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John W. Pinkerton


Boring is not a bad thing.  For most of my life, I've considered “boring” as a starting place to create something which…well, ain't boring.

My momma, bless her heart, almost chased me out of the house when I innocently commented to her when I was a little shaver, “Mom, I'm bored.”  I don't remember her exact response, but I do recall that it must have hit a nerve because she made it abundantly clear that being bored was not an option.

We were living in the country at the time, and the woods offered a great opportunity not to be bored.  I would climb trees and look off into the distance at a world dotted with distant white houses which stirred my imagination.  When I first discovered them, I was quite shocked that there were houses on the other side of the woods.  Or I could turn over a log and watch the bugs hiding there scurry in the daylight. I might come upon a flock of black birds which were almost as numerous as the leaves on the trees, or I might spot a red-winged blackbird, my favorite.  Or, I could come upon a spreading adder, quite a shock when first encountered.  Occasionally I'd come upon a small pool of rainwater from which I could take a sip.  Or, I might go swimming in my neighbor's pond.

I could ride my bicycle along the bumpy ditches to the nearby Baptist church on Sunday evenings and Wednesday evenings.  It was a chance for me to be among strangers and admire the girls in their newly starched dresses.   I wasn't much impressed by the preacher's preaching---being a Methodist---but found the total submersion of those being baptized pretty interesting.  In the summers, there was Vacation Bible School.  There were plenty of kids, but, all in all, pretty boring.

We never had horses, but one of our neighbors did, and once in a while, the neighbor kid would bring a horse over for me to ride in the woods with him.  Horses seem to have a mind of their own, and riding was not one of my favorite things to do.

The neighbors' kids provided me with lots of entertainment. I could go to our neighbor's house and play croquet or ride bikes or play basketball or melt lead in tin cans or play regular checkers or Chinese checkers or play Go Fish or spin tops or shoot our BB-guns or toss a baseball around or throw clods of dirt at each other in a game of cowboys and Indians.

I should have realized that my soul was tuned to a different wavelength than most folks  because I liked to challenge the neighbor's dog by sitting on the dividing fence to see if I or the dog would howl longer.  Speaking of animals, we always had a cat and/or a dog around which was a distraction for a few moments.

The radio was a lot of help to fight boredom in the evenings and on Saturday mornings.  Howdy Doody was good on a Saturday morning and Green Dragon was fine entertainment in the evenings.  It may have just been me, but I liked to move the radio dial to pick up strange sounds which I suspected were alien broadcasts.

In quiet moments, I could draw weird men and women or paint with watercolors or read a library book or read the numerous magazines we had in our home.

The church had organized softball games, and sometimes after Sunday school a tag football game broke out; that was great fun.

After thinking of all of these things which were available to me as a young shaver, I guess I understand my mother's anger at me for proclaiming that I was bored.

Anticipating the possibility of entering the world of boredom when I retired is the reason I began to write, paint, and manage a website magazine.  It is enough to fight off boredom…most days.