Caution: Distracted writer at, uh, work

Ha! I’ve finally outwitted the distractions. You’ll have my column in a minute.

I’m writing from the library because I can’t get a thing done at the office or home. Both places pack too many annoyances per square inch.

At the office, bosses constantly yell stupid stuff, like, “Wake up,” or “That’s your third lunch break today.” It’s a wonder any work gets done at all.

At home, I’m surrounded by pesky exasperations such as the garage I meant to clean out and that old hunk of furniture I promised my wife I’d move. Six months ago. With all those distractions, I barely can concentrate on the TV game shows, much less try to remember where I left my column notes.

But here at the library in rustic Middlefield, I’m surrounded by peace. Quiet. And books. Thousands and thousands of books. Say, I wonder if that new Patrick F. McManus title is in. Hold on a sec-

OK, I’m back. What a great volume of essays. There was the one about when Pat and the old woodsman Rancid Crabtree go fishing and-

What? My column? Coming right up. Because I can do that now that I’ve escaped distractions. Let me slip on my headphones and-

Oops, I forgot to grab a couple CDs from the shelves over there around the corner from the magazines. Excuse me a moment-

There. It takes a while to pick just the right writing music. Once I popped in Huey Lewis and the News while writing a health story and the sentence came out, “Dr. Newsome inserts the needle into the hip to be square, yeah, it’s hip to be square.” See, the song lyrics mingled with the medical, and I thought my editor was going to blow a gasket, and-

What’s that? The column? I told you, I’m on it. That’s the beauty of no distractions.

Hey look, another horse and buggy trotted past the window. I wonder if I should trade my fuel-thirsty car for a horse. There’s nowhere I wanted to go in a hurry. Of course, hay and oats aren’t cheap. Hmm, the library has wi-fi. Let me Google those prices-

Huh? Yeah, I guess it has been a few minutes. But you gotta see this YouTube video of the horse driving a car. It’s the funniest-

Right. My column. I’m just about ready to get started. Right after I corral a hot chocolate. Isn’t it cool that this library has a coffee machine? Odd, though, that coffee and hot chocolate come from the same-

OK, I’m going, I’m going!

There, I’m back. What took so long? Well, I noticed this Donald Duck comic book, er, graphic novel over there. I just look at the pictures. Sigh. All right, so I read a few comic books. I’m a humor writer. It’s research. And now I’m ready to write my-

Wait, I forgot to check at the circulation desk to see if the recorded book I have on hold came in. See, it’s the new Dee Henderson novel, and Terry and I like to listen to stories in the car because-

Hey, stop harping. How can I concentrate if you keep distracting me about the, what is it again? Oh yeah, the column. Let me just open the laptop and-

Now what? Closed for the day? Already? But I’ve only been here- Whoa! When did all those hours sneak past?

Tell you what, I’ll write my column when I get back to the office tomorrow. There are way too many distractions here.

—- Distract Cole at or at the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.