Thursday, May 17, 2007

the oar

I was getting ready to go to the movie theater with Ray to watch some new movie. I put on a pair of shorts and realized that I didn’t have a clean shirt to wear. I brushed my teeth, grabbed my keys, and headed to Wal-Mart to get a new shirt. It was about 8am on a weekday and for some reason I didn’t have to work that day. I walked into the store shirtless and headed toward the men’s department, but something was amiss. The entire place was swarming with stay-at-home moms and I was the only guy in the whole store. As I neared the men’s shirts, I saw a rack that had button-up short sleeve plaid shirts for $2. Apparently, during the night, Wal-Mart discounts all of their clothes that they need to get rid of, and every weekday morning, all the women that don’t work rush in to buy up all the cheap stuff. The things you learn at Wal-Mart…
Anyway, I buy my shirt, put it on, and head home to wait for Ray to pick me up. As I’m waiting, Johanne pulls up in a truck and asks me if I can carve an oar out of wood for one of his friends. Apparently, he had promised a friend that he would have one for him today, but he had procrastinated and now he needed help. I lectured him for awhile about being self-motivated and avoiding procrastination, but I finally agreed to help him out. To make my job easier, I sawed off a branch from a nearby oak that was already sort-of oar-shaped. I used my saw to start flattening out one end of the branch while Johanne sat and watched me. As I was sawing away, my neighbor came out and asked me if she could borrow some dog food for her dogs. They were leaving for vacation today in their RV and they had forgotten to buy a new bag of dog food for the trip. They wanted to get on the road as soon as possible and didn’t want to have to make a stop just for dog food. I went inside, grabbed the bag I had just opened, and brought it out to her. She thanked me and headed back over to her house.
I worked on the oar until Ray came to pick me up. I then handed it over to Johanne to finish it. At first he protested, but I wasn’t about to do the entire thing for him. He needed to learn that waiting until the last minute to do something has a consequence. I hopped in Ray’s truck and we headed off to the theater.