The windowless room was hot. The air conditioner did little to cool the temper of the world’s top time thief. His burly bodyguard stood silent with arms folded, neon lights reflected on his mirrorshades.
I felt uneasy being unable to see his eyes but thankful that they did not hold me in a stone-cold stare.
I’d learnt from Kronos that he was a ruthless time killer with an awesome reputation, having killed countless hours during his career.
That blasted Kronos has been on my case for decades but he has yet to charge me with any crime, Pro Crastinus said as the vein in his neck pulsed erratically. He then has the audacity to raid my premises trying to pin others’ crimes on me!
What crimes would those be? I asked.
Let me set the record straight. I was born with the reputation of being a time thief and no matter what I do that sticks like glue. Father Time had to pin his losses on somebody and I was the fall guy.
So you say you were framed?
Exactly! People steal time not me. They’re given an equal allotment every day. I just offer them an alternative. Nothing was forced on them. You could say I lead them into temptation but they still have a choice.
Do you use technology to achieve your goals?
Mankind has always had time on its hands to use or abuse. What makes me evil if I take their vices and make a business out of it?
No one complains when technology is used for porn or gaming.
Did you know that an online gamer died because he played nonstop for over 50 hours? Why doesn’t Kronos hound those perverts who take advantage of men’s weakness and chronically waste time? I don’t kill people or incite them to murder. Time kills people.
What about your involvement with Dinero Mammon?
That’s just another malicious rumour. Time and money have always been linked and that’s a typical example of a trial by media.
I run a simple business with a mission and a strong set of values. I have an exclusive club, The Two-Headed Tortoise, for those brave individuals who are prepared to live by my 10 principles.
Here read this.
He handed me an ornate application form with these words scribed in gold lettering, which I have attached for you to read if you have time.
- I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.
- I shall never move quickly, except to avoid more work or find excuses.
- I will never rush into a job without a lifetime of consideration.
- I shall meet all of my deadlines directly in proportion to the amount of bodily injury I could expect to receive from missing them.
- I firmly believe that tomorrow holds the possibility for new technologies, astounding discoveries, and a reprieve from my obligations.
- I truly believe that all deadlines are unreasonable regardless of the amount of time given.
- If at first I don’t succeed, there is always next year.
- I shall always decide not to decide unless, of course, I decide to change my mind.
- I shall always begin, start, initiate, take the first step, and/or write the first word, when I get around to it.
- I will never put off tomorrow, what I can forget about forever.
What are the benefits of living by your Creed? I asked.
I’ll tell you some other time, Pro Crastinus said as pushed back his chair, nodded to his henchman and made out the door before I could say: Time flies.
Well, folks, you’ve heard it from the greatest thief that ever lived. I guess you’ll have to wait till I can corner him again to find out the benefits of being a professional procrastinator.
By the way, membership to his club is free, your only payment is time.
Are you a member? If so please contact me as I’d like to know what the benefits are before I join.
The greatest thief this world has ever produced is procrastination, and he is still at large.
Henry Wheeler Shaw
Updated: May 2022