Who’s Got Time?

Bill Kent

November 1998

(An environmental parable.)

(You probably don’t have time to read this, right?)

It’s the week before Thanksgiving and you haven’t started shopping yet. Aunt Martha is allergic to cranberries, and little Susie just announced she’s become a Vegan. How the heck do you plan a holiday meal to satisfy everybody? Not to mention that we’re really short on cash this month, and the credit cards are maxed out. Are we going to have to extend our line of credit just to cover Thanksgiving dinner?

Aunt Martha? Oh, my God, they’re going to be staying with us for Thanksgiving weekend, and we haven’t even bought the sofa bed for the guest room. And we better hope it doesn’t rain – or maybe we really should fix that leak in the roof right over the guest room.

You’re going on a business trip when? You’re kidding. You won’t be back until when? Thanks a lot. Yeah, I know, thank your boss for me, too.

Wait a minute, who’s going to take Jimmy to his soccer game?

Just a minute, Frankie, we’re talking right now. What? He sprained what? Honey, is there any way you could take him to the doctor this morning?

What was I saying? Oh yeah, that bonus you were going to get. What’s happened to it? We could really use it right now to cover the Thanksgiving expenses, the sofa bed, and the roof repair, not to mention Christmas shopping.

Christmas shopping? Oh, geez. When am I even going to get the Christmas cards out? And how am I ever going to figure out what to get for who? Not that we can afford a whole lot.

The roof? Come on, did you forget? We talked about it, when was it, right after the big rains last April. Oh, speaking of rain, some guy came by yesterday and said there’s a lot of loose debris up there on the hill. Big heaps of loose dirt and big boulders and fallen trees right on the steep part. He said we need to build a retaining wall behind the house and dig some diversion channels. He says there could be a real big mud slide if we get another big rain storm.

I don’t know, I’m not sure we need to worry about that right now. It probably won’t even happen. Chicken Little, you know? We can’t really afford it right now anyhow. And with all this holiday stuff, who’s got the time?