funny humor column mcawesome

Much Ado about 'To Do'

Failure. Now available in convenient list form.

by Dave McAwesome

Occasionally I'll put together a 'to do' list. It's just something I like to do. Helps me organize the 'heres' and 'theres' of the day. Plus I have a bad memory, and there are times when I'll forget I even made the goddamn list in the first place.

Last week, I made a 'to do' list. About a half dozen items. I wrote it on Sunday between the Jets and Giants games. The idea was to watch the games, read a bit, listen to the night game on the radio, and then hit the list first thing Monday morning.

On Friday at about noon, I am walking crosstown about an hour's travel from my list and I realize I haven't done a single thing on it. I've done things NOT on it, but the whole point of a list is that it contains items that ought to be done in a timely fashion. Little point, really, in creating a list of untimely items. Like: (1) Travel some unspecified future date. (2) Investigate the origin of the NFL quarterback passer rating. (3) Start smoking. This is an unhelpful list. It is a benefit to nobody, except perhaps the travel, library and tobacco industries...and even then only marginally.

It's an awful feeling. I have a mental image of the list. So naked. Just words. No comforting Xs and scribbled crisscross skritchings through otherwise innocent iterations of vocabulary. And so the creeping terror snakes its way up the gut. It's like you're talking to a girl with serious ex-boyfriend issues, and you KNOW you shouldn't buy her a beer, but you do it anyway. Probably 'cause you're lonely and depressed and the creeping terror has coiled around your stomach. You know you shouldn't. And yet there she is drinking the beer on your coin, touching your hand as she chatters in glowing terms about her ex. And yet there's the list. Clean and un-crossed-off. What kind of fear-fueled paralysis clutches my brain at times such as these? Ugly days, indeed. A clumsy pattern of irresponsibility.

A little after noon on Friday, I write a new 'to do' list. It is only one item long. It reads: write about 'to do' list failure. Friday evening. A bar. Beer bottles are emptying. I fold a few pages of scribblings into my pocket. I cross off the single item on the list.

A few famous 'to do' lists:

Well, there you go. No sense in my continuing. You see how the joke goes.

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