Paul’s eyes opened, and he rolled over. He poked his face out of the warm covers and stared at the glowing alarm clock on his nightstand. The large green numbers showed nine twenty. Sunlight splashed over the floor and walls. Paul slid from the covers and placed his bare feet on the cool wooden floor. “My day off,” he said through his stretch.
In the bathroom, he took care of business but bypassed shaving and combing his hair. He rummaged through the clothes piled on the floor and found his favorite shirt. “Ahhhh,” his face brightened as he pulled it on. Shuffling his feet into his one-size-too-large crocs, he clomped out his bedroom. He turned left and headed for the kitchen.
His coffeemaker gurgled and sputtered. The last drops fell into the pot. Paul pulled out a large cup. He shoveled non-sugar sweater into it, poured three glugs of a flavored creamer next, then topped the cup with the hot coffee. His fingers found a spoon from the sink and he stirred the sludge and took the first sip. “Excellent. What a glorious day to not be working.”
Moving to the living room, Paul picked up the TV remote and thumbed the power button. The television sprang to life with a bright glow and an overly made up weather forecaster on the screen. “Bah! No news today.” Three taps on the number pad and cartoons appeared on the screen. “Yes!” Leaning back, Paul gripped the lever on the side of his chair and yanked. The footrest sprang open, and he rocked back to the fully horizontal position. “This is the life.” He took another sip of his coffee.
Several hours later, Paul roused himself and peeled away from his recliner and TV. His stomach made a noise and shuffled back into the kitchen. Rummaging through the fridge, he pulled three packs of sandwich meat, various condiments and a loaf of bread. With a flurry of motion, Paul threw together a thick, mostly meat sandwich. Reaching into the back of the fridge, he pulled a beer can and popped the top. “Oh, baby!” As he went to the living room, he munched into his food and slurped this beverage. He plopped into his recliner and finished his lunch.
An hour later, Paul turned the TV off, and went to his garage. The lawnmower sat in the middle of the floor. “That is the only chore I want to do today.” The red hard hat with cup holders on the side fit perfectly on his head. He put two more beers from the fridge in the garage in them and rigged the plastic tube to reach his mouth. After checking for gas, he pivoted his power tool and walked out to the front lawn.
Paul’s watched beeped. Tapping the face, he answered, “What!”
“Hey, Falcon,” the voice said with a mild chuckle. “I know it’s your day off, but there’s this national emergency.”
“Don’t care,” Paul said. He situated the mower to the lower part of his lawn and adjusted the bag.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” the voice said. “You can have two days off after you’re done. In a row even. Warren approved it already, sorta.”
“Nope.” Paul reached for the pull cord. “I’m not fallin’ fer that again.” He slurped the beers through the straw. “I get three days off a year. This is one of ‘em.”
“But people need you.” The voice was building a whine. “The country needs you. You team-”
“Can handle it without me,” Paul shouted. “They’ve done it before.” He yanked the cord with a powerful arm. The engine fired up on the first go. Paul moved to the mower handle. “Don’t call me again until after three am.” Paul tapped the watch face again.
Pushing the mower into the grass, a smile flowed to his face. “Nothing like a day off.”