Better to do one thing supremely well than many badly. Anonymous
I stepped over to the trash can in the kitchen and dropped a cupcake paper into it. To my amazement, it missed the opening and fell to the floor, where I had to pick it up and try, more successfully, to toss it into the bin. Two-time’s the charm, I noted.
A bit later I tossed a used tissue into the trash and, like its paper cousin, it went straight to the floor, rather than into the receptacle. Once again I found myself trundling off into the kitchen to retrieve the wayward wad of detritus, putting it more directly into its intended repository.
Being of scientific bent – or at least having bent over a number of times I’d have preferred not to – I proceeded to contemplate the reasons for my kitchen trash can to repel everything I was tossing its way.
The fact is I have an infuriating habit of routinely missing targets. Even when I stand directly over the dust bin to drop something in, it goes astray. A tiny piece of it will stick to my thumb or finger and as soon as I let go – bombs away – it veers off target and hits the floor.
My aim is so bad I am truly amazed I have never been nominated for “Miss” America. When it comes to missing, I am not only a professional, but in a class all my own.
Speaking of class, when I was in school, it was not unusual to miss a class every now and then. And when I attended class, it wasn’t unusual for me to miss the point of my being there. These days it would be called hyperactive attention deficit disorder, but in my day it was called Not Paying Attention. Fortunately, I was never sent to the principal’s office; I was too principled for that.
Actually, that’s not quite true. I did get called to the principal’s office once. A neighborhood busy-body had gone to the school to report I had been throwing rocks at a house. Her claim (and this is true) was completely false!
I should probably explain.
The day before this most unpleasant (and unfounded) inquisition, my brother and I and our good friend Mark had been killing time a few blocks from home, engaged in a conversation, the substance of which eludes me now.
As we chatted, we picked up grains of sands (and I am not exaggerating – nothing larger than a bb gun BB) and were mindlessly tossing them against a rockery beside which we were standing and talking.
As we yakked, this woman came screeching to a halt in her Cadillac, jumped out like an Imperial Storm Trooper, and screamed, “What are you hooligans doing?”
Well, both Mark and my brother took off running in different directions (doing a three minute mile, I might add), leaving me to stand there alone with Darth Vader’s older sister.
I told her we weren’t doing anything, but when she saw my companions doing an imitation of the Pamplona Bull Run, she presumed the worst, and so she asked my name, what school I went to, and insisted we were throwing rocks at the house on the other side of the wall (a claim I most vehemently denied. Besides, if I had been, I would have missed anyway. So: No Harm, No Foul – Right?).
She told me she was a good friend of my principal, and assured me I hadn’t heard the last of this incident, which was true.
The next day I was called into the principal’s office, and there she sat in the corner, smirking like the proverbial cat with bird in maw. In a matter of seconds, I explained what my brother, friend, and I had been doing (using small words so Miss Nosey would understand), protested my innocence clearly and unequivocally, and after about ten seconds of deliberations, was allowed to return to class completely vindicated of any and all wrong-doing.
I had told the truth, and being innocent, I couldn’t miss being acquitted. I learned that from watching Perry Mason – a show our family would never miss.
Momma always said, “When you tell the truth, you don’t have to have a good memory.” That is “can’t miss” advice in this, our valley.