My greatest fear

Hi, clean guy here. My great­est fear is that when I vis­it the bath­room for the sole pur­pose of wash­ing my hands — like if I’m about to eat or some­thing — that some­one may think that the short amount of time I spent in the bath­room means that I didn’t wash my hands.

I know — who cares what peo­ple think? And I would usu­al­ly agree. But not on this. This is important.

I’ve tried wip­ing my hands on my shirt as I leave the bath­room, pan­tomim­ing a sort of oh man, my hands are just still so wet be­cause I just washed them! act. But then I wor­ry that peo­ple may think that I think that wip­ing my hands on my shirt is an ac­cept­able sub­sti­tute for ac­tu­al wash­ing. Not cool.

I know — who cares what peo­ple think? And I would usu­al­ly agree. But not on this. This is important.

So what do I do? Always walk out still hold­ing a pa­per tow­el? Leave the bath­room loud­ly go­ing “oh man, my hands are just still so wet be­cause I just washed them!” Should I al­ways com­ment on what lux­u­ri­ous hand soap they’ve got in this McDonald’s bath­room? “You’ve re­al­ly got­ta try that stuff… I mean, ob­vi­ous­ly I did.”

I know — who cares what peo­ple think? And I would usu­al­ly agree. But not on this. This is important.

Or just wash my hands in slow-motion? I… I think I could do that.

Icky Thump

I once told this girl in a bar that I was sav­ing the White Stripes’ fi­nal al­bum, 2007’s Icky Thump, to lis­ten to at some point in the fu­ture just so I could have the plea­sure of lis­ten­ing to a new White Stripes al­bum when there were no new ones. This was a bunch of years ago, it was true, and she said she was im­pressed with my self-control.

Late last year I found my­self in the driver’s seat in Texas late at night with a long way to go. By then I had bought the al­bum and kept a copy stored up in the cloud, al­ways avail­able but nev­er played and just kind of hang­ing out. I had avoid­ed even mere­ly read­ing re­views for al­most a decade, but these un­fa­mil­iar roads kin­da seemed like the right time, and this night the right place to pull Icky Thump down from the sky and out through the rental car speakers.

You know, I’ve got this playlist for songs that are not nec­es­sar­i­ly great, but when I first heard them made me go “whoa—what world did this thing come from?” (The playlist is ac­tu­al­ly, lit­er­al­ly, ti­tled “What world…?”) Rammstein, Gorillaz, Eminem, Black Flag, Mindless Self Indulgence, and a few oth­ers, have a track apiece on the playlist. None of the songs have that ef­fect on me any­more, but every track was once mind-melting stuff.

Would adding an en­tire al­bum be vi­o­lat­ing the spir­it of the playlist?

Can’t take much more of this

I was in the back­seat of a car maybe a month ago when the new X-Files (2016) came up. None of us had heard whether the se­ries was com­ing back for a per­ma­nent run or what. Someone looked it up on their phone and found it would on­ly be six episodes.

“Oh, thank good­ness,” I sighed.

My re­sponse baf­fled the front-seat oc­cu­pants, one of whom asked what I had against the The X-Files. I ex­plained bad­ly, as I of­ten do on the spot, how age has shown me that more isn’t al­ways bet­ter, and my al­ready loaded me­dia di­et means I just don’t have time or en­er­gy for that much new stuff.1 Fewer episodes equals better.

A lot of times I’d rather ap­peal­ing stuff just not ex­ist than have to ex­ert the willpow­er need­ed to not to care about it. Everett to­day is thank­ful Seinfeld quit ear­ly. Everett to­day was pissed when 99% Invisible went week­ly. Everett sighed and stared out the win­dow at the news of Blade Runner 2. Everett is way too good at find­ing stuff he cares about, and re­al­ly bad at ig­nor­ing stuff that sounds like it might be cool.

Tom Chandler has this prob­lem with pod­casts. I, um, al­so have this prob­lem with podcasts.

(P.S. If you’re David Lynch, make all the new Twin Peaks you want. I’ll accommodate.)

  1. I want­ed to add, but didn’t, that I al­ways thought Milennium was bet­ter than The X-Files, be­cause that would just con­fuse them and might make them think I re­al­ly did se­cret­ly hate The X-Files but wouldn’t own up to it. I’m get­ting bet­ter about stay­ing fo­cused while talk­ing, keep­ing the ex­tra­ne­ous de­tails I’m just dy­ing to share to my­self.