It pays to be attentive, especially when you are really tired!

Last night we concluded the Triduum with a Vigil that went well after midnight.  And I had the 7:30 AM Mass.

It is a really good idea to be careful and to pay attention when you are involved with routine matters, even when you are very tired and moving on autopilot.

Let’s say…. especially when you are very tired.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Lurker 59 says:


    My favorite, and too often repeated autopilot oops, is cracking my eggs right into the garbage disposal.

  2. APX says:

    Yes, I once grabbed a tube of Rub A535 instead of my toothpaste.

  3. Josephus Corvus says:

    Here’s hoping you were being observant and not just serving as a warning to others. Have a blessed Easter, Father!

  4. JeffC64 says:

    This is precisely why I only purchase shave creams or soaps that come in a tub for use with my brush. LOL

  5. MissBee says:

    Happened to me with diaper cream once. Got as far as putting it on the toothbrush.


  7. bobbird says:

    On a camping trip, I once put dish soap into a Mac & Cheese concoction, thinking it was … olive oil. I was EXTREMELY PUZZLED as I stirred the mac & cheese and saw bubbles emerging from the mix.

  8. Egad_Trad_Dad says:

    Minds me of the old SNL skit about “Shimmer” — the floor wax that’s also a dessert topping.

  9. JustaSinner says:

    Least you caught it and it wasn’t icy hot! Blessed Easter, Father. You deserve all the best.

  10. hwriggles4 says:

    Sleep deprivation – reminds me of finals week at college. Unmatched clothes, unshaved faces, sweat pants, laundry piled up, room in disarray, etc.

    Yes – I am only human.

  11. Kathleen10 says:

    Or what we did today, husband put his glasses on top of the car, put jacket in the back seat (you’ll remember the glasses right?) then drive away, thump thump thump, glasses are laying in the street.
    About ten years ago I pulled up to the Dunkin Donuts take out and gave my order to the trash can.
    I never forgot that one.

  12. TRW says:

    My grandmother took my brother and I camping when we were young. We accidentally used her tube of Poligrip(denture adhesive) instead of toothpaste. It was dark out and it took a good few seconds of brushing to realize that it wasn’t just some strange old-person’s style of toothpaste. I think she had to explain it to us. I remember it being VERY difficult to rinse out of our mouths and toothbrushes. It’s made to be waterproof!

  13. Grant M says:

    This reminds me of an incident in “My Secret Diary” by Guareschi (creator of Don Camillo). He is interned during the war in a German camp, and receives a smashed food parcel.

    ‘I went over to the table and extracted from the mess a scrap of something white, which turned out to be the list of the parcel’s original contents, whatever they might be. From it I read out loud:

    “Jam, butter, honey, cocoa, rice, flour, tobacco, sugar, insect powder, Parmesan cheese, soap.”

    “A splendid assortment!” said Talotti, in the calm voice and manner of a Venetian gentleman.

    “Let’s see if anythlng’s missing,” said Schenardi, injecting a practical note characteristic of his native Liguria.

    “If I hang around much longer, I’ll simply pick up that mess and chuck it Into the stove”, I said. And with that I went away.

    When I came back …Schenardi, covered with dirt and sweat, was putting the last touches on the job of salvaging the parcel.

    “Almost everything’s here”, he said. “The only things I can’t find are the honey and the insect powder”.

    Rice, cocoa, flour and sugar had all been mixed together but, with the aid of an improvised sieve, he had separated the rice from the rest. As for the cocoa, flour and sugar, he had put them in water, in order that any particles of dust and scraps of paper should come to the surface. After that, with the addition of some evaporated milk and a few minutes of cooking, he hoped to produce a first-rate chocolate pudding.


    That evening we feasted. While the water in which the rice was cooking won a series of defensive victories against the pervasive odor of the peat in the stove below, we decided, somewhat illogically, to sample the jam. Coppola, the musician, led the way. He spread some jam on a slice of bread, bit into it and then unexpectedly leaped to his feet and dashed out of the room like a Bach fugue. A moment of confusion followed, until Schenardi had studied the remaining half of the
    slice of bread and announced: “There are traces of honey and insect powder. In fact, the present contents of the jam jar might be called insecticidal honey. Our
    mistake is natural enough, because the mixture has the color of apricot jam.”

    “And what about the jam that was in the parcel in the first place?” Talotti asked calmly.

    Schenardi started searching among the debris heaped up in one comer of the room, but without success. He went to wash his hands at the pump, but when he came
    back they were stickier than before. However, there was a beaming expression on his face.

    “The jam’s accounted for, too”, he announced triumphantly. “This cube isn’t soap, as we imagined; it’s solid jam that has dried up in transit. It was coated
    with butter, and that is what gave it the shiny look and the greasy feel which made us take it for soap.”

    “What about the real soap, then?”, asked Coppola, who came back just as we were throwing the false soap away. But we did not pause to look for it. The rice was
    cooked to a turn, and we had need to console ourselves for the disappointments we had suffered thus far. As usual, Coppola was the first to lift a forkful of steaming rice to his mouth. He swallowed it and then made a wry face.

    “It stinks of tobacco”, he protested.

    “Oh, very faintly”, I assured him. “A couple of spoonfuls of grated cheese will put that straight.”

    We sprinkled the rice abundantly with cheese. But this time the musician was more cautious and waited for the rest of us to begin, meanwhile thoroughly stirring the two ingredients of the dish together. Little by little, our imaginations were stirred by the sight of a white foam rising over the rice.

    “That accounts for the soap,” said Schenardi after a quick analysis of the supposed Parmesan cheese. The cheese had been removed, in a crumbled condition,
    from the parcel, but while some of the crumbs were really cheese, others were fragments of excellent white laundry soap.

    “Very good!” exclaimed Coppola ironically. “So everything was there, eh?”

    But Talotti had sufficient wit and grace to dispel our embarrassment.

    “Let’s have a good smoke and forget all about it,” he suggested.

    We lit our pipes and inhaled deeply. A moment later the room was smoking like a fish-and-chips shop. Even Talotti threw his pipe out the window and sputtered in frankly vulgar terms. Do not be surprised at this reaction on the part of a perfect gentleman, who is also my very good friend. Have you ever tried smoking tobacco mixed with butter?’

  14. Gab says:

    LOL. Poor Father. Oh well, he either has hair-free teeth or a gleaming white face.

    Happy and blessed Easter.

  15. grateful says:

    Perhaps it’s God’s way of telling us not to take life too seriously.
    He seems to love to get our attention and make us laugh.
    One of His best kept secrets: His Sense of Humor.

  16. Gab says:

    God created kangaroos. That right there tells us He has a sense of humour.

  17. DeGaulle says:

    Happened me this morning, even before I read this-I woke up with a tickly cough, for which I find an inhaler to be quite effective…and just stopped myself activating it upon realising I had positioned it under my arm-pit!

  18. SKAY says:

    I know God has a sense of humor. He has puts up with all of us humans every day and still loves us.
    I did something similar yesterday and I can’t even say I was tired as my excuse. :-D
    Thanks for sharing Father Z.

  19. SanSan says:

    OK, morning laugh and then howling bc of all the comments. Too funny.

    Please get lots of rest today Father Z. It was an amazing Lent for many because of your guidance.

  20. Cafea Fruor says:

    This reminds me of when I was working in administration in a hospital some years back and learned from our ER staff that it’s actually a relatively frequent occurrence for women with great fingernails to walk into the ER with an eyelid glued shut. The cause? Women trying to put in eye drops and accidentally grabbing their nail glue bottles instead. The bottles–particularly if the eye drops are the prescription kind–can be quite similar and hard to distinguish when one is distracted, say, when driving (yes, this is a thing).

  21. Mario Bird says:


    State epidemiologists are issuing a “Code White” warning, due to heightened frequency of Triduum Fatigue Syndrome (TFS) during the past week. There are reported cases of clerics pulverizing their teeth with shaving cream (WI), choir directors disobeying their own dynamic directions and cut-offs (AK), and general zombie-ish behavior by parish ministers (multiple). Other symptoms include:

    –irritated parents
    –irritated children
    –irritated parishioners observing irritable parents and children
    –rapid onset juvenile ADHD (this may be exacerbated by traditional Easter treats or “bunnies”)
    –active unconscious participation in various liturgical functions

    If you or a member of your household have exhibited TFS symptoms, authorities recommend sleep and an eight-day sabbatical.

  22. Kathleen10 says:

    These were good and certainly timely, my outlook lately is not rosy. Hey Grant M, that was fun to read.

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