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Monday, November 12, 2012

You are not allowed to be bored if you haven't done this


Mental Health
It was Greta's neighbor at the door, and she had brought over a cake on one of her own plates, not on a paper plate or aluminum foil. It looked nice, Greta supposed, but– after thanking her neighbor, shutting the door, putting the cake on the counter, returning to it periodically to take a bite, and finally finishing it the next morning before going to work– only then did she realize that the plate had become a nagging responsibility. It was from a set, a set that no doubt demanded completeness, and Greta was sure that her neighbor was judging her for every minute that the plate remained unreturned. 
But she was so busy, and there was no one to delegate the task to. For a solid week, she wrote herself small reminder notes to wash the plate and return it, but never found the time. After that, she gave up on notes and just stared at it, guiltily, as it sat covered in crusted frosting and mummified crumbs, in the squalor of her kitchen counter. She began to avoid going outside when her neighbor might see her. Greta contemplated moving away to avoid the awkward exchange in store.
But one day, as was inevitable, a little over six weeks after the cake had arrived, the neighbor came knocking again. Panicked, Greta grabbed the plate and ducked behind the counter. But instead of going away, the neighbor opened her unlocked door and advanced on the kitchen. 
Greta had lost all reason; she feared for her life. Later the courts ruled that, when she had stood and thrown the plate like a discus at her neighbor, and that when it had neatly severed her neighbor's head, it had not been a malicious or negligent act. In fact, the jury felt so bad for Greta that they chipped in to buy her a "Congratulations on Innocence" cake, and made sure to put it in a disposable plastic container. 

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