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Impatience comes early and often in our daily lives.

Byline: Sid McKeen


No matter how you slice it, we Americans have to be far and away the most impatient people anywhere on planet Earth. Think about it. In matters large and small, serious or trivial, we just can't wait - for anything.

Like Wilson, I have Fourteen Points:

1. ELECTIONS. Every four years? Don't be ridiculous. Our presidential election campaigns overlap. No sooner is somebody elected than we start polling to see who's going to win next time around. We can't wait years, we can't wait months. Polls give way to pre-primaries, primaries and caucuses, debates and endless punditry 'til we're ready to drop dead from the tedium.

2. SPORTS. Who's No. One? Before the seasons even start, college or pro, we rank the teams numerically, and we go on to show where they stand day in, day out, week in and week out. March Madness? No, January through December Madness in sport after sport.

3. SEX. Parents used to await the natural order of things to learn the gender of their newborn. Now they get ultrasound results in the lab months before. Why wait `til the last minute to find out if you need to paint the bedroom pink or blue?

4. ENTERTAINMENT. Which actors have the best chance to win Academy Awards? What picture deserves the Oscar? How good is the emcee? Nonstop hype for weeks before. Then, finally the show, one of the world's greatest anticlimaxes.

5. COOKING. Can't wait for the oven to get hot. Stick it in the microwave and let's eat. Can't wait to eat either. Let's have a snack now and later a few appetizers.

6. COMMUNICATION. Can't wait to get home to use the telephone. Take the cell phone with you and call from the car.

7. NEWS. Can't wait for the evening news or the newspapers. Get the cable news all day long and hear the same story 47 times. Who IS the father of Anna Nicole Smith? 8. TIME. Can't wait `til April to start Daylight Savings. Let's push the clocks ahead in early March. Maybe the computers will catch on and maybe they won't.

9. SEASONS. Can't wait to find out if spring will be late this year. Tune in to what that groundhog does in Pennsylvania the first week of February and get the whole story ahead of time.

10. SHOPPING. Can't wait to check out the groceries. Try to hold your purchases down to 10 and find an express lane.

11. WEEKENDS. Can't wait for Saturday and Sunday. Start wrapping things up by Friday noon and be on your way out right after lunch.

12. ORDERS. Can't wait to order something. Look for opportunities to pre-order. See if you can get pre-approval of a loan while you're at it.

13. WAR. Can't wait to finish the job. If people back home get really tired of hearing about it, let's call it a wrap, pack up and get out. Now.

14. THE NATIONAL ANTHEM. Can't wait to get the game going. When it gets to the phrase, "the land of the free and the home ..." don't wait for "... of the brave." Slap your cap back on and start roaring. Let's play ball, we haven't got all night here. Besides, who cares how the thing ends?

Sid McKeen can be reached via e-mail at
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Title Annotation:INSIGHT
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 25, 2007
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