Malfunction

I’m pretty sure I have mild OCD. Nothing severe. I’m not compulsively drawn to light switches or anything like that, but I do have some personality “quirks” that are getting harder to hide as time goes by. My co-workers have been discovering some of my “issues” and showing absolutely no mercy. So I figured, why not take the bull by the horns and show everyone just how deep the rabbit hole goes?

When I eat sausage or hot dogs, I always cut them into an even number of pieces, which are eaten in twos. I save the end pieces for last. No exceptions, unless eating them in a bun.

I chew gum in pairs. You will rarely see me bum of a stick of gum off of someone because I’d feel like a moocher taking two pieces. Exceptions can be made on airplanes and in cases of very bad breath.

If I step on a sidewalk crack or even a seam in a tile floor with one foot, I strive to get the other foot onto a seam or crack of similar depth as soon as possible. The longer it takes, the smaller the second crack or seam needs to be to even out the sensation, although it never goes away entirely on its own. It has a half-life or something.

My favorite pretzels are Herr’s Sourdough Nuggets. I eat them in pairs, one on each side of my mouth, in order to keep the saltiness on my tongue relatively balanced. This requires examining the pretzels as I remove them from the bag in order to pair up nuggets of roughly equal saltiness. Exceptions can be made only in two cases: extreme hunger and lack of beverage, in which case pretzels may be consumed one at a time.

I sort crackers by saltiness before eating them. My daughter has not only started doing the same, but she recently actually solicited my input on how well hers were sorted, because independent verification can be valuable. I’m pleased to say that she sorted them well.

As for colorful candies, like M&M’s, well, conjure up a picture in your head, and it’s probably spot on.

I get these sugar free wafers at Darrenkamps or Stauffers sometimes. To eat them, I remove the top wafer from two of them and then combine the remains to make a double stuff. Bonus points for when I have a box of chocolate flavored wafers and vanilla flavored wafers, which can be combined into a multi-flavor double stuff. Exceptions can be made when there’s a troublesome top that doesn’t want to come off, in which case a one-point-five stuff will work.

I count syllables. I count them as I speak or think phrases, and I count them when other people speak. I prefer even numbers of syllables that are multiples of three. Six is good. Eighteen is best. I don’t know why. Even though they’re odd numbers, five and seventeen are okay. Twelve is good, but not eleven. And no, I will not do it for your entertainment, so don’t ask. Yes, I’m doing it anyway, but no, not for you.

I’ve also recently started, when typing titles, to capitalize articles, prepositions, and other words that should not be capitalized according to the rules of proper grammar. It pains me to do so, because I was an English major and my grammar is otherwise relatively flawless, but I simply can’t stand how unbalanced the lower case words look.

If you look at my hand when playing Uno, you’ll find that my cards are sorted first by color, then by point value. In other cards games, they’re sorted by suit then value. I thought everybody did this until we got the version of Uno where you swap hands with each other. I saw some horrifying things.

Maybe this is why I’m drawn to databases and programming, where traits like this actually come in fairly handy. One thing’s for sure: I can’t help any of it.

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