Just try

by Brian Keaney

No patty-fingers, if you please. The proprieties at all times.

I don’t remember where I first heard the expression “it is far easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission,” but it has proven to be some of the truest, if not wisest, advice I’ve ever taken.  It’s amazing what you can do when you just do it and worry about the proprieties later.

It’s also true when you are not playing patty-fingers (or going a-walkin’ out, or going to a threshin’ party).  On my desk at work I have a full rigged ship in a bottle.  It’s nothing special, but I like the ocean and sail boats, and it brings a little color (and plenty of jokes at my expense) to my office.  I’ve had it for a few weeks now, and since I got it a few of the staysails have been caught on lines and not falling properly.

They are not a big deal and I’m sure no one has noticed them but me, but my inability to fix them by tapping on the glass or shaking the bottle has been mildly bothersome.  Today, for no particular reason, I grabbed the piece of cork firmly squeezed into the bottle’s neck and, much to my surprise, it wasn’t firmly squeezed in there at all.

Once it was out a simple tie wrap was easily inserted and knocked the offending sails back into place.  I had just assumed that the cork was too small and too tightly jammed in to be removed.  All I had to do was try and I was able to do it without much effort at all.  By challenging my own conventional wisdom I was able to accomplish what had previously vexed me.  I’m now left wondering what else I can do that I previously thought impossible.

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