Bob can’t tame his paper tiger

Bob can't tame his paper tiger I've created a bureaucracy, and I don't know how to get out of it.

I can't even blame it on my wife � as husbands usually try to do � because it's all my fault.

Maybe if I write about it, the problem will go away. They tell me that the first thing I've got to do is admit it � and putting it on paper is Step One.

Okay, so I'm guilty of dragging my feet. Besides that, I find myself doing useless things when I should be concentrating on something worthwhile, like writing another book, Phyllis says.

My desk top is covered with unread papers which I shuffle back and forth, never getting rid of them. Adding to the clutter are books which I want to read � but don't. Strewn about are letters to answer, clippings to file and facts which I might need "some day."

I'm engulfed, that's what I am!

No wonder Phyllis calls my cluttered room a boar's nest. I just can't throw anything away, that's all.

I stand by my paper-cutter, trimming stuff ever so neatly. For instance, we get lots of weeklies where my columns appear, so I cut them out and keep them. I don't know why, but I do. After all, you never know when you'll need an extra one.

I also save bits of paper. It probably comes from growing up in the Great Depression era � or it's a carry-over from my printing days when bonds and index cost so much per pound. All I really know is that my bureaucracy causes me to do it.

I save those little staples, too, because they can be recycled � although my total amount for the year is hardly a cupful. Oh yes, and I've got used stamps and box-tops as well.

To coin a clich�, I can make mountains out of mole hills when it comes to finances. What I should be able to do in a minute takes hours of my time. I rationalize that it's important, when all it is is another reason to escape reality.

What I need is a secretary or two to undo my lousy habits � but then I'd spend endless intervals having them do stuff I should be doing away with.

I envy those folks who make proper use of wastebaskets and shredders. I clutch things instead.

On the other hand, Phyllis is a throw-away gal. She says it's a waste of time doing what I do. "Get rid of it," she admonishes me, as I try to save each worthless scrap.

I know she's right, but � to coin another clich� � you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

But now that I've completed Step One � an admission of my short-comings � maybe there's hope for me after all. I'll start overcoming my bureaucracy just as soon as I cut out last week's columns.

Besides that, I also have a lot of paper to trim. After that there should be plenty of time to pursue my new regimen.

I wouldn't want to change my habits in one fell swoop (another clich�), now would I? I need to be cautious about altering a lifetime of peculiarities. It might cause psychological damages, and I wouldn't like that.

Come to think of it, maybe my old familiar rut is right for me, no matter what Phyllis says. It could be I shouldn't vary my routine regardless of the time I waste.

© 2004 Robert F. Karolevitz

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