Gee I love getting stuff ready to take to work and then forgetting it.
Lucky really, because I do it often enough.
It might be a tutu I have to drop off at ballet on the way in, or it might be my joggers, or my wallet.
The permutations are endless but the process is inevitably the same.
I put the item/items in a prominent spot so I can’t miss them on the way out the door.
I plaster a stick-it note to my forehead.
I cue a reminder alarm on my mobile.
And I place a canary in the car programmed to die at the first signs of forgetfulness.
Then I walk straight past the stuff, jump in the car and head off oblivious ... yet again.
What amuses me in retrospect – because it rarely seems funny at the time – is when non-realisation (happy) collides with realisation (agitated).
Usually near Donald Street bridge at Hamilton.
I’m cruising along in the car feeling charitable about annoying stuff like red lights, P-platers and guys who try to overtake me on the inside.
Then I scratch my nose and the stick-it note falls off.
I check the mobile and the alarm’s on snooze.
And a quick glance at the cage confirms a dead canary.
Suddenly the sunny side of the street is shrouded in darkness and I have to ask myself, am I halfway to work or halfway home?
The answer often depends on the payload left behind.
Some stuff has ‘‘consequences’’ and fear of those consequences can be motivational.
But first a period of self-recrimination.
I might beat myself up about my malfunctioning brain.
It worked good enough to get the stuff organised.
But then it switched off.
Or got distracted.
Or is defective.
I might tell myself it’s not healthy to beat myself up.
Particularly when I’m driving.
Then I might counter argue that sometimes you need a rocket.
And who best to deliver that rocket if not me?
Ultimately there comes a time when you’ve got to ‘focus’, and not just because you’re in a school zone.
I’ll start prioritising worst-case scenarios.
What’s it matter if I fail to drop a tutu off at ballet?
Most likely it will trigger a phone call from a stranded child questioning my credentials as a father.
Prima facie, that’s bad.
Worse still if that call is to the child’s mother who then has to drop off the tutu for me.
Let’s make that No.1 worse-case scenario with a bullet.
Moving right along. No one needs to know about the joggers except me and the fitness demons in my head.
‘‘It’ll just mean the health kick has been put off another day,’’ one demon might say.
‘‘Yes, you fat, lazy pig!’’ another might add with typical sensitivity.
‘‘Perhaps in doing nothing the path to fitness will be revealed,’’ offers a third.
‘‘More likely fatness,’’ quips a fourth.
And so it goes.
Pipe down demons, I’m trying to concentrate.
The wallet’s an issue.
Apart from it being illegal to drive without your licence, you’ll need to pay for parking.
Remember the last ticket you tried to smother?
How it turned up in your letterbox?
Talk about busted.
Complex considerations and time’s running out.
It’s hard to recall what happens next, but often it involves a hand-breaky into oncoming traffic and a quick zip back home.
That can generate pretty bad karma what with tyres squealing and horns blaring.
But, hey, I just tell myself “forget it’’.
No problem, really.
That comes naturally.
How often have you left stuff behind at home?