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I have a lot to do … and now it’s time for bed

Burt's Eye View

“What’s that quote about distractions?” she asked. “Something about monsters and bugs.”

I picked up my smartphone — actually, I already was holding it; the thing seems to be stuck to my palm — and tapped the screen. “Life is a hailstorm of distractions. It’s not the monster that stops us but the mosquito. By Robert G. Allen.”

“Yeah, that’s the one,” she said. “What was that from?”

“Hang on,” I said. “Ralph just texted me.”

“Text isn’t a verb,” she said. She started scrolling through the screens on her smartphone.

I tapped my reply to Ralph.

“Why don’t you just call him?” she said. “It would be faster.”

“What? And let ol’ Ralph distract me from today’s to-do list? No way. I’m too busy.”

She waved her phone at me. “Look, I told you ‘texted’ is not a verb.”

“You didn’t check the right sites,” I said. “Let me look that up … Oh, wait, YouTube just popped up with a clip from ‘Get Smart.’ It was my favorite back in 1965, ’66.”

For the next 40 minutes, I reminisced with Maxwell Smart, Secret Agent 86, which lead me to other suggested YouTube clips — “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.,” “Mr. Ed,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “The Monkees” and “Batman.”

A chime interrupted. “My Facebook message alert.” I toggled that screen and snorted. “Look at this meme Ralphie sent me.”

It was a photo of the side of a cliff that had fallen onto the road below. Above the photo were the words: “Police are investigating a suspicious incident on a motorway and would like to speak to a Mr. Wile E. Coyote.”

“Did you see this one?” she said. “It’s truth.”

The one-panel Aunty Acid cartoon proclaimed, “Nobody lives in false hope more than a mom who places items on the stairs for her family members to take up.”

I chuckled. “What else do we have?”

I tapped my screen. I found a picture of a toddler talking on a toy telephone: “So today in church, a guy in a dress tried to drown me, and I kid you not, my family just stood there taking pictures.”

On a picture of rumpled sheets and blankets: “I set my alarm early enough so I have time to lie in bed and be sad about having to get up.”

Over a swirly backdrop: “Have we tried unplugging 2020, waiting 10 seconds and plugging it back in?”

“Hold up, what’s this?” I almost rolled right past the site boasting the best I-don’t-work-here-lady stories. I clicked. And read aloud for the next 20 minutes.

“… ‘This is a McDonald’s uniform, lady. I can’t sell you stamps because this is the post office and I don’t work here!'” I wiped tears of mirth from my eyes. “Clueless folks waste so much of other folks’ time.”

“I wonder what this one is about,” she said. A page on her phone practically shouted, “Take our four-minute free personality test to discover your strengths and talents.”

“As if an Internet test could be accurate,” she scoffed.

“Let’s find out,” I said. I clicked “Begin.”

A bell clanged. “What’s that?”

“The clock,” she said. “It’s time for bed.”

“Already? But I haven’t done anything yet.”

“I hear a mosquito,” she said.

And just like that, I was distracted.

• Distract Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or at BurtonWCole on Twitter. He’s probably already checking those sites on his smartphone.

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