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Jennifer Egan - A short story

I'm really enjoying the Guardian's Summer Short Story Special series.

To Do - by Jennifer Egan

1. Mow lawn

2. Get rid of that fucking hose

3. Wash windows

4. Spay cat

5. Dye hair

6. Do tarot cards

7. Pick up kids

8. Drop off kids at Mom's

9. Buy wig

10. See if small removable portion of fence can be cut QUIETLY

    a. Kinds of clippers

    b. Metal solvents

    c. Electrical devices

        1. How noisy?

        2. Flying metal chips?

        3. Danger of electrocution?

            a. Rubber gloves/goggles?

            b. Lethal?

                1. Sign will

            c. Does it make the body look really shitty at death?

                1. Get tooth capped

11. Send warning letter

    a. Newspaper cutouts?

    b. Get kids to write it?

    c. Write with left hand?

    d. Be vague. "Certain unpleasant things"

12. Mail letter

    a. Or drop it off while wearing wig

13. Renew meds

14. Investigate poisons

    a. Flammable

    b. Powders

    c. Gasses

    d. Pills

    e. Herbal

    f. Chemical

    g. Musical

        1. Ask kids

        2. Hamlet – ear

    h. Ingestible

        1. Cookies?

    i. Must look INNOCENT

15. Research cameras

    a. Affixed to fence

    b. Propped in hole cut in fence

    c. Small, undetectable

    d. Implanted in flowers

    e. How to use?

    f. Must be REASONABLY priced.

    g. Take no shit from photo man.

        1. Remind him of ruined prints.

16. Pick up kids

17. Make dinner

18. Get ready for party

    a. Polka dots

    b. Black gloves

    c. Hair ribbon

    d. Veil

    e. Bring seltzer

    f. Remind Stan of party

    g. Plan two funny stories

    h. Breathing exercises to prepare for seeing THEM

        1. Kiss kiss

        2. Hug hug

        3. Remember: NO ONE CAN SEE YOUR THOUGHTS

Jennifer Egan, 48, won the 2011 Pulitzer prize for fiction for A Visit from the Goon Squad. To Do, written in 20 minutes, predates that, but has a connection: "Noreen, the crazy neighbour, arose from my interest in the protagonist of this story"

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