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Too Many Mornings

February 23, 2011

Like most ‘children of the theatre,’ I don’t “do” mornings. By that I mean as soon as I left education and started struggling for a living, the idea of  ‘the six o’clock alarm’ never rang with me again – despite being a monkee.

Running does, however, mean becoming active at a fairly early hour, and I do have mechanisms to cope. A tightly choreographed sequence of events, mostly set up the night before, ensure minimal harm done to myself and those around me in the wee small hours of 8am-ish.

Bedclothes are folded to be thrown back at a safe angle for exit into slippers aligned on the carpet leading to dressing-gown on a peg lined up with door handle to open. Progress from bedroom to kitchen is an exact number of steps without obstruction, breakfast nutritional and equipment requirements laid out in clockwise order necessitating only automated rotation of body to complete the preparation sequence. Combine with complete silence and I can (usually) ‘hit the ground… crawling’ within the hour.

It all goes wrong with a single element missing. Mr P still thinks (sorry, Mr P) that the book contract took so long for me to sign because there was a slip-up in communications via the online page-sharing facility we were using at the time. Not true. It just happened that the day his posted contract came through my letterbox coincided with step 17 – that from front door, turning towards kitchen – in my morning zombie processional.

Aforementioned contract, plus two credit card bills and a postcard for next door, were placed in the toaster on mark 3 for several minutes. As with previous incidents involving other postal communications, a large bunch of flowers and the cat (not simultaneous, we are talking only one or seventy individual incidents a year); discovery of the error later that day then had to be corrected by appropriate specialists in forensic reconstruction / floristry / veterinary medicine. All of which takes time.

So, nothing registers… until the day, a few weeks ago during the snow, when it did. Glancing out of the window while rotating between fridge and marmalade cupboard, I observed a squirrel perched on the fence, eating a peanut butter sandwich. As in, a miniature peanut butter sandwich, with crusts on (healthy), clasped between its paws in the usual sandwich-eating manner so that polite bites might be taken.

As I watched, it finished its sandwich, licked its paws and claws clean, vanished for a moment… and then took up residence again with another perfect sandwich – an exact replica of the first.

Now, even I, in a fuddled morning state knew it took longer than that to make a sandwich, even assuming the squirrel could afford a jar of peanut butter, a loaf and a preparation knife / breadboard combination. The logical conclusion was that either I needed to refine my morning routine to include self-dosing with anti-psychotics… or somebody out there is actually making convenience foods for wildlife.

Until I see a fox munching a Panini, or stand behind a badger buying a latte in Starbucks, I’m assuming that either theory could be true. Meanwhile, I hope this explains to all readers and clients exactly why office hours now begin safely some time after dusk. Thank you.

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