For All You Time Wasters –DeWese

MANY, MANY years ago, when we had no chores, when we weren’t in church, or when we weren’t building barrels or making wagon wheels, we would play tic tac toe or connect the dots by the light of the one bulb in our ceiling. Sometimes, we would play hangman. You know the game. You pick a word like “heifer,” which is spelled with six letters. Then, you make six blanks on the paper and draw a hangman’s platform. The other person guesses a letter and, if he misses, you draw one element of the hanging scene. If you finish the scene with a stick man hanging from a noose before your opponent spells the word, you win.

My Pa would show up and pontificate from his soap box, “How can you waste your time with that ‘damn tom foolery?’ You can never get this time back. A minute saved is a minute earned. Now, git out there and feed the chickens.”

Pa would light in to me about being a “laggard,” That name “Laggard the Louse” stuck for a long time, until the mid-1980s, while I was writing for this very magazine. A snooty editor called me the “Mañana Man,” referring to the fact that I was 11 days late with my column. She assumed that I ‘no habla español,’ so I wouldn’t be insulted. Little did she know that I had taken Spanish 1 three times while I was procrastinating my way through college. Unfortunately, I never passed the course, but I did learn to order food, drink and the meaning of Mañana.

Tune Out the Bad

I came by Mañana Man honestly. In my younger days, I perfected making sales calls while totally unprepared and sometimes hung over. Luckily, the good Lord blessed me with spontaneity, good questioning skills and superb listening skills. As I have said so many times that some of you may want to throw up: “I listened my way into more sales than I ever talked my way into.”

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