Okay, I've been offline for a while, but with good reason. Let me 'splain:

When Michelle Rowen first told us all about the weasels of doubt, I knew that she was speaking the truth. Not only did I have a few weasels of my own, they had set up a dry cleaning/ice cream parlour franchise in my basement. Which made it a little hard to concentrate at times, especially with all those 31 flavours and crinkly plastic bags.

I developed skills to ignore, avoid and even frighten them (mentions of health inspectors made them weep). Entire days could go by without a single snicker or sabotaging remark. I should have seen this as a sign of more wicked things to come.

Then, one day, there was a "CLOSED" sign on the front door of the cleaner/creamery shop. I even rang the buzzer a few times. No answer. Not even a muffled "go away" from the back counter.

So I did a happy dance, right there in front of the computer. My words would now be free to flow, barrier-free.

Then I noticed the iceberg. And the penguins.

They were cute little guys, skidding along, taking a tumble here and there on the slippery surface. I decided to just leave them be.

As I sat at the computer, the penguins surrounded me.

"Hey! What are you doing?" I asked.

"Be careful human," one out in front said. "You may not be able to complete all that you set out to do."

"Or worse, these projects could result in even more work, with tighter deadlines and more research time required," added another.

"Before you know it, you won't have time to accurately review your work. One of them might even be published," another leaned closer to my ear to whisper, "with a typo."

Beads of sweat broke out onto my forehead despite the sub-zero temperature. I couldn't even see the computer, only a mass of black and white. Thankfully none were red all over, yet.

"Thanks guys, but there's no need to panic--"

As soon as I said the words, they all pressed in closer, squawking and moving around to find a more protective spot amongst each other. Even I was getting antsy.

"Don't stray from the known path," called a voice from the back of the pack.

"Stick with the crowd," said another.

"Whatever you do, don't stand out! Bad things happen to the ones who stand out!"

The entire group shuddered around me, then disappeared into a puff of dry ice.

Too bad the condensation fried out my keyboard. I'm getting the pest control guys in this week.