Better Never Than Late

Usually I’m a ‘do-it-now’ type, mostly because I have a shitty memory and if I don’t ‘do it now’, I’ll forget about it forever.  Or, if not forever, at least until somebody says, “Weren’t you supposed to have done that last week/month/year?”

But sometimes I know that a task needs to be done, and I just can’t bring myself to do it.  Usually I suck it up and do it anyway after a bit of procrastination, but sometimes… I just… don’t.  Even though I know I should.

For example:

My step-mom lives over 2,000 kilometres away, so I only get to visit her about twice a year.  When I was there a couple of years ago I made cioppino (a kind of seafood soup/stew) for supper.  The leftovers got stashed in the fridge, and the next day I went home.

Six months later, I was back.  My step-mom lives alone, but she has two fridges.  And what did I find, lurking at the very back of the very bottom shelf of the fridge that rarely gets used?

You guessed it.  That bowl of leftover cioppino.  Covered with clear plastic wrap that displayed all its grotty black edges and fuzzy white spots, while sealing in what was undoubtedly the stench to end all stenches.

But I didn’t deal with it right away.  I was only there for a few days, and we were busy.  I forgot all about the Black-Death-In-A-Bowl.  (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

Six months later…

It was still there.

I’m not normally squeamish.  In our household I’m the one who guts the fish, butchers the meat, bandages the wounds, and cleans up the vomit.  But I avoided The Bowl That Shall Not Be Named.  I didn’t even mention it to my step-mom, because that would have meant admitting I had known it was there all along… and then one of us would have to deal with it.

A few days later I cravenly fled home.  Cringing with shame, but not ashamed enough to actually deal with that vessel of festering putrefaction.

Six months later…

It was gone.  I heaved a huge but secret sigh of relief and said nothing.

Later I was yakking on the phone to my niece, who had been out to visit my step-mom just before I’d made my latest visit.  “Yeah, we cleaned out the fridge,” she said blithely.  “There was a bowl in there that was just…”

I burst out laughing.  “That was you?  You finally dealt with the bowl?”  I confessed the whole sordid story and added, “I just couldn’t bear to open that up and wash out the bowl.  You’re a better woman than I.”

She started laughing, too.  “No, I’m not.  I buried it.”

Buried it?  Bowl and all?”

“Yep.  I just carried the whole thing out behind the shed and dug a hole and put it in.  I nearly puked when I covered it over and it squished up through the dirt…”

By then we were crying with laughter.  Dang, I wish I’d thought of that solution a year ago!

So, tomorrow I leave for my step-mom’s again.  By the time I arrive she’ll have read this and I’ll have to offer my abject apologies; but I can’t promise I’ll never do it again.

And I think cioppino is permanently off the menu.

What your finest example of procrastination?

23 thoughts on “Better Never Than Late

  1. You’re too busy writing the “Spy” series but, if you ever need to branch out, you could consider a cook book. With items like “Black-Death-in-a-Bowl” and “The Bowl That Shall No Be Named,” how can you go wrong?


  2. Just finished the latest and enjoyed it as much as I have the others. Can’t wait for the next one to see what happens to our girl. Once I started on it not much else got done. I couldn’t find a “good” stopping place.


  3. My finest example of procrastination? There are so many I can’t choose just one. I hang my head in shame.

    But that bowl of blech you never ended up dealing with is quite impressive. I would never have thought of burying it!!


    • Me, neither. I suspect it’s because I was brought up by parents who lived through the Depression. I would never, ever throw away a perfectly good bowl. Even if it was full of toxic waste and I’d never really want to eat anything out of that bowl again anyway… 😉


  4. I’m currently at 16% of kiss and say good spy. I’m loving it so far. I’ve had a week of Bond and I’m currently at film 19. I’ve had a great week off.

    I’ve even managed to write an email hehe it only took me all week, I wouldn’t say I put things off but I can always find a way to avoid things if I don’t want to do them.


      • a week for an email is nothing its taking me well actually I’m kinda still trying to write it so its over two weeks to write a letter to an ex well ok on/off other person. don’t you just hate it when you can’t think of a word to descried someone. the closer it gets to him coming back into my life the harder it is to put words on a page or I think it is anyway

        sorry you prob didn’t need to know all that but I feel better for sharing it


  5. I once found a bowl full of gross, unidentifiable growth under my son’s bed. Needless to say I just chucked it out. Never thought to bury it! Just think, 500 years from now, archaeologists might dig up the bowl of cioppino. 😄


    • LOL! They’ll be wondering what kind of ritual sacrifice it was. I admit, I think about that possibility whenever I read about new archaeological discoveries – who’s to say that the pharaoh’s tombs weren’t just the equivalent of today’s mini-storage units? Somewhere there’s the shade of an ancient Egyptian scoffing, “Sacrifices to the gods? You’ve gotta be kidding me! I was just hiding that stuff where my parole officer couldn’t find it…”

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I used to be a procrastinator. But I’ve reformed…pretty much. At worst, I’d only cop to amateurcrastinator.

    That’s my story, and it’s sticking to me. Er, whatever.

    I’m only at the 12% mark in Kiss And Say Good Spy. Ordinarily I’d be done by now and shouting accolades. Alas, I haven’t even finished the binge-read of the other eleven this time. This summer hasn’t been one of my better ones, all things considered, but there was a recent bright spot. Our Nigerian son is teaching petroleum engineering at a university overseas, and we have not seen him in almost five years. He and his family are vacationing in the U.S. We got to meet his lovely wife and little daughter for the first time! They spent the weekend with us, and we had a marvelous time with them.

    We’d known they were coming for several weeks so the refrigerator was clean. Yep, it was a biology-experiment-free zone…when they arrived. Further, deponent sayeth not. 🙂

    And I notithe that, er, notithe hath been therved about the thoon-to-be Book 13. Thweet, thithta!


  7. I enjoyed this post, laughed out loud.

    By the way, Opal Magazine is published my short story in the September issue.

    Cheers to Phil,




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