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Blogging and the OCD Mailman

Have you ever seen this video of the OCD Mailman that made the rounds a few years ago? For nearly three minutes, this guy pulls the basket out of a public postbox, checks it, feels around for mail, closes it up, walks away, walks back and does it all again. You’ll never know how long three minutes is until you watch this performance. If he did it at every stop along the way, this poor bastard missed his dinner.

I find this one more ‘funny ouch’ than ‘funny haha’, having been gifted with an improbable number of O’s and C’s myself.

This guy is a ‘checker’. I’m more of a ‘polisher’ myself. I hone. And I burnish. And I buff. And I do this weird thing where I must maximize the efficiency of simple tasks.

Like, I’m reading a book and drinking coffee and eating a piece of toast. When I finish, I want to go upstairs with my book. This (naturally) has to be done in one trip. If I put the cup on the plate and tuck the book under my arm, I can go in the kitchen and put the dishes in the sink, but I have to put the book down to rinse them and the book might get wet. If I put the book down on my way into the kitchen, it’s not on the shortest path to the stairs on the way back. If I swing by the stairs first and put the book down, I’ll go past the mail, which I will want to examine. But I will have a plate and a cup in my hand.

In the end, I manage to calculate the route of maximum economy. Or, you know, say ‘screw it’ and go for a drive.

I read a biography of Turing that claimed his bicycle lost its chain periodically on his way to work, causing him to fall off. Rather than fix the gear, he observed that the chain worked its way off every twelfth revolution, built an apparatus that calculated the number of elapsed revolutions and rang a bell in time for him to jump off the bike right before the chain slipped.

I’ll bet the story isn’t true. It’s got that apocryphal stink all over it. But the general approach is weasel-approved (not that I’m comparing myself to the Father of Modern Computing, you understand — Turing was way gayer than me).

So blogging has been a sort of therapy — having to throw shit into the arena fast, often, half-polished and one-eighth baked. It might be less painful to pony up for an actual therapist, but you never know if you’ll get the good kind who dispense drugs, or the bad kind who want to talk about your mom and your genitals. In the same conversation.

So, now that I have the new site nailed down, the general plan is to post something every weekday, be it ever so small or craptacular. That’s not a promise, it’s a general plan. Weekends off. And if I find one of those congenial, pharmaceutical-dispensing pshrinks, I am so out of here.

See you Monday.

February 16, 2007 — 7:33 pm
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