February 18, 2011


by Amanda Mae’s assertion of her well-attested gift for concocting unrelated alternate realities when under the gun of a deadline,

and by the joy I have this day derived from emailing and Facebook-posting about: Cold War civil defense PSAs featuring clumsy marionettes endeavoring to convey dubious information to America’s farmers; the wonder of wieners: their inclusion in bento boxes and the variety of their presentation to customers of Danish wienie wagons; the oddity of Little Oscar, the world’s smallest chef and spokesman for Oscar-Mayer; and countless other curiosities,

I extend my heartfelt thanks to all the friends who have contributed to my delinquency and enabled my avoidance of work for yet another day.

You know, the mid-twentieth-century American humorist Robert Benchley wrote a delicious essay on this topic. It would appear (at least in his case) that the late-1920s version of fooling around online was apparently leafing through back issues of the National Geographic and clipping odd and arresting images. In the essay he writes about his efforts to avoid tackling a theater review or other assigned piece, saying, “I have a picture of a viper fish I wish you could see. You would die laughing.”


  1. Carole Corlew on February 18th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    The deep south equivalent was (and sometimes still is) lolling under a shade tree drinking iced tea, carrying on about this and that. Loafing on a bench outside the country store, waiting for someone to walk by to add to the conversation. Sitting on the front porch swing, waving to cars driving by.

  2. Rick Neece on February 18th, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Cece said, Lolling.

  3. Sheila Ryan on February 18th, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    The secret of my incredible energy and efficiency in getting work done is a simple one. I have based it very deliberately on a well-known psychological principle and have refined it so that it is now almost too refined. I shall have to begin coarsening it up again pretty soon.

    The psychological principle is this: anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.

    From “How to Get Things Done.” Robert Benchley.