Picture of Sheri Burns
Here I sit, three days after I should have turned in this column, and I’m just now starting to write it. Interestingly enough, in this very issue we have a story that could have been written especially for me — it even could have used me as its subject. On page 52, you’ll find our feature about procrastination. I know you’ve heard about my tendency to miss deadlines before. And I also know that it has really irritated some of you; you’ve sent me letters telling me so. Sorry. But as you’ll see in our article, I’m not alone. One out of every four Americans is a chronic procrastinator! That means there are more procrastinators in this country than there are people who are clinically depressed. I’m using this not as an excuse but as an example of the interesting facts you’ll find in our story. For those of you who are in the same camp as me, there are also some helpful tips for overcoming this “general weakness,” as Samuel Johnson once called it.

But enough insight into that story. You’ll just have to go read it for yourself — but not quite yet. I have a much more important topic to discuss.

The time for you to vote in our sixth annual Road Warrior search has come. The American Way staff has reviewed each of the almost 7,000 entries (yes, I finished reading mine a bit late) and has narrowed them down to five. Now it’s up to you to choose who the winner will be.

What’s in it for you, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Just for going to www.americanwaymag.com and casting your vote for the grand-prize winner, you’ll be entered in a drawing for 25,000 AAdvantage bonus miles. How can you pass that up?

Those of you who do everything immediately, or at least on time, will probably want to start voting now. On our website, you’ll find the photos, haikus, and test scores of our lucky finalists. As for you procrastinators, use our tips so that you don’t wait until the very last day, which is November 14, to vote.

As was the case last year, the person who receives the most votes will be our grand-prize winner and will receive two million Hilton HHonors Bonus Points, one million American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles, and a two-year membership to the Admirals Club.

The second-place winner (yep, the one who receives the second-most votes) gets a bunch of nice gifts, including the Lifestyle 48 home entertainment system, a SoundDock digital music system, and a pair of Quiet­Comfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones — all from Bose. He or she will also receive a four-night vacation for two at Hilton Los Cabos Beach and Golf Resort, courtesy of American Airlines Vacations, as well as a one-year Admirals Club membership.

The third-place winners will each get a four-night vacation for two at Hilton Cancun Golf and Spa Resort from American Airlines Vacations and enjoy a one-year Admirals Club membership. Whoops! I almost forgot: On top of all that, each of the five winners will receive a Panasonic Toughbook W5 laptop computer.

If you aren’t one of the finalists, don’t be sad, at least not yet. We received many great haikus and pictures, and we’ll be featuring those in our January 15, 2008, issue. So you may still see your name in lights — or at least in black and white.

Thanks for all the great entries this year, and thanks in advance for helping us choose the winners!

Signature of Sheri Burns

Sherri Gulczynski Burns