In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Heat is On.”
My reaction to deadlines is closely tied to the subject matter. Something of a technical nature will get my juices flowing and I can usually meet any reasonable deadline. Politics? That’s a different situation.
Almost always the mention of a deadline conjures up the memories of Gains Smith, a late writing instructor, and his reaction to one certain deadline. He was a political reporter for a large newspaper, perhaps the Boston Globe. One of his assignments was to report on an important issue the Massachusetts Governor was addressing. In order to acquire the raw data for his report he was required to attend a late evening press conference, then go on to a dinner date with a young lady who sparked his interest in a different manner.
At the conference he held his tape recorder over his head as he had a hundred times earlier. Then, without a second thought, he went to dinner. It was nearly two in the morning when he returned to his apartment to work up his report that was due on the editor’s desk no later than four that same morning. When he turned on his recorder he heard nothing but a hiss. Something in his recorder had taken a hike while he wasn’t looking.
Fortunately, a fellow reported employed with a competitor’s news agency owed him a large favor. Racing across Boston, he managed to get a copy of the press conference and was able to meet his deadline.
I don’t know how I would have reacted in Smith’s situation.
When I served in the Strategic Air Command (SAC) there were many times B-52s returned from a training mission with a surprise. To simulate wartime conditions it was turned around and launched again within four hours. With more than one hundred dependencies to be addressed, and refueled, all inside of four hours turned the bomber into an anthill. I did my part with the navigation equipment and survived. I’m thinking I could do that again if I were asked to do so. However, at age 78 few people have as much faith in me as I have in myself. I doubt the powers that be would ever let such a challenge become a reality.
<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-heat-is-on/”>The Heat is On</a>