Story over a cup: Never a pen, pencil, crayon, or blood when you need

Published 1:58 pm Thursday, January 23, 2020

Michael Cole

I have a horrible memory.

I think that by now, to most of my readers, it should be evident.

I used to fall in that same trap that everyone else does when it comes to remembering important things.

I don’t need to write it down, I will remember it

Yeah, right.

In my life, I cannot recall a single instance of that happening.

Then again, if my memory was that good, this would not be a problem.

I have gone to the store for items, not written a list, and bought everything BUT what I went for. And, you would have thought that experience would have taught me by now.

As a kid, I struggled to pass classes, simply because I felt I would never write down homework assignments, opting instead to rely on my memory of the assignment.

Fun. Taking the social studies book home, only to find out that the assignment was in science.

But hey, my science teacher was impressed that I did four chapters on the History of Europe, instead of that chapter on Mitosis.

Which brings me to my current predicament…

Getting things for the wife. 

My wife was texting me from school.

I need you to buy a few things for this dinner I want to make when I get home.

Nice, I reply. But in the back of my head, I know the fate that awaits me if I fail to fulfill this list. After all, the Honey-do list I didn’t write down and finish, still has me in trouble.

And I do not think that she is buying my excuse that the icicle lights still on the house are actually “Mardi Gras” lights. 

So, I start grabbing for a pen. 

Got it. Now paper. 

Uh, no notebook. So, I am grabbing every stray sheet of paper. Envelope. Receipt. Anything.

Finally, I find one and start to write the worst thing happens.

As usual, the pen is dead. And so is the next one. 

I am panicking, looking for other pens. Maybe a pencil.

At this moment, a crayon would work.

I spotted my blood sugar monitor. At this point, I am not above pricking my finger to write it in blood.

It’s a thought.

My wife texts me, hello?

And I texted back, trying to find something to write with.

I figured that would impress her that I am trying to get on the straight and narrow. That I am turning my life around.

She may even forgive me for the time I nearly burned down the kitchen making a rocket engine.


I stopped. Why? Because I want to write a list. So, I could make you proud! 

I am texting you the ingredients. You don’t need to write them down.

I hadn’t thought about that. In fact, I am annoyed I have never thought of that.

Pure genius! Texting myself lists. I will never forget anything again!

My marriage is stronger!

So, here I am in the grocery store. Buggy. Look of determination.

I am ready to tackle this list. That list won’t know what hit it. Lists will fear me.

Just call me the List Master. 

I look down, and see this on my screen for a brief moment.

Battery Dead, Phone powering off.



Michael Cole is a syndicated columnist that when he is not writing, he is plotting global domination. You can follow him at