The Demon Of Procrastination


[In view of the fact that I wrote this for the November edition of the local magazine it seems strangely apt that I am only uploading to the blog half way through January]

I have terrible trouble getting round to doing pretty well anything. If there was an olympic event for procrastination I would… not manage to get the forms filled in to join the team. Every month I have a battle with myself over sitting down to write Folk Tales Corner, even though I thoroughly enjoy doing it once I have started. For November I have a double incentive as I am promoting my autumn tour so already know that it must be at least partially about demons. Thus prepared and inspired I set off to dive into the river of creation and swim with the flow down to the ocean of completion and the beach bar of reward. Two coffees, numerous Facebook comments, some hoovering and the washing up later I finally leapt from the bank – straight into the jaws of an allegory.

Mother Perfection kept a beautiful house, everything was neat and tidy. She had a sister called Good Advice who helped her along the way. Good Advice, despite her knowledge, had a dysfunctional relationship with Low Esteem, he was a nice enough fellow but just did not believe in himself. Good Advice knew if she loved him unconditionally he would change but knowing and doing are not the same thing. Their lovemaking was a failure: Good Advice could not help herself and suggested ways in which Low Esteem could make it better. If he had just done as she suggested then everything would have been fine but he took it as criticism, lost any confidence he had and, well, it was all downhill from there. They did however have a daughter and the daughter of Good Advice and Low Esteem was Nit Picker.

Fear stalked the land, he wondered from town to town terrorising the people. But when he came to Mother Perfection she was not afraid. Calmed by her polite invitation to stay in her house and disarmed by her attention, Fear stayed. Although she wasn’t scared of him she still felt a thrill at his presence. Fear desired to possess her, and she responded. Their lovemaking was of epic proportions. Encouraged by Fear, Mother Perfection did ever wilder and more wonderful things, and she did them perfectly. After three days Fear set off on his travels, he found it hard to cope with perfection. Nine months later the offspring of Perfection and Fear was born and he was Procrastination.

Although Procrastination never met his father, Fear lived in his head and Nit Picker did not help. 
The sheep of inspiration had lambs, and they were called Good Idea, Bright Idea, Creative Expression and Worthwhile Action. Procrastination knew he should feed them but wanted to get it right. Nit Picker told him many things he already knew about how he should do it and this made him even more scared of getting it wrong. Each time he began the process Nit Picker was there telling him every little thing that wasn’t just how Mother Perfection did it so time and again Procrastination stopped and did something else instead. In the end he never got round to feeding the poor little ideas, though he did love them and spent much time with them, so they never grew up.

Procrastination was so upset and he knew he should tell his mother but he could not bring himself to do so. Eventually he ran away, as was his nature. Now, much like his father, he wanders from place to place dropping in on people who generally have better things to do. Unlike his father he can be quite fun and, if he leaves soon enough, even beneficial. A long visit however, can bring disaster. Make no mistake: the entire family are demons, even Mother Perfection for trying to live up to her standards can break you as surely as an intense encounter with her one time lover. They are all best treated with extreme caution and never invited to stay.

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