Write some
   Read some
   Help Peter close up shop
   Visit Ma
   Take out Ma's trash
   Eat dinner
   Do writing research
   Take nap
   Watch X-Files rerun
   Call Denny
   Change bed
   Do laundry
   Take boxes to basement
   Tie up catalogues
   Put out trash
   Answer e-mail
   Update Peter's website
   Fix website glitches noticed yesterday
   Add guestbook to home page
   Write journal entry
   Put entry on website

Obviously, some ways are better than others. Once one learns the proper procedure for creating a To Do List, a 100% "check off" rate is assured.



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