The Corner

Ridding Myself of The Day

Following the bit in my July Diary about

idleness, and my opinion that watching TV is a species of doing nothing,

some readers wnat to know my own favored technique for “ridding myself of

the day.” Well, the chance would be a fine thing; but I do occasionally

slip into neutral for a half hour. My favorite way to do so is with a

jigsaw puzzle. I am sorry: this sounds either infantile or senile,

depending on your own experience of jigsaw puzzles, but I find them

irresistible. Pretty much addictive, in fact–though fortunately I am

blessed with superhuman powers of self-control. I have just finished (after

a week of occasional half-hours) a lovely one: a 1,000-piece rendering of

Thomas Kinkade’s “Flags Over the Capitol,” which I brought home

from my trip to DC last week. Now, of course, I am suffering from

post-jigsaw-ial tristesse. I note that the ranks of fellow addicts include

the late great president Calvin Coolidge, who left a jigsaw puzzle (of

George Washington) unfinished when he died.

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