Here is a piece I did early in my tenure here. It got two rates and one comment, and that was from my daughter-in-law who introduced me to OS and then promptly dropped out.
This piece is a personal favorite of mine and I was disappointed it didn't do better, but I seem to have a tin ear for such things.
I like the structure of it. It isn't a belly laugh job but is, I hope, a fun summer read, a time when people are putting off chores to grab a little hammock time. I hope you enjoy:
I love it when the flotsam of someone else’s life washes up on the rocky shore of my existence.
I found someone’s old to-do list in the library book I was reading. Not yet wholly absorbed in the book, I mulled over this trivial little list and wondered what I could deduce about the person who wrote it.
THE EVIDENCE OF THE BOOK
The book, “The Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal and the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic" by Robert L. O’Connell, recounts the bloodiest battle in ancient western history during which Hannibal’s horde surrounded the largest Roman army ever assembled and proceeded to hack, stab, and slash to death 48,000 of its members. Clearly, this will never make Oprah’s Book Club. It’s a guy book all the way right down to the detailed description of how to eviscerate someone with a sword.
THE EVIDENCE OF THE PAPER
The note paper on which the list is written, however, is decorated with hearts and a big pair of red lips and has a headline that reads: “Love Makes the World Go Round.” So our list writer could now be either a very bloody minded woman going through a bitter divorce vicariously enjoying the violent death of 48,000 men, or a very secure male. I am not particularly insecure, but this is not the paper I would choose to write my order list on for the guys down at the lumber yard.
THE EVIDENCE OF THE LIST
Here is what is on the list:
paint front door (struck through)
look at patios
shirts (illegible) (struck through)
There is not too much to learn about our writer here. None of these chores are gender specific like “take out the garbage” or “get nails done.” All of these items could easily be on my list, except ironing. I don’t iron. I don’t even fold. I am happy being wrinkled. However, I do windows, am a regular Hannibal when it comes to hacking at bushes and weeds, and like nothing better then spending a Saturday afternoon creeping around yards looking at patios.
I also make lists. Based on a recent experience, I am starting a new one called “Don’t Ever Do That Again List.” The first item is going to be "don’t eat a hard boiled egg and wash it down with prune juice before taking a six mile walk."
Suddenly, it all became clear and I understood the list. It is what I call a Coffee Cup list or what is more commonly known as a Honey Do list. Each morning, next to my coffee cup on the kitchen counter, my wife leaves a list of things she “requests” that I do during the day.
Our reader painted the door, did whatever to the shirts and decided that enough was enough; he was going to lean back in the old chaise lounge and absorb a little historic mayhem. Using his beloved’s “little list” as his bookmark was a nice touch. I like this guy and wonder if he got to finish the book, or at least got to the gory part, before his wife got home and made him move the refrigerator.