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November 27, 2014

George Smith: Multitasker? I'm as good as it gets

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George Smith

Posted: Sunday, July 27, 2014 12:25 am | Updated: 7:52 am, Sun Jul 27, 2014.

Human multitasking is the apparent performance by an individual of handling more than one task at the same time.

I am a multitasker, a very good one. For the record, I can “task” four things at one time, which we will get into in a moment. But in fairness to the other side:

Psychiatrist Edward M. Hallowell has gone so far as to describe multitasking as a “mythical activity in which people believe they can perform two or more tasks simultaneously as effectively as one.”

Simple multitasking is walking and breathing at the same time. I read that somewhere and have to agree. Be sort of dumb to debate that one. But that’s about the only leeway I found in poring over research on the Internet.

And since I’m no myth (at least that’s my belief), past walking and breathing at the same time, well, for that we have to move out to “my barn,” a place of refuge from the demands of married life. In my barn, I am the center of attention and top attraction.

Translated, that means I am blue ribbon at reading, watching Andy Griffith reruns and World War II on television, listening to Willie and Merle on the stereo ... and taking a nap.

1. READING: Past breathing and walking at the same time, reading was the first great accomplishment of my life.

In my fourth and fifth years of walking and breathing, thanks to my Aunt Marie, when I started first grade, I was reading at the third-grade level.

My teachers thought I was a genius. Thing is I wasn’t. Thanks to my absolutely brilliant 16-year old aunt, I was simply ahead of the others. I spent hours in her ample lap learning the printed word.

2. WILLIE ’N MERLEBefore I could read, I was hanging by the side of my grandfather’s big old battery-powered radio listening to the Grand Ole Opry from “up there in Nashville.”

My first memory is the mournful mountain soul of Roy Acuff singing Precious Memories.

Nobody here on earth or in heaven could match Roy when he came to:

“Precious father, loving mother, fly across the lonely years.”

Listening to Mr. Acuff and Eddy Arnold put a desire in me to be washed in the footlights of the old Ryman Auditorium.

Merle and Willie teaming up on All The Soft Places to Fallmakes me wish Garth Brooks had never been born. More bad news is the man who ruined country music is coming out of retirement.

ANDY left Mayberry to become a famous lawyer in Atlanta, but somewhere, even as you read this, The Andy Griffith Show is on television.

The sad thing about TV now is you can’t watch today’s shows with your grandchild. But reruns of old shows are around and there’s Netflix.

It is through Netflix I still watch The Rockford Files and even Shane every three or four months.

The best line ever was when Shane, in the showdown,  told evil Jack Wilson:

I heard you were a lowdown Yankee liar.”

 

NOW, WITH all that said you may be ready for a nap. I am REALLY a trophy when it comes naptime, like somewhere in the middle of the afternoon.

I am convinced that even asleep Merle’s singing, the book in my lap, and “Come back Shane” are still “tasking.” When I awake, there is a sense I haven’t missed a thing.

’Course there’s two ways of looking at that, but this is my story and I’m sticking to it.

In case you didn’t know it, the difference between a journalist and a columnist is the journalist has to stick to the dang old facts.

So if all you can do is walk and breathe at the same time ...

 

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