Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

March 4, 2013

Wolfsie: Tricky to-do lists

I don’t care if my wife goes through my pockets looking for money. I have no problem with her opening mail that is addressed to me. She can peek at my text messages all she wants. No big deal. But please, Mary Ellen, do not mess with my To Do list.

For almost 30 years, I have created such a list each night, having resisted technological advances: I have successfully poo-pooed Palm Pilots, bypassed BlackBerrys and ignored iPhones. Instead, I write my daily obligations on a mini yellow legal pad, each entry carefully arranged in chronological order, taking into account the route that must be negotiated the next day and the importance of the event. I fiddle with it all evening, often reconstructing it to account for each new activity that crops up. Just adding something to the bottom of the page would be unconscionable, so it must be recast to accurately reflect the change. The next morning I am comforted by the list, knowing all the work behind its apparent simplicity. I consider it a piece of art.  

I knew something was amiss last week when I left Greenwood after a meeting, drove back to Indy to replace a burned-out light bulb in our garage and clean the cat’s litter box, then raced back to Greenwood for lunch.

“Mary Ellen, have you done anything lately behind my back?”

“A bright guy like you? I’d never get away with it.”

She had a point. Nevertheless, I had just driven 60 miles to clean a litter box and change a light bulb, so I was in no position to dwell in the intellectual limelight. My wife has always had unique ways of getting me to do chores. She resists coming right out and asking. Instead, she resorts to trickery and skullduggery.

“Dick, you know those Colts play-off tickets? I think they flew up on the roof. I’m sure you’ll find them while you’re cleaning out the gutters.” I mean, how dumb do I look? It only took me three seasons to catch on to that little game.

Sometimes she leaves me notes in lipstick on the bathroom mirror. “Dick, you great big handsome guy, just look at yourself. By the way, please unclog my shower drain.” My wife seems to find me more attractive immediately after she’s washed her hair.

And then there was the time a few years back when I accidentally overheard her talking very loudly on the phone to her friend. “Pat, this will be such a great surprise for Dick’s birthday with all his friends flying in from all over the country. I just hope they don’t trip on that broken step at the front porch.”

The next day I fixed the step. Never got a party. This was a bigger surprise than I thought.

“Mary Ellen, I’m tired of all this chicanery. We are going to start a new system. If you want me to do a chore, you just come right out and ask me. Is that a deal?”

“It’s a deal. Now could you please clean up the storeroom downstairs?”

“Not this weekend. I’m watching a big golf match on TV.”

“Could you fix the latch on the screen door?”

“Sorry, I don’t have the right tools.”

“Well, could you clean the fireplace?”

“You need a professional for that.”

“Dick, this new system of yours doesn’t work.”

“Works for me.”

Dick Wolfsie is a television news reporter, syndicated humor columnist and author. He can be reached at Wolfsie@aol.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • DAVE BANGERT: Indiana's new chief justice and court's 'mom question' Two years ago, as Loretta Rush ascended from Tippecanoe Superior Court 3 judge to the state’s Supreme Court, I dropped this line in a column celebrating someone who had earned her place.“Across the state, the headline will be: ‘[Mitch] Daniels Choose

    August 14, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: POTUS promises of transparency fail to materialize The United States system of government relies on citizens having full access to information that can be used in self-governance. Journalists and other First Amendment advocates were enthused when the Obama administration came into office with convinc

    August 14, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: RIP Robin Williams

    I was re-watching the 2006 movie “Little Miss Sunshine” Monday when I heard my phone buzz. After the credits had rolled, I looked at the screen and found myself shocked.It was a news alert that Robin Williams had died that morning at the age of 63 of an apparent suicide.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: 'Paddle Your Own Canoe' is a Hoosier inspiration

    Editor’s note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. James Whitcomb Riley was the most acclaimed, but he wasn’t the first Hoosier poet to gain national fame. Sarah T. Bolton dese

    August 13, 2014

  • DAVE BANGERT: Rokita, illegal immigration, Ebola outbreak and context At first listen last Monday, there was something so unsavory about our congressman, Todd Rokita, whipping up two full-fledged crises — Central American children at the U.S. southern border and the African scourge of Ebola — into one pungent sound bit

    August 12, 2014

  • DAN COATS: Let's give nonprofits relief from IRS delays A flurry of scandal has recently surrounded the Internal Revenue Service.Over the past few months, we have learned about missing emails from IRS employees and revelations of clear bias and hostility by a top IRS official towards organizations with ce

    August 12, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Pitchforks and pikes in our summer of discontent Congress is ... embarrassing. Our political system is failing us. On an individual basis, many of us have respect for members of our delegation. We can have a common sense conversation with a senator, congressman or congresswoman, and then they go ba

    August 11, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Enough reminders to forget It began with a simple phone call to my friend, Auri, a computer geek I asked to help me with my very successful website, which right now is attracting up to three visitors a month. To have a strong online presence, you have to spend several hours a

    August 11, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Outsourced jobs, health crises in foreign lands The other week, my Internet was giving me trouble. I called the support number, and — to my surprise — I spoke to a representative who sounded as American as apple pie. It turned out the technical problem was an oversight on my end and fixed quickly.

    August 10, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Dodging corporate taxes Corporations are among our oldest institutions. Something like a joint stock company probably triggered the earliest formal written communication — the accounting ledger. It should be unsurprising that the early traders of Mesopotamia used a corporat

    August 10, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller