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OCD?! You Can FRO!

Before I go off on one, I want to make it clear I am not discussing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) the actual condition, which, from what very little I know about it, looks pretty grim to live with. So please resist the urge compose yourself in readiness to write a complaint, at least until you have read the complete article all the way through. Thank you.

“Friggin’ hell, stop being so OCD.”

And there you go, my button has been well and truly pushed. It is going to be a good while before it pops up again too.

Let’s get this straight, just because I like to take my time over tasks and try to perform them correctly, and to the best of my ability, it does not mean I have OCD. The real problem is that other people are slap-dash, that’ll do, half-ass, it’s good enough, cack-handed, lazy, hubris-free, slack-monkeys.

A job, any job, has a single correct way for it to be done (my way) but on the other hand it also has many, many wrong ways for it to be done (everyone else’s ways). And it appears the more simple the job, the more ‘OCD’ I become in the eyes of others. I’m talking really menial, repetitive, everyday jobs…and yet still the slack-monkeys can’t do them correctly.

I’m a modern bloke, I help out around the house. It could be argued that I only do this so I get fed but I still do it. In fear of winding up some who may be reading this, housework truly is a piece of piss. Let’s face it, there’s a helpful machine for nearly all the stuff you need to do to live in a clean, efficient home. But I must stress, I’m talking general everyday housework, not that weird-ass, nest building ‘spring clean’ my Mum used to undertake every year (or was it every month?) that saw the whole gaff polished from floor to ceiling. That is some stressful shit…or at least it looks like it is. So, I do clothes washing (and hanging), dish washing, hovering, that kind of stuff. (I know, I’m a real catch.) And I can’t say it’s ever raised my blood pressure above two points or whatever blood pressure is measured in. Foot per square inch? However, watching someone else tackle the same simple tasks with complete abandon about how it should be done properly, forces me to educate them; purely in an effort so they are forearmed with expert knowledge when they next approach the job.

Take hanging clothes up to dry. How can you expect clobber to air properly if you fold it over on itself on the line/maiden? There’s no circulation. Socks need to be hung, individually, pegged at one side of the foot hole with the ‘toes’ hanging down. Underwear needs to be stretched out slightly and hung by the waistband. Shirts are hung by the tail with the arms hanging down, with all buttons (even the cuffs and any collar buttons) unfastened. Strides, again by the waistband, legs hanging down. The ratio of pegs per clothing item is as follows. One peg per sock; two pegs per pair of underwear; three pegs along the tail of a shirt; two pegs per pair of strides. For an example of bad technique, pegging a pair of socks up with one peg is a cardinal sin and you will burn in Hell for all eternity. Simple rules and yet there are head-bangers who ignore them. It’s as if they have tossed the basket of laundry over the line/maiden and turned their back on it. It is an insanity to think your clothes will dry properly that way. But when I point this out to people, do I get appreciative gratitude? No, I have got ‘OCD’.

The dishes we eat off. The ‘eat off’ should denote how important it is to do this job properly. I don’t own a dishwasher, I don’t trust them (see ‘Rise of the Machines’) and they can’t properly do the very job they were designed to do, either. There’s a specific dishwashing hygiene process and here it is. All dishes are rinsed off with hot, hot mind you, water and then stacked on the draining board. A bowl of similarly hot water is allowed to run with sufficient detergent (enough to lift the grease, not just move it around) mixed in and this water should be hot enough to necessitate the use of Marigolds. If you can put your hand in the water without crying in pain, it’s too cold. If you’ve done all that to the letter, you’re set to do the job correctly. Also, it is vital to rinse any cloths, pan scrubs or brushes to be used in the cleaning process with hot water. Someone else could have wiped up a gallon of live yoghurt off the floor and not had the decency to inform you of their little accident. (Slack-monkeys are notoriously clumsy and uncoordinated.) That detritus laced gunk would go straight onto the bowl you’ll be eating muesli out of in the morning. Disgusting…both the muesli and the gunk.

The order of dishwashing is vital. Glassware (excluding Pyrex baking dishes) is always first. Who in their right mind would wash a plate with waste fried egg on it and then use that soiled water to wash the tumblers? A slack-monkey would, that’s who. And once the glassware is washed it is rinsed with clean water (hot or cold, preference or economics can dictate the choice) and left to stand, and drain, separately form the other dishes soon to follow. Everyone knows glasses not rinsed free of detergent, and subsequently drunk from, cause leprosy.

Next the cutlery. Washed and stacked upright to allow complete drainage; not laid flat to wallow in their own putrefying water/soap mix. The crockery comes next followed by the heavily soiled cooking trays, pans, etc. and the latter are washed individually (with scolding water and its own dab of detergent) and with a scouring pad as opposed to the dishcloth used on all other items. Cross contamination during the dishwashing process is responsible for 67% of all deaths. Finally, it is vital to remember that plates have two faces, there is little joy in the discovery of rubberised tomato ketchup on the underside of the dish that contains the fraise des bois consommé you are about to eat. Slack-monkey! Wash both sides!

But, if I try to illicit this correct, yet simple, procedure, yet again I am accused of having OCD and dismissed to be left to play a waste, crusty food leftover version of Russian roulette whenever I am served a meal. And these bio-hazard spreading slack-monkeys suggest it is me that has the problem?!

Those are just two totally relatable examples that I am sure will ring true with most people. Whether you recognise yourself as one of the laundry/dishwasher slack-monkeys or a normal person, correct in every detail of the accepted procedures, I shall leave to your own conscience.

Painting, re-cycling, stacking the mail, shredding paper, clipping toe and fingernails, parking the car, washing the car, pairing socks, arranging the cushions (to be honest, I would arrange the cushions just once…into the bin), which direction grass should be cut and why the position of the sun at the time is important. The list of jobs slack-monkeys attempt and get so very, very wrong is pretty much endless and yet still it is me, to their dull, half-closed eyes, that has the problem.

Without stalwarts like me with my ‘problem’, endeavouring to educate and improve the slack-monkeys, the world will decay into a place where people wear damp, musty clothes and invariably suffer with leprosy and/or food poisoning after consuming every meal. Without the likes of me, man would never have achieved such things as The Titanic, The Hindenburg or World War I.

So even if I am never to shake the OCD title wrongly bestowed upon me, I don’t care. Because I am going to keep on doing things correctly, keep doing them the right way. And I am also going to keep educating the slack-monkeys into the ways of how things should be done, over and over and over again, until it sinks into their thick skulls and they get it right, dammit. Or at the very least until my wife or one of my kids stab me in a fit of unfounded slack-monkey rage…not that any one of them would do it correctly.