Sunday, September 30, 2012

The High Poohba of Persnickety

I’ve alluded to the fact that I am persnickety in this blog on several occasions.  That’s not to say I am any more fussy than the next guy, because I don’t think I am, except for maybe in the realm of food where I hold a PhD in persnicketiness (See: Weenie War, August, 2011).  Well, I am particular about clothes too. (See: Fashion ,  July, 2011)  Oh, and there’s that thing I have about stickiness (See: DON’T Pour Some Sugar on Me , last March). 

Okay, maybe I am more persnickety than the next guy.  Whatever. 

What often amuses my friends and family is the kind of thing that bugs me.  Many of my hang ups are things that don’t even enter their (or anyone else’s) minds.  Here, in no particular order, are some examples of things that those close to me do not care much about, and yet I just cannot abide.

Mixing team/brand apparel.
I have Red Sox gear.  I have Patriots gear. I have gear with names of brands like Nike or L.L. Bean.  But I will not wear more than one of each on my person at any given time.  It's either a Red Sox day or an L.L. Bean day, but NEVER both.  For me, there’s a fine line between showing your support for a team or brand and becoming a walking billboard. Needless to say, watching NASCAR drives me crazy if I fixate on this too much.

Signs left out after the event is over.
Yes, I realize that you had a yard sale at 154 River Street over Labor Day weekend.  Thing is, it’s the beginning of October.  Take your stupid signs down off the phone poles!  I get even more irked by political signs that are left up long after the votes have been counted.  (I’m talking to YOU, failed Senate candidate Bruce Poliquin!)  If I didn’t vote for you before, I sure as hell am not going to in any future election if your signs are left mucking up the scenery.  There are ordinances in place prohibiting such things, but they are rarely enforced it seems.  I’d like to start a community task force to put a stop to delinquent sign removal.  I wonder if we could be issued some kind of non-lethal weapons?  Cream pies?  Super Soakers?

Broken fingernails.
On a recent camping expedition, for which I was very well-stocked and prepared because I was going to be many miles from the nearest store, I nonetheless found myself without one of the most basic things a person could need: fingernail clippers.  Sure enough, I chipped a nail on my right index finger while setting up my site, and it nearly drove me over the edge for the rest of the day.  Before night fell, I made a 60-mile round trip to get a 99 cent pair, just because I could not stand it any longer.  The relief was totally worth the time and gasoline.  Plus, I treated myself to an extra large caramel iced coffee too…so there was that.

Poor radio reception.
If there is static or hiss when the radio is on, I get very unsettled.  I am not sure why this is, but it really bothers me.  I've walked out of stores where the radio playing over the P.A. system is poorly tuned.  If I am in control of the radio, I will switch the station or even turn it off rather than listen to interference.  Growing up as a huge music fan in a rural area with few nearby radio stations, this was kind of a problem at times.  I learned how to rig up some pretty extravagant aluminum foil antennae in my youth to make radio reception at least tolerable. 

Watching a movie or television show after it has started.
I really despise this.  I feel like I’ve missed something, and everyone else watching is privy to something that I am not.  If it’s a situation where the movie or program in question is really, really good, I will force myself to watch it through, but will also make it a point to watch it again sometime to catch up on the parts I’ve missed.  To this day, I really feel like I haven’t really seen the entire series of Star Wars movies, because I missed the first ten minutes of Episode III.  Never mind the fact that I’ve seen all the other movies multiple times in my life.

Eating junk food in the morning.
Potato chips are one of my real weaknesses.  I absolutely love them.  However, if you set a bowl in front of me first thing in the morning, I would probably gag.  It applies to any “heavy” foods at that hour of the day.  Ice cream at dawn?  No way.  Pizza for breakfast?  Couldn’t stomach it.  A hamburger at that early hour?  I’d barf, no doubt about it.  My coworkers find this especially funny.  They will nosh away on Cheez-Its or something of that ilk before the sun is barely over the horizon, and I can’t even be in the same room with them.  I think they do it just to bug me now.  Donuts and other breakfast pastries don’t count however.  Hey, these are my quirks!  I can make exceptions if I want. 

It never fails that the packages I end up having to open at work contain items packed in Styrofoam.  The stuff just makes my teeth hurt.  The squeak of Styrofoam on more Styrofoam just makes shivers run up my spine.  I don’t mind fingernails on a chalkboard or anything like that, but Styrofoam just rattles me every time.  One of my coworkers has said that watching me unpack a box lined with Styrofoam is like watching someone defuse a bomb.

Flies in the house or car.
Flies are nasty, disgusting, disease-spreading creatures that vomit on things.  The green ones are the worst.  If one gets in my house, I simply cannot rest until I catch it. I’ve been found roaming around the house at three in the morning with a rolled up newspaper, eyes darting everywhere, on the hunt for my prey, which awoke me from slumber.  Fortunately, the cats are firmly on my side in these safaris, and rarely does a fly escape our clutches for long.  Of course there is frequently a lot of collateral damage, usually caused by the cats but occasionally by me, however, the flies are dispatched with, so it’s worth it.  In the car, I will literally pull over until the offending insect is either dead or shooed out the window.  This amuses and sometimes alarms passing motorists, I find.

Cooking smells after the meal is finished.
Shortly after I graduated college and had my own full kitchen, I tried to make a meal involving fish.  I don’t think it was the freshest fish either, as my money was tight in those days.  At any rate, the fishy smell in the house afterward was very strong, and lingered for what seemed like days.  That was over twenty years ago, and I still remember it vividly, so that should tell you something.  No matter how great the meal was, I just don’t want to smell it any more after I have finished eating it.  I don’t, however, mind baking smells, like bread or apple pie.  Those don’t count.  I might even buy a candle with one of those scents.  Again, my quirks, my rules.

Mixing cursive and print.
This is just indecisiveness, plain and simple.  If you are printing in a note you are writing, then print all of it.  If you are one of the three people left on earth who remember how to use cursive, then stick with that.  Take a stand!  Switching from one to the other in mid-message makes me wonder if your whole head was in the communication in the first place.

I could go on and on about this topic, but I’d better stop now.  I have to go wash my hands seventy-three times, and then make and remake my bed forty-six times so I can go to bed before midnight.


  1. This is actually a pretty reasonable list for anyone. Other than the compulsive (or is it obsessive?) need for nail clippers, there's nothing TOO weird about any of them.

    For me, I would add Purposely Misspelled Names, like "Snak Pak" or "Kwik Pik" - they make me nuts

  2. I appreciate the sentiment, but you are not exactly the yardstick against which I want to measure the extent of my weirdness, Woody. I've read your Facebook posts, remember! ;D Ditto for purposeful misspellings, by the way. And that's coming from a Red SOX fan.

  3. Most seem entirely reasonable. I HATE missing the start of films and will not watch if the it is past the opening credits!

  4. Say it's a Red Sox day. What brand name of jeans are acceptable? Fashion kills me. I don't even know the brand name of my new favorite sweater. It's tan and has colored flecks and looks good with my black vest. I mostly wear Lee jeans. Do I need to change the jeans? Or the sweater? The vest is...umm...I don't know the brand name of the vest. Is this all ok if I don't know the brand? I'm getting a headache. I hate fashion.

    I think I can't go out in the public anymore. This is too confusing.

  5. It depends on how prominently the brand name is displayed. I can wear a Patriots sweatshirt with a pair of Levis, since the Levis don't have the brand name in big letters across the butt or anything. My main thing is not to look like I am renting all the space on my person for various advertisements. And yes, it is terribly confusing.