a few of my fantodish things

I guess maybe it’s true that everyone has his or her things.


Most of these things fall on a sort-of continuum with unusual on one end and flat-out strange on the other. The continuum, though, is subjective.

Yet I think we all have things too that even we have trouble subjecting to any internal view that puts said quirks in any sort of light of normalcy. We maybe accept these things about ourselves, but when someone else points out how weird they are we have no defense. Sometimes we can’t even explicate any type of origin for the quirk. We say, ‘It just is.’ And then usually the other person to whom we can’t defend ourselves picks on us about it, if it’s a loved one, or uses it as ammunition to bring in the dudes with the jackets that have long sleeves and buckles in the back.

The following are the strangest of the strangest random dislikes that give yours truly the howling fantods.(2) Or, another way to state the same: the following are the quirks that Ashley picks on me about most often.

1. I have a thing about Post-It notes.(3) This one at least has an origin that I won’t go into here, but even I find the way I deal with them awkward. Not to mention disturbing. These dastardly low-tack-adhesive wielding harbingers are the cockroaches of the office world. People can’t seem to hand me a piece of paper without a concordant Post-It note. And when they do, my initial instinct is to throw it in the trash. Or, if I need the paper for some reason, I’ll quickly remove the note with a gesture and countenance similar to someone handling an exceptionally droopy diaper. If – God forbid – I need the paper and the infernal note and I can’t deal with it right away so I can then throw it out, I’ll turn the paper upside-down so I can’t see the note. It’s a practice that exhausts even me. The most frequent offenders at work have been instructed by me never to give me something with a Post-It note if they actually want me to pay attention to it. Some people abide my request, others I imagine give me things with Post-Its on it purposefully to give me the fantods…maybe to help me get over it.(4) And so but then my boss realized that my cubicle doesn’t have an office number on it so she just casually and rather flippantly for my taste just dashed off a Post-It note with the prenominate number on it and stuck it just to the left of my office door so then now like fifteen to twenty times a day I have to walk past that canary-yellow bastard and look at it and feel all weird inside about it(5) and know that the only recourse I have for its removal is to have a number-plaque made somewhere so I can replace the Post-It note but then of course this is probably going too far and feels a little too much like admitting that I have a problem. Which I do. Have a problem. And admit it. But there are levels of disclosure I’m simply not ready to accept yet.

2. Peripheral to the Post-It thing is my abhorrence of things that stick. As in like anything that sticks. Any type of adhesive – glue, tape, low-tack, high-tack – makes my skin crawl whether I come into actual physical contact with it or not. Ashley’s nephew loves stickers only slightly less than he loves puzzles and one of his favorite things to do is to cover his whole body with stickers. Even thinking about it right now to write this is giving me a case of the howlers. She sent a picture of him once so covered and I had to delete it from my phone ASAP. ASAFP.

3. When I remind someone of something and she pulls out a pen and makes a note on her hand, I’m totally willing to drive her to the nearest office-supply store to buy her notepad of the non-Post-It variety. I can’t stand ink on skin. And I can’t stand how I can’t stand it: I have to wash it off right away. Bars now always stamp your hand to mark whether you’re of- or under-age. And you know what? I don’t really need to go to bars that much. I could never get a tattoo. I’ve had girlfriends with tattoos and I would never touch that part of their bodies. I mean, I think it’s cool that some people are willing to use their bodies as a canvas(6) and I say go right ahead and express yourself however you please. Just keep the ink away from me if you will.

4. Individual wrappers. For starters, I hate that crinkly sound they make. The inside of my brain feels weird whenever I hear it. When I was a kid I theorized that obviously at night while I was sleeping aliens came down with huge but ultra-thin needles and extracted some substance from within my brain and sold that substance to the makers of things that are individually wrapped. While I recognize now that this is crap(7) it has left me with no explanation at all for this phenomenon. But also those little wrappers just somehow never get thrown away by anyone who isn’t me. Ashley eats candy in volumes like any proper cystic(8) and sometimes she pulls out a pocketful of wrappers that sends me running right through the wall at a speed that leaves a perfect Bo-shaped and -sized hole in the wall. And sometimes she just sets this pile on the table or coffee table and I play a game with myself in which I try to let it go but I always lose(9) and end up throwing them away posthaste.

5. At first I thought these final two were different. But I realize I can put them under the same umbrella: food made up of food in two different states of matter. Anything solid with a liquid or semi-liquid center, and anything semi-solid that has other solids suspended in it. For the first one, think of those boxed chocolates with the gooey centers. For the second, think Jell-O(10) with fruit in it. You don’t get to be a guy of my size by turning down food but I’m telling you that if I’d been offered only food made up of food in two different states of matter, I’d be able to hide behind flagpoles I’d be so skinny.

So there you go. Five of my biggest foibles. If you’re up for it, leave a comment about one or two of yours!(11)

  1. More as in like an oddity of character than in any type of sexual-type thing. And especially not as in the classic rock band responsible for songs like ‘Girl You Really Got Me Now’ and ‘Lola.’
  2. Fantod: a state or attack of uneasiness or unreasonableness. (Source: The New Oxford American Dictionary, second edition. Oxford UP. 2005.)
  3. While there are many types of ‘sticky notes’ these days, the original Post-It Brand was created by 3M, a publicly traded conglomerate founded in 1902, with headquarters in Maplewood, Minnesota.
  4. Which, admittedly, is exactly what I’d would do if someone gave me the instructions I’ve given them. So I can’t exactly publicly fault them. But I can puncture little paper-ball likenesses of them with staples in one of several passive-aggressive acts I refer to collectively as Office Space Hoo-doo Voo-doo.
  5. Including feeling weird about how I feel weird about it. And probably also including how I feel weird about feeling weird about feeling weird about it.
  6. Ashley’s brother has a huge Aerosmith tattoo that takes up his entire upper-back. While I on the one hand think this is pretty hardcore, on the other hand I wonder about how a person could love a band that much. To say nothing about how much that amount of ink freaks me out.
  7. Because obviously the companies themselves do it. Aliens have much better ways of making money.
  8. Well, like a cystic who doesn’t need the high-calorie intake anymore but who still loves anything made primarily of sucrose.
  9. And I guess I also kinda win, but it’s a hollow victory.
  10. Jell-O is a registered trademark of Kraft Foods, a publicly traded company founded in 1903 with headquarters in Chicago.
  11. Just don’t tell me on a Post-It note please. Thanks.

One comment on “a few of my fantodish things

  1. Bo,

    I like this post 🙂 I think it’s interesting to learn about others weirdnesses!I hope you don’t mind but I would like to do a similar post on my blog. It won’t be stated or written nearly as eloquent as yours. .but I love the idea!

    Hope all is well with you and Ashley! 🙂

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