Bateman: How to avoid distractions

By Oliver Bateman

We’re going to address a very important topic: how to avoid distractions in this ADD-afflicted world of ours. We’re going to address a very important topic: how to avoid distractions in this ADD-afflicted world of ours. But before we do that, let’s see what’s happening on Facebook. Oh, that’s a cool cat. Looks like a Persian. Or a tabby. Or a Siamese. Aside: Look up varieties of house cat on Wikipedia. Regardless of breed, this flabby feline warrants a “like.” While we’re at it, let’s click through to this person’s page. We used to date her, so why not, right? Maybe she’s found true love.

My goodness, she has. She’s getting married to a guy who makes way more money than we do. That’s heartbreaking. The fact that we make so little money, that is. Not the part that she’s getting married. Good for her! Anyway, we need to think about something else. Ah, here we go: a text. “Sup,” it reads. Should probably answer that. Hmm, what to say? Given that we’ve got an entire column ahead of us — and on an important topic, to boot — we mustn’t waste any time. “Nm u.”

Where were we? Distractions. Isn’t it funny how many there are? No matter what you’re doing, even if you’re somewhere you’d like to be, it’s never good enough. Face-to-face conversations with BFFs are swell, but is it wrong to get hella bored when those BFFs cease for one split second to entertain you? We don’t think so. Wait, hold up. A request has arrived from Words With Friends.

“A, E, M, P, R, S, X.” What a bunch of crap letters. Looks like we’ll have to plan a move later in the day, when we have more free time on our hands. Besides, we really don’t like our jerky opponent and her jerky, made-up words. Satay? No way! Let’s check out the weather. A balmy 43 degrees, huh? Rain projected for the evening? Man, that’s depressing. In fact, now that we think about it, we’re feeling really miserable. There’s no choice: We must post a melancholy Facebook status and hope that all of those friends we couldn’t stand to spend any time with in real life will weigh in with reassuring comments about how great we are.

“Sry dawgs Im just feelin blue right now FML” should do the trick. OK, back to the matter at hand. Distractions and how they can keep us from accomplishing anything meaningful. Oh, that totally needs to be Googled and YouTubed. There’s got to be a great Economist article or TED talk on the subject that we can shamelessly plagiarize.

Whoa, first comment on our status! “Hey dude stay strong 4 realz,” it reads. How do we know the woman who wrote this? Ah yes — we went to the fourth grade together, and you walked with her to the nurse’s office when she lost control of her bladder during gym class. Those were the days. Hmm, maybe we should Google the old elementary school building. Nah, we’re crazy busy — but we will add a “Reminder” on our iPhone.

While we’re foolin’ around on the celly, why not play a round or two of Angry Birds Seasons? This is a much better version of the game, no doubt about it. Tougher puzzles, better pig placement and the same wonderful birds (particularly that enormous red “Big Brother Bird,” which is a destroyer of worlds). Well worth whatever we spent on it. Say, thinking of spending, let’s check up on our latest order. All right, the PastaBoat™ and the Slap Chop™ have left the shipment facility in Kentucky and are in Columbus, Ohio. Excellent. And these recommended items are pretty sweet, too. “Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story”? This sounds great. Is there a “Look Inside” option? No, darn it. Well, add it to the Wish List and move forward.

Wait. We’re forgetting something very important here, something we meant to do earlier this morning. We haven’t checked Orlando Magic power forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis’ latest game log on Thankfully, there’s still a chance to remedy this omission. He’s 2-for-4 FGM-A, 2 rebounds, 4 points. The Magic are paying him $5 million a year to do this? Man, he’s a regular Stephon “Starbury” Marbury. Speaking of Marbury, let’s surf over to and analyze his career stats.

Jeez, enough’s enough. There’s no way it should be this difficult to write an 800-word advice column. One simply needs to sit down, type 800 words more or less at random, and then email the finished product to the relevant parties. Yet: OMG! And also ZOMG! More Facebook replies: “sometimes i wish i didnt care about other peoples feelings as much i wish i could just close my eyes.” God, that’s even more depressing than what we wrote. Why is this sad sack still on our Friends List? Ugh, delete. Phew. Maybe a little more pruning, since we’re in the mood. This guy: never liked his lazy eye. Gone. That girl down there might have been mean to us once. Na na na na, hey, hey-ey, goodbye. “Man that sucks hope things look up give me a call one day its been 2 long!” Ah, here are some words of wisdom from a good friend. Maybe we should get around to calling him one day.

Hey, can you folks take a rain check on whatever we were writing about? It’s been a long day, and we definitely need a nap. After we finish browsing the “free” section of Craigslist, that is. An umbrella stand would really bring this room together.

When he can get around to it, Oliver Bateman does something or other at the Moustache Club of America. It’s hard to find time for stuff like that nowadays, know what I mean? If it’s not too much trouble, visit the Club at Hopefully, they’ll add a hyperlink so you can just click right to the site. Otherwise, if you have to type it in, you’ll never get there. That’s OK, though. You can just email me at [email protected]. Or not. I hate reading long emails almost as much as I hate writing them. Whatever, man.