The Upside To Procrastination


My grandparents lived in a house with a detached garage. It sat at the bottom of a steep driveway, maybe fifty yards behind the main house. The structure was your standard built-from-wood affair, but it had an unusual feature — the back wall was made out of that fake-brick shingle siding you still see occasionally on older homes. The siding was ancient. And the beams onto which the fake siding was attached were rotten.

Grandma didn’t like the incomplete garage, but Grandpa Bob dragged his feet on renovating the structure. This, incidentally, must be where my aversion to home improvement comes from. It’s genetic, so I can’t accept all the blame.

One afternoon Grandpa Bob’s son (my father) was sitting behind the house, reading the New York Times. Dad heard the sound of a car turning onto the driveway. He glanced over, expecting to watch Grandpa Bob roll down the hill. But then he heard the roar of a car engine. The car screamed past, heading straight for the garage. Grandpa Bob’s head was pressed backward over the headrest and his mouth was open in a scream.

He’d hit the gas instead of the brake and was now struggling to find the brake.

The car rocketed into the garage and blew through the back wall.

Grandpa Bob caught air as he exited the garage. The car landed and in the swampy, uncut lawn and was stopped by a wall of overgrown shrubs. Grandpa Bob got out and walked around the vehicle, looking for damage. It was largely unscathed due to the flimsy nature of the materials it had encountered. Grandpa Bob kicked a tire and then walked into the house.

I think he stopped driving after that. But the moral of the story is that those home improvement projects can always wait. Procrastination just might save your life one day.


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4 thoughts on “The Upside To Procrastination”

  1. Exactly the kind of thing my brother and I would have done in our teens — on purpose. But now I’m kind of glad I’m putting off all my home improvement projects.

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