Nothing spells trouble like a deadline around the corner with a case of writer’s block camped out in the driveway like Cousin Eddie in “Christmas Vacation.”
It ain’t going anywhere. And there’s a good chance something is gonna explode. So you’d think the family would help me out a little bit, right?
Wednesday. 7:14 p.m. Four days before deadline. Geesh. Even God had seven. Six if you don't count his day off.
“Do flies poop?”
The question, uttered by my five-year-old son, popped up just as I sat to write my weekly column.
It’s like he’s watching me on closed-circuit video and pounces just when he thinks things are starting to get interesting.
My fingers frozen above ASDF JKL; and there they stayed. I turned toward the royal heir and stumbled through my response, “Uh…er…what?”
He replied, “I was reading a book about flies and wanted to know if they poop. ‘Cuz it wasn’t in the book.”
The mom in me was THRILLED the little guy was reading something on his own, without threat of death or confiscation of future Halloween candy hanging above his little blonde head.
But the wife (and writer) in me who didn’t want further interruptions simply responded with wisdom passed down through the timeless ages of parenthood.
“Go ask your father.”
Thursday. 4:12 p.m.
We arrive home from school. I set up the little guy with SpongeBob SquarePants and instructions not to bother me unless the house was on fire.
And only then if he can’t remember where the fire extinguisher was.
I sit at the desk, turn on the computer and click open a blank page. And away we go….
A poke to my shoulder registers a brief moment before “I’m hungry. What can I have to eat?” reaches my ears.
For the love of all that is holy!
“Are you freakin’ kidding me?” I asked with the minimal amount of love I was capable of at that moment.
Sure, it didn’t sound too loving, but I thought not shooting death rays from my eyes showed remarkable restraint on my part.
I should get a medal or something.
Sunday. 9:05 p.m.
I sat in bed, laptop across…well…my lap and running the risk of getting Toasted Leg Syndrome. Leave it to the media with waaaay too much time on their hands to come up with this happy term. Seriously. It sounds like something you’d make with s’mores and top off with a beer.
Chuckling at the irony of not being able to use a laptop directly on my lap top, I proceeded to get down to the business of writing.
My husband, settling in for an early night of beauty sleep, plopped down beside me, pulled the covers up to his neck, rolled onto his side and commenced snoring immediately.
He had no cares. No column to write. No deadline looming over his head. I envied his guilt-free conscience, allowing him an easy route to blissful slumber.
I’d love to clock him with a pillow right about now.
Just as I began reaching for said pillow, the dog bounded on the bed and began boofing for all she was worth.
“The dog has to go outside,” I lamented to my hubby. “I’ll give you a million dollars to go downstairs and let her out.”
“You don’t have a million dollars,” was his muffled response.
Mentally counting the money left in my wallet I asked, “How’s $12 sound to you?”
Silence. “Sounds like you’re going downstairs.”
Monday. 7:02 a.m.
“OK, it’s crunch time,” I wailed. “I need a column idea. Now.”
My husband chuckled with a non-surprising lack of sympathy.
“Careful,” I cautioned. “I suggest you not mess with me today. I come from a long line of people one does NOT mess with.”
He smirked and answered, “Your ancestors were Irish and German. The only thing you’re gonna do is pour a whiskey and start a war somewhere.”
OK. Good point.
“Hey, there’s also some Native American flowing through my veins,” I countered. “At the risk of sounding insensitive, I could scalp you. Or, at the very least, crack a peace pipe over your head.”
“That doesn’t sound very peaceful,” he cracked back.
And there’s my column….