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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ignoring the simple tasks

I like to have a clean bathroom, relatively speaking. My bathroom is by no means dirty, but nor is it spotless. Depending on who I am living with this can cause some tension. How hard is it to clean up after yourself? You make a mess, you pick it up. I just want to start yelling as if I’m in a basketball game, “FUNDAMENTALS,” and then do the five-clap rhythm afterward.

A classic example of failure to clean up after oneself comes in the act of brushing one’s teeth. When you brush, toothpaste falls into the sink, and there are two consistencies of toothpaste that will fall out of your mouth during this act. The troublemaker, here, is the form of the toothpaste that is nearly what it was when it came out of the tube. This is the toothpaste-type that never got mixed with your teeth and saliva. This toothpaste is sticky and tends to remain in the sink basin unless you remove it with your hands.

Unfortunately, this task of removing the toothpaste from the sink basin is a task far too difficult for many to take on. I have no idea why, but people just seem to neglect to do this. In turn, I have a growing desire to put toothpaste on their faces when they are sleeping.

It’s not so much the fact of the toothpaste being in the sink that bothers me. No, it is the choice or failure of someone to act by cleaning it out of the sink. One of the easiest tasks is frequently overlooked and I don’t know why.

My guess: There is some satisfaction gained in the flirtation with inaction. It’s kind of like cheating on a significant other: You play with evil, even when you know you shouldn’t. Remember Adam and Eve?

I see this kind of garbage all the time, and you will too, if only you look around. Next time you walk through a parking garage make some close observations. Look at how many people didn’t bother to straighten their car out neatly between the lines. Sometimes I want to leave little notes on their windshield stating, “There was damage done to your car – see if you can find it.” Of course, I would never touch their car, but it’s just the idea that they may be driven slightly crazy which would give me the feeling of justice I need for not being able to open my car door with more than 5 inches of space to get out.

Excuses, there’s always excuses. “I was late for work,” or “I didn’t have time.” It would take 15 seconds to repark the car. And not “having time” to do something which represents common courtesy to others is all the more a slap in the face.

You know, Nike’s slogan is fully applicable here, and offers great advice:

“Just do it.”

-Alex Tandy

Photo uploaded by user: Mets501 on wikimedia commons.

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