Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A New Contributor

Just a quick post to announce an additional contributor to the "Red Ink Comments" blog. His pen name is "tells it like it is". As a personal friend of mine I can vouch that this appellation is completely accurate since he always says exactly what he is thinking regardless of the consequences.

"tells it like it is" has made his first post today entitled "All About Excuses..." in which he, as usual, doesn't mince words. If you enjoy strong opinions strongly worded, read it now.

I hope to add more contributors as time goes on to reflect a range of personal opinions on topics large and small. I hope you will drop by regularly.

Dan Longiaru

Moderator and Contributor.

Garbage Nazi

The home life of the single person bears very little resemblance to that of the married, the co-habitating or the single parent with kid(s). For one thing, we singles are completely free to institute house rules which are alway obeyed because the author is only complying with his own rules. This freedom allows for a creativity and originality in developing procedures which those whose experience is limited to multiple-person households find hard to understand, let alone obey.

In my home I have a very simple and very common sense rule for kitchen garbage. The rule is thus:

THOU SHALT NOT MIX WET AND DRY GARBAGE TOGETHER.

Now what could be more straightforward than that, I ask you? Has there ever been a rule whose reason for being is more self-evident? Yet it is amazing how many of my friends, relatives and other guests in my home have problems conforming with it.

I have learned a great deal about the way the human mind works from observing people's reactions to this stricture and I find that they generally fall into one of three categories.

The first category includes those who immediately grasp the rule and comply with it unswervingly forever after. Those in this group are a distinct minority. I'm sure the motivation for their compliance varies with some perceiving the advantages of my system and others preferring not to argue with a madman. Either cause is equally acceptable to me as long as the rule is obeyed.

The second category consists of those who are genuinely perplexed by the rule. These need repeated admonishments to comply not because of any innate stubbornness but rather because they have simply never given much thought to the science of garbage-handling before. I tend to be patient with this sort of non-compliance since my experience has been that, once they grasp the fabulously positive benefits of this garbage-segregation regimen, they not only become enthusiastic adherents in my home, but adapt it in theirs and often become proselytizers seeking to spread their enlightenment far and wide.

The third and, unfortunately, the largest group are the willfully non-compliant who display their dysfunctional relationship with authority in reprehensibly passive-aggressive ways. While ostensibly adhering to the rule, they will question its purpose even though it has been explained to them a hundred times.

The challenge to the rule will generally unfold as follows:

The "closet revolutionary" will have an item for disposal in his hands (this type is overwhelmingly male) and will generally stand in front of the kitchen garbage can staring at it pensively for however long it takes to get my attention. Although tempted to ignore this cue for me to inquire into their dilemma, since I know what's about to happen, I will invariably respond simply to get the inevitable over with.

"Something wrong?"

"Well, I was just wondering..."

"Yes?"

"Now promise you won't get pissed."

"I promise."

"I mean it's not that I want to be difficult, but you have to admit that The Garbage Rule is rather vague."

"It's not vague in the least, at least to those who genuinely want to comply with it."

"See, you're getting pissed."

"Not pissed, just worn out from incessant carping. So what's your question?"

"Well... is this wet or dry garbage?"

Here we go again!! These Rebels Without a Cause will never give up. Having been beaten back innumerable times in their frontal assaults on the rule itself, they eventually switch to guerilla tactics that involve undermining the rule by demonstrating that it is unenforceable.

"Now I know this may be too complicated for you to grasp, but the key distinction that you need to make is whether the item in question is actually wet or dry."

The defense attorney cleverly ignores my obvious sarcasm.

"It's wet, of course."

"Correct. And where are we supposed to throw wet garbage?"

"In the bag under the sink."

"Correct again. So what's the problem?"

"Well... you said the reason you separate wet from dry is to prevent garbage from stinking up the kitchen.

"Yes, so??"

"So.... this is a paper towel with just some plain water on it. It's never going to smell so why can't it go with the dry garbage?"

"First of all, the placement of wet garbage in the dry garbage might wet some of the dry residue in the can and cause it to stink. However, even if I conceded that the wet towel would not cause the dry garbage to smell, what's the problem with placing the wet towel in the wet garbage just to keep things simple?"

"Because if there's no reason to put it in the wet garbage, why have the rule at all?"

"OK, how's this for justification: it's MY house, MY kitchen and MY garbage receptacles!!!"

"See, you ARE pissed."

One can never win with a personality disorder of this type. I blame the educational reforms of the 1960s and 1970s which de-emphasized rote memorization of the rules of an academic discipline. Instead students were encouraged to explore why the rules exist in the first place. A wit once noted that people educated in this way aren't able to get the right answer but they can explain how they got it wrong. In kitchens, as in math, one should first master the rules before questioning their legitimacy. The alternative is to almost pass out from the stink emerging from the typical kitchen garbage can whenever it's opened.

NOT IN MY HOUSE!

All About Excuses... (By Guest Contributor "tells it like it is")

So tell me why is it that people feel the government is at fault for the way the economy is? Oh that's right its the banks fault!
Well to tell you the truth it's your faults! the government or the banks didn't tell you to take out home loans for more then what you can afford or to live beyond your income per month did they? so who's fault is it now? doesn't any one look out for them self's anymore?

I haven't seen any one on the news saying "Well I did this to my self for living beyond what I make so here's the keys to the house and SUV I'm going to live in a box" Oh I know it's the banks fault for tricking them into buying a 400,000 home when they both only make enough to own a 100,000 home.

Is this how it went, your at the bank with your spouse and the bank person said, well you and your spouse only make 42,000 a year combined, but no fear we can make it look like your making 55,000 a year and get you in to that 400,000 house you've always wanted just sign on the dotted line please, so now your in debt 6 feet over your eye balls and paying back a monthly mortgage payment that is just about what you bring home and when it all comes crashing down it's the government or the banks fault?

Its funny how people look at life as if it only revolves around them and not how it effects the big picture. You people F'ed up the economy not the system.
You only make so much per month and still have the balls to max out your credit cards and when you can't pay your bills it's time to blame the government or the banks for telling you in advance that if your late on your payments we're going to charge you allot more in interest or take your stuff!
It's ok you can cut up your flat screen you paid 3 times as much as it's worth cause you didn't save up for it and bought it on CREDIT and feed that to your kids when they get hungry.
Oh yeah don't let me forget that not only did you buy a house you can't really afford you went out and bought a 40,000 SUV cause you think you have the right to own stuff you can't afford.
If you can't pay for everything but the house and car in cash then maybe you shouldn't HAVE IT !!!

In this life you only deserve what your can afford! there is no such thing as "you have the right" to anything other then to be free so don't F it up for the rest of us cause you think you have the right to things your can't afford.

What kind of roll model are we if this is how we look at life? it seams a good part of society lives for right now and not for tomorrow and hides behind "it's not my fault" and or "I have the right"
I would just like to see people taking responsibility for there lives and stop blaming the government! they have enough to worry about with out having to manage your personal finances.