I know that after all the awards this blog has won, the accolades, the effusive links and praise from other sites far and wide, you probably have this impression of me as a together, in-the-know individual with my finger on the pulse of everything hip. Well, I'm flattered you would think something like that, but as I felt obligated to admit in a conversation this past weekend, I'm actually a basket case, a teeming cornucopia of hangups, phobias, and obsessive compulsions -- so much so that I occasionally wonder how I'm able to function at all in a public setting. So lest y'all get tempted to place me on too high a pedestal, I'm giving you a peek behind the curtain into the creaking funhouse of my inner psyche with Five OCD Hangups I'm Probably Never Going To Be Able To Shake:
Anytime I enter something into an alarm clock or microwave, it has to end in 4
I was born on the 4th of June, 4's my lucky number, so anytime I set my alarm or enter something into the microwave timer, it has to end in 4. Supposedly 4 is unlucky in Japan because their word for the number four sounds like "death" (though that hasn't stopped them from giving all kinds of weird names to other stuff).
I have trouble throwing away anything with a picture of a cute animal on it
This particular neurosis has gripped me ever since I was a hypersensitive child, and even today I have to muster every bit of emotional strength I have to roll up an empty Pedigree bag like the one pictured above and throw it in the trash. I don't know, I just have this fear that somewhere a Jack Russell is dying a horrible death due to my thoughtlessness. See also: chocolate bunnies, inability to consume.
Anytime I drive over rumble strips, I have to sing "Hail Georgia"
Specifically, I'm talking about those sets of rumble strips that you see leading up to stoplights on public highways all over Alabama, the ones that have two sets of rumble strips spaced far apart followed by three close together. The "brump, brump, brump brump brump" sound your tires make as you go over them is almost the exact cadence of the whistle blows that the Georgia Redcoat drum major makes before launching into some fight song during a game; my sister and I noticed that one weekend as we were driving home to C-Town, so for good luck (I think the Georgia-Florida game was that weekend), we sang "Hail Georgia" every time we went over one. And now I can't stop. Laugh if you want, but it worked, didn't it? Hmmmm?
I can't drink from water fountains
I'm sure I've alluded to this on the blog before, but I'm incredibly germ-phobic, mainly when it comes to the foods and beverages I put in my body. And I would no more drink from a public water fountain than I would guzzle from a jug of milk that had a nice swampy layer of curds floating on top. Thanks to inconsiderate sick people and prepubescent kids who haven't yet been told that they don't have to actually put their tongues on the faucet in order to drink the water, these things are festering petri dishes of germs and sickness, or at least that's what I tell myself whenever I get thirsty enough to be tempted to drink from one.
I hold my breath when joggers pass me on the street
My general germphobia also manifests itself as a hypersensitivity to smells, which obviously includes foodstuffs that might be even the teensiest bit past their sell-by dates but also includes other people's bodily odors. I generally try to smell as presentable as possible at any given moment, and while I understand that not everybody is in a position to be similarly spruced up at every single hour of the day, I still reserve the right to not catch a whiff of your sweaty musk as you run by me. Who goes jogging in the middle of the damn day, anyway? Don't you people have jobs? And if so, what do you think the people at those jobs are saying when your sweaty ass returns to your office? For this same reason, I no longer attend outdoor music festivals between the months of April and September. Any of my Birmingham neighbors who've ever gotten a whiff of the humid, sweaty miasma hanging over City Stages in the middle of June will back me up on that one.
Yes, I know I'm borderline nuts, but I'm still glad I got all that off my chest. Anyway, here's the Ten:
1. Thievery Corporation, "Focus on Sight"
2. U2, "Exit"
3. Moby, "Oil 1"
4. Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Around the World"
5. U2, "Bullet the Blue Sky"
6. Moby, "Inside"
7. The Dust Brothers, "Marla"
8. Richard Cheese, "Only Happy When It Rains"
9. The Dust Brothers, "Medulla Oblongata"
10. The House of Love, "I Don't Know Why I Love You"
All right, readers, now it's time to fess up to your own hangups and compunctions (and throw your own Random Tens in the comments thread there while you're at it).