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The following article was posted on January 29th, 2014, in the New Times - Volume 28, Issue 27 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 28, Issue 27

Cougars & Mustangs

BY CHRIS WHITE-SANBORN


There was once an oracle who liked to make predictions about himself just as much as predictions about others, if not even more. “I will become more powerful than any other magical being. I will be the first oracle to solve the Riddle of the Ampersand. I will start a coffee shop so successful that a billion dollar franchise will be assured.”

One day, the other local oracles, at one of their bimonthly meetings in the shack behind the laundromat, having noticed his absent chair, began having a very intellectual discussion titled “Let’s talk about that one guy behind his back.” They had once been in agreement that he showed much promise and talent and had an inspiring self-confidence. After four meetings of the same prophesies, they began asking about his progress. Such progress seemed nonexistent.

“He’s a blowhard,” one oracle said. “Nearly all oracles suffer ridicule of their soothsaying, but it’s usually because people are stubborn and refuse to see what’s lying in front of their own eyes, or think they are smarter than the spirits! We make fun of his prophesies because if they refer to himself they’re really just a bunch of boasts.” Another chimed in, “I’m aware he could be pretty good if he tried, but he gets easily distracted, whether that is his fault or not. He’s not applying himself.”

“Besides,” said another, looking up from his cell phone, “coffee shops are so anachronistic!”

Over time, the oracle our story centers on would find random people on the street giving HIM prophesy.

“If you don’t start working on that stuff now, it’ll never get done.”

“The Riddle of the Ampersand, if left unsolved, will spell certain doom for you. Why would you want to crash and burn?”

Unfortunately, he had by this point already become such a junkie of pleasant daydreams that he had trouble remembering he had to make them happen in the first place. As he struggled with remembering how to grind coffee beans, he suddenly came to a horrifying realization. “By the deities-present-in-the-mythos-of-this-story! I’ve become such a bad procrastinator that I’m like a COLLEGE STUDENT!”

 From that point on he set alarms for himself on his phone to remind him to get assignments done on time. He told all his friends about his problem so that they’d remember to be supportive while not letting him get out of hand again. The Riddle of the Ampersand still exploded, though.

Intern Chris White-Sanborn is looking for your best tips on how to combat procrastination. Send them to cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com.