A lesson in how not to give a fork
WASHINGTON -- I recently made a decision of life-altering proportions: I decided I will no longer bother to segregate knives, forks and spoons in my silverware drawer. I now dump all of them thither and yon among those partitions that -- hallelujah! -- no longer rule my life.
When I mentioned this on Twitter, one reader jokingly called me a "monster." She is right. I am a monster finally liberated from his chains of oppression -- King Kong running free and fierce, making women faint, eating cars, etc. Sure, Kong lived only a short while longer, but I'm not exactly in the summer of my years anyway, if you see what I mean.
I know that sorting utensils is not a particularly onerous or time-consuming task, but it is one of those ridiculous things we do in blind, sheeplike conformity merely because others do it and always have. There is not a moment lost in picking out the implements you need from a loose scrum of silverplate in a drawer.
This wasn't my first such rebellion. Years ago, I stopped making the bed because there is no point to it other than some Teutonic enslavement to order and precision -- an arbitrary rule that has been perversely institutionalized by our own military, which requires, at the risk of punishment, for no sane reason, a bed off which you can bounce a quarter. But this new thing felt different. I know of no one else who declines to sort silverware, and it got me thinking. What's next for me?
-- No more cutting toenails. Let 'em grow. Just keep buying longer shoes.
-- No more peeling anything. Bite into everything like an apple. Peach fuzz is tasty -- why not kiwi fuzz? Bananas are already crescent-shaped, like the human mouth. Come at it as God intended you to, from the side, like a harmonica, skin and all.
-- No more tedious mopping and sweeping. Teach the dog to roll over, again and again.
-- No more pairing your washed socks. This one is easy and obvious. Buy 20 pairs of identical white sweat socks and 20 pairs of identical black dress socks. Throw all your others away. Handle your sock drawer like my silverware drawer. Done.
-- No more tooth brushing. If Milk-Bone works for my dog, it should work for me.
-- Never wash out a coffee mug. (This is a tip from my colleague, cartoonist Tom Toles.) After a few months, you don't even need to buy coffee anymore. Pour in hot water and -- voilà! -- coffee.
-- Change your wardrobe so it is all earth shades: salmon, tans, umber, ocher, sienna, chestnut, khaki, russet, taupe, ecru, biscuit, camel, etc. This is not because you love these foo-foo colors. It is because you have stopped the idiot sorting of laundry by whites and colors, and over time they will all migrate to this bland but safe middle ground. Small loss.
-- No more taking out the garbage. Just keep punching it down. Theoretically, anything organic can be compressed indefinitely until it becomes a diamond. At that point, redeem it for millions.
-- Finally, do no housework at all. Let everything accumulate for years, so that the only way to get from, say, the living room to the dining room is by navigating the narrow trough you have left, walking heel-to-toe. Eventually, inform on yourself to the TV show "Hoarders." THEY WILL COME AND CLEAN YOUR HOUSE FOR YOU.
Gene Weingarten can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @geneweingarten. Chat with him online Tuesdays at noon Eastern at www.washingtonpost.com.
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