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Jacob Hatcher

Piddlin’ 

By Jacob Hatcher  

Community Columnist  

This afternoon I’m sitting in the garage, just out of the blazing sun. I’m trying to convince myself it’s cooler here, as if the humidity can be escaped by retreating to what amounts to a room with three walls. 

Here in the South, humidity is omnipresent.  

I could go back inside. I could convince the kids they’d rather watch a movie and eat some ice cream. But deep down I know I’d be robbing them of something. We could go inside, but then they’d never learn an essential part of life.  

Of course, it’s not like we’re doing anything productive out here. We’re just piddling. But somehow piddling in the southern heat just feels more proper than piddling in bought air.  

There’s just something lazier about piddling in air conditioning.  

Back before kids, marriage and college, we piddled a whole bunch. Back before combat duty and drivers licenses, we spent a whole summer doing a whole lot of absolutely nothing. We’d get up in the morning, eat some breakfast, and then we’d piddle.  

Sometimes we’d piddle down at the river near our house; other times we’d piddle right there in the front yard.  

We piddled the days and nights away.  

We piddled so much in that front yard that for the next year there was a 10-foot circle of dirt where we’d piddled the grass away.  

Many a story has been told and ice cream churned while piddling on a porch somewhere in the glow of a bug zapper.  

Rick Bragg said it this way: “If one piddles correctly, time just goes away, without regret on the part of the piddler or even any particular notice.”  

And I gotta say, I agree with him. In this fast-paced, responsibility-filled time we live in, I think we all could use a few hours to just piddle without any regret.  

Sure, there’s things that need doing, but I haven’t heard of many folks on their deathbed saying they wish they’d spent less time soaking up the sun watching their kids play outside. 

 

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