Re: Ask The Mineshaft: Dirty Flowers

1

oh my.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:08 AM
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A subtle approach might be to ask if he has seen any dogs on the property while he's out on the porch, because you suspect a dog has been pissing on the laurels and killing them. This would be a good time to introduce the fact that laurels prefer acidic soil, and that urine is especially harmful to them. You might even follow up by saying you will have to go out and buy some aluminum sulfate to rebalance the pH in the soil, and this is such an annoyance, so would he please be sure to shoo away any dogs that come to lift a leg on the laurel.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:11 AM
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Run a small length of electric fence through your mountain laurel?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:11 AM
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Oh, man. You can't avoid insulting someone -- saying "Your habits aren't clean enough for our house" is just insulting, even if it's true. I got nothing. (Except sympathy. We had a three-month houseguest once under somewhat similar circumstances, with two big dogs as well. One of them ate a pair of Ferragamo flats, and the face off one of my daughter's dolls.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:17 AM
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3's probably the most fun. 2 might be too subtle (and I think urine is normally slightly acidic, so maybe laurels prefer alkaline soil or just not being peed on.), I fear, but might be the best way to bring it up assuming you haven't caught him peeing on the flowers.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:18 AM
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Wow. I wish I had some advice, but I will comment that you, Nameless Asker, are certainly living what I assume to be your politics. I'm very impressed, what with the lending money and providing a place to stay and all.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:20 AM
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2 might be too subtle

Substitute 'bums' for 'dogs.'


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:22 AM
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You're being really generous to open your home to someone who clearly needs help. I don't think subtlety or deferential courtesy is going to work all that well. Like any roommate confrontation, a sit-down at a previously agreed time where you say, as politely as possible, "my house, a few things have to change if you are to stay: no litter, no outdoor piss, and keep the bathroom clean, please." or some variant seems like the way to go. If he reacts with hostility, it's time for him to go. I would stay away from discussing his motivations or personal history-- your flowerbeds are more important than his problems, and leaving a crack for sympathy will result in your getting played.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:23 AM
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Why worry about addressing someone who acts as if he's been raised in a barn as if he's been raised in a barn? I wouldn't worry about offending the guy's delicate sensibilities. Just tell him you don't want him to piss in the yard. If your manner is matter-of-fact he shouldn't be insulted. You've got him putting his cigarette butts in the coffee can, so he's teachable, but it doesn't sound like he'd pick up hints.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:23 AM
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If you want to save your mountain laurel, don't beat around the bush. It's really simple: You just sit down and outline your complains politely. You are all adults and he recognizes the favor that you're doing for him if he's any sort of guest at all.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:25 AM
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In other words, what lw said.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:25 AM
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we all know that no good deed goes unpunished,
but this is getting into cruel and unusual territory.

i wouldn't start analyzing this as a matter of etiquette;
i think what's at issue are deeper dynamics of dominance.

this guy is acting like he is the big dog, and it's his house.
he's marking with as many smelly things as he can.

you could knock down one issue at a time--get him to clean up
about the laurels or the cigs or whatever--but he will just switch
to some other symbolic action. he wants to rub their noses in
the fact of his dominance. he is proving to them that he is the master.

so: me? i'd turf him out pronto. this is not going to stop.
it's going to escalate. he has shown that he is an ingrate,
without consideration and without conscience. the more they
accommodate and adopt and defer, the more he'll piss on them,
metaphorically or literally. it could get very ugly.

time for bye-bye.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:26 AM
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mcmc is right. Just tell him directly; he's not going to break down in tears.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:26 AM
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Laurels prefer acidic soil and urine, in the long run, acidifies soil. It does, though, create a bunch of hydroxide at one stage in its decomposition, which can burn leaves. Urine is also a very effective fertilizer. I think it's very likely that the mountain laurel enjoys the attention, so don't make it out to be the bad guy hre.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:27 AM
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Yeah, what Frowner said. You're doing a good thing.

Erm, I hate to suggest this, because it makes you the bad guy and appeals to invidious gender stereotypes, but if the houseguest is the sort of person for whom such invidious gender stereotypes are salient, could maybe K. do a little good cop/bad cop routine? "Lurker's fussy about this sort of thing (yard peeing, cigarette butts, whatever comes up next), you know how women are. Could you quit it so she doesn't give me a hard time?" That way Houseguest and K are bonding over the silly things women get fussy over, rather than Houseguest being directly insulted, and if he's a good guy I'd expect him to make an effort to please you even if he thinks you're unreasonable.

I'm not happy with it as a solution, but where feminist principles collide with kindness to a guest, something's got to give.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:28 AM
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Reminds me of my roommate, who has taken to peeing in the garbage can in our room. In consultation with my two other roommates, we decided to postpone talking about it with him until after he learns what his punishment will be for peeing in the campus bookstore.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:28 AM
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Heh. 15 crossed with everyone else's advice. I'm not usually the big softy around here, am I?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:29 AM
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Destroyer, that's really disturbing.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:30 AM
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He actually comes off as a really great guy, compared to his friend and teammate who broke a police officer's nose this past weekend.

Guess what sport they play?


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:31 AM
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I think urine is normally slightly acidic

Apparently it varies from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline, depending on diet and time of day. At night, during and post digestion, it's more on the alkaline side. It's probably harming the laurel less than it seems, but the stink is a bigger issue.

Also, rent Peter Weir's The Plumber.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:32 AM
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Pwned and probably corrected by neil.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:34 AM
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Don't make such a big deal out of it. If you act casual and not mortally offended and disgusted, he won't be as insulted. Next time you're on the porch, do a little investigatory sniff and say "it smells like piss out here, do you smell piss?" Either he'll fess up or feign ignorance, but either way say "dude, don't piss in the yard. That's gross."


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:37 AM
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Guess what sport they play?

Do I win?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:39 AM
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Is it possible, also, that M. knows that you are finicky about bathroom cleanliness and thinks he's being more considerate by peeing outdoors? (It keeps your water bill down, too.)


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:40 AM
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Isn't the main issue for plants nitrogen-rich urea? I forget what typically happens to urea in soil, but ammonia is endproduct of many reactions.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:41 AM
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I would go with "Stop pissing in my motherfucking mountain laurels." Actually getting angry treats him more of an equal than trying to find some uber-polite way to gingerly hint at it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:42 AM
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I'm gonna come down with lw and mcmc here - no hints, no beating around the bush. "Can you do us a favor and come inside to use the bathroom from here on out?" I don't think the appeal needs to be made on behalf of the delicate sensibilities of the lady of the house, but probably the message should be delivered by the butchest thing in the household.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:43 AM
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butchest thing in the household

Or just delivered butchly. See 22 and 26.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:44 AM
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I'm with kidbitzer in 12. This is only going to get worse. Throw him out.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:44 AM
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It can be surprisingly hard to ask someone to correct their behavior when their behavior is something you find something utterly mystifying and disgusting, because it's nearly impossible to figure out a way to tell them politely.

Recent example from my own life: "dude, don't use my towel. Wash your own towel and then use that. Using my towel is not okay."

Further example from my own life: "I'm sorry that you have a phobia about taking out the trash. You still have to do it."

Ahh, roommates/houseguests.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:47 AM
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As for the bathroom, well. The problem with these people is that they don't see him as an equal, but some down-on-his-luck dude they are being angels for by taking him in. I know the type, I have a good family friend that is always making friends with various ne'er-do-wells, giving them money, allowing them to stay at her house, etc. So, if you want him to feel like an equal, treat him like one, and not some baby whose ego you have to protect. Assign him a couple chores, including cleaning the bathroom that he's mucking up. If he's living there, he should clean, too.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:47 AM
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31--
see, this is why i always hated living in the post-socialist workers' paradise.
'dude, don't use *my toothbrush*.'
'but comrade, is toothbrush of all humanity!'
'oh fuck this collectivist b.s.--i'm going to go out and piss in the bushes.'
and then i woke up.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:50 AM
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Houseguest and K are bonding over the silly things women get fussy over

in a world of men, everyone would piss all over everything, all the time.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:50 AM
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32 was meant to be to 30, but i'm starting to like it to 31 instead.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:50 AM
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32: he looked a bit like a giant, filthy Karl Marx, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:51 AM
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31 strikes me a presumptuous and harsh. "The problem with these people." "I know the type." Actually, we know very little about them, so speculating as to their motives seems a bit much.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:53 AM
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"dude, don't use my towel. Wash your own towel and then use that. Using my towel is not okay."

i occasionally find myself using other peoples towels when I am a houseguest. Not deliberately, but my inhibitions against it are too low. Aren't you guaranteed to be clean when using a towel?


Posted by: mystifying and disgusting person | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:53 AM
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35--
then i *totally* don't want him sharing my toiletries.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:53 AM
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31: It's funny, this sounds like 'roommate' advice, not 'houseguest' advice to me. Maybe I'm being weird here, but when someone's a guest in your house (while they're totally responsible for being a good guest, and should be voluntarily doing useful things) I can't imagine assigning them chores, including cleaning up after themselves. It's not a relationship where I feel that the host has any authority over the guest -- you can say "leave", but not so much "behave differently".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:54 AM
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38: let alone having sex with a hooker in your bed, yes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:55 AM
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But when someone is around for months, the role as 'guest' gets a little fuzzier.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:55 AM
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i occasionally find myself using other peoples towels when I am a houseguest

That is So Gross. Cut it out!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:55 AM
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And what Ogged said -- not wanting to insult a houseguest by carping at their manners and cleanliness isn't necessarily a sign of contempt for them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:55 AM
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i'd just like to make it clear that 37 was not me, despite the lack of capitalization on 'i'.
i for one am not mystifying.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:56 AM
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How about just telling him directly?

Communication. Communication.

This question is basically the same as the sex question.

Don't beat around the bush.

Why are people so afraid of talking with other people??!?!?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:57 AM
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37: It's okay to use other people's clean towels, with the presumption that they will be laundered before being used again by the owner of the towels.

But just grabbing somebody's bath towel hanging in the bathroom and drying your body with it? Ick.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:57 AM
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I don't know that someone who stays in your house for over four months counts as a houseguest. Maybe I'm totally rude, but I wouldn't invite someone to stay in my house for months that I wouldn't feel comfortable leveling with, and saying "here's the deal."

Then again, I don't believe much in being a good "hostess", nor do I expect people to play host/ess to me when I am staying in their house.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:58 AM
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42: I am not proud of it. I have never pissed in the flowers though. And I make up the guest bed!

I realize none of these are excuses.


Posted by: mystifying and disgusting person | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:58 AM
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41 makes an excellent point. Somebody staying for a week and not doing the dishes is quite different than somebody staying for months and not doing the dishes.

("not doing the dishes" s/b "enthusiastically contributing tangy urine odor to the garden")


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:59 AM
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36, 43: I guess I just feel that people who would invite someone that is, not their friend, but an "acquaintance" and occasional employee to stay in their house for several months to probably be operating on some weird motives.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 9:59 AM
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"mmm! tangy!"


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:00 AM
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I grew up in a house with lots of houseguests.

Young girls would stay with us so that they could give their child up for adoption without their entire town knowing that they were pregnant.

I learned early on that you have to be very clear with people if you want them to respond. Otherwise, the somewhat evil ones or the somewhat stupid ones claim that they didn't understand what you wanted.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:00 AM
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50--
i'm with you, mlb. i think we can tell a lot about all of the actors
from the lengthy letter.
to wit: he's punking them, and they're being dupes and suckers.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:01 AM
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They should definitely watch out for 40, then. Very, very upsetting, take it from me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:03 AM
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50: to probably be operating on some weird motives

Kindness? Seeing someone who needs help, and trying to give it despite his not being a close friend? The lack of a close relationship makes it awkward, as the letter attests to, but it doesn't make the motivation ugly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:04 AM
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So gross
Ick

Sharing a towel is several times cleaner than shaking hands on the street.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:04 AM
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54--
exactly: very upsetting.
it's like people using your towels just because you left them in your bathroom.
you should be able to leave hookers in your bed without houseguests thinking they can have sex with them.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:05 AM
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Obviously, you should replace your houseguest with ogged.

max
['Yo! Dude! Quit pissin' so much on the damn tree! Spread it around; the grass needs fertilizer too. And clean up the bathroom, would ye?']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:05 AM
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If anyone can figure out how to get Mr. B. to even *recognize* his own towel--which is always hanging on the most convenient bar because I try to make this easy for him--and not use mine, please let me know.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:06 AM
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55--
i'm not saying 'ugly', lb, just naive.
failure to self-protect.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:06 AM
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59--
you could try marking it.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:06 AM
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I, for one, reject the idea that just one peson can make a garden bed stink by urinating into it, even if it's the only place he urinates all day. (A potted plant, probably so.) And to go farther, I suspect that the writer is smelling not urine but the odor of his own resentment (which not even the worst sinus cold can block). When the pissing 'problem' is taken care of, I think another problem will crop up that he feels is every bit is severe an invasion of his home. Take care of the root problem or you'll never stop feeling like you're getting pissed on.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:07 AM
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I was going to suggest the subtle approach--"huh, what's wrong with the mountain laurel?"--but on second thought that's kind of passive-aggressive. Just say "Dude, would you quit pissing in the goddamn yard? And would you mind cleaning your toilet once in a while so I don't have to clean up after you? Thanks."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:08 AM
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59: spritz yours with menstrual blood.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:08 AM
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*recognize* his own towel

I bought my towels in different colors so that guests would always know which was theirs.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:08 AM
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*recognize*

Hair clip, or squirt of perfume/cologne.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:08 AM
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59: Here ya go.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:08 AM
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64: I'm sure it wouldn't work, and then I wouldn't want to use it either.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:09 AM
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Tough love is the consensus. And maybe even forget the love part.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:10 AM
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59: pink for girls, blue for boys.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:10 AM
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65: Yeah, the guest towels are a different color. But even when Mr. B.'s assigned towel is his damn beach towel, he'll still grab mine. It's like it doesn't even occur to the man to think about the concept of towel ownership. (And yes, I have mentioned this, many times, along with "don't use my expensive soap, please, or my expensive comb." Grrr.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:10 AM
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This totally offends me. Men enjoy cocktails with little umbrellas in them too, you kno!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:11 AM
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67: So the solution is to find a towel for myself that's so ugly he won't want to touch it. Hmmmmmmmm, not bad.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:12 AM
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71--
mr. b is karl marx?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:12 AM
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don't use my expensive soap

I like it when my dude uses my various bath products. Then he smells awesome, instead of just vaguely non-dirty like all the generic man-approved products make you smell.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:13 AM
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It's like it doesn't even occur to the man to think about the concept of towel ownership

God, people are so weird.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:13 AM
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72: True. Both my boys are big fans of cocktail umbrellas.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:14 AM
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God, people are so weird.

I had this same thought, but it was directed to the idea of towel ownership.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:14 AM
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I am solidly in the just-use-any-towel camp. You're already clean when you're using it. What's the big deal?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:14 AM
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Man, I have no standards. I have no concept of my versus Buck's towel -- there are towels in the bathroom, and every couple of days one of us throws them in the hamper and replaces them with fresh towels. I'll use whichever's dry rather than a damp towel, but if I'm showering first I have no idea which towel is whose.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:15 AM
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Also, that 'hers' drink actually looks like a drink, whereas that 'his' drink looks like a doric column on fire.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:15 AM
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I'm with 78. I mean, a random houseguest is one thing, but your spouse/partner/person you have sex with on a regular basis. If I'm going to roll around with someone's naked body, I think I have have the object that touched their post-shower clean skin touch mine, too. Weirdos.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:15 AM
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76--
hypothesis: extensive experience of gym-culture intensifies proprietary feelings towards towels.

mr. b not go to gym much?
or maybe just feel at home at home?

my own reactions vary a great deal:
in gym context, mine track ogged's.
at home, who cares, we're all family.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:16 AM
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"have have" s/b "can have"


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:16 AM
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73: Ugly towels.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:16 AM
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I would not want a roommate or a stranger using my towel but with growing up with three sisters sharing a bathroom makes me generally a little less germophobic on that front since what little sisters are good for is mostly messing up your stuff anyway.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:16 AM
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You know, if I had a houseguest for one day and they used my towel I would probably find it slightly gross, but hey, I'll wash it. When a long-term houseguest uses my towel day-after-day, but doesn't tell me, and usually showers before I do? So that the only way I know is that it sometimes appears damp, and gets incresingly unfamiliarly smelly? Augh! So not okay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:16 AM
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79: In that case, why does anyone ever wash the towels at all?

A friend of mine has this same philosophy about the shower: you are washing all the dirt off, and with soap, and so why would you have to clean it? Her shower is disgusting.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:16 AM
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75: Yeah, well, maybe if he'd replace it when he uses it up, I might feel differently. Instead he buys that Dr. Bronner's peppermint crap, or ivory.

76: Ogged, let's you and me get married.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:17 AM
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The towel thing sucks because it makes your towel wet, and when you go in, you're forced to get another, either a fresh one inconveniently in the closet, or your guest's towel, which is so not the point of having his own towel in the first place.

The grossest thing about living with 5 guys, two bathrooms, was the nice carpet of short-and-curlies around the toilet. The throne itself was always spotless-- easy to spray with bleach-like-substance and wipe-- but nobody wanted to deal with the floor. And three of the guys were really hairy.

Oddly, visiting girls said they didn't mind that as much as the fact that we didn't have a handtowel, so they had to dry their hands and faces on our damp bath towels when they were over.

Ah, college.


Posted by: Counterfly | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:17 AM
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re: 75

There are many many great man products. There are entire bespoke industries producing elegantly scented male grooming products.

e.g.

http://www.gentlemans-shop.com/acatalog/shaving-soaps.html



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:17 AM
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As is so often almost never the case, Dilbert beat us to it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:18 AM
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In that case, why does anyone ever wash the towels at all?

Exactly. I take the phrase "washboard abs" to mean that my flabby tummy will leave the towel in a freshly washed state.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:18 AM
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Take it back, B, about the peppermint crap, or there will be WORDS!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:19 AM
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I feel this is an appropriate time for another lengthy quote from Motley Crue's great memoir, "The Dirt":

Our bathroom made the kitchen look immaculate in comparison. In the nine months or so we lived there, we never once cleaned the toilet. Tommy and I were still teenagers; we didn't know how. There would be tampons in the shower from girls the night before, and the sink was black with Nikki's hair dye. We couldn't afford -- or were too lazy to afford -- toilet paper, so there'd be shit-stained socks, band flyers, and pages from magazines scattered across the floor.

Outside the bathroom, a hallway led to two bedrooms. The hall carpet was spotted with charred footprints because we'd rehearse for live shows by setting Nikki on fire, and the lighter fluid always ended up running down his legs.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:19 AM
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91--
what's 'bespoke' about that crap?
do they take your measurements before you buy it?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:19 AM
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I freely admit that this "my towel" thing is a hangup. A hangup that I WANT INDULGED, dammit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:19 AM
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Ogged, let's you and me get married.

Don't do it, Ogged!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:21 AM
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Oh, and while I'm at it? Pee on the seat because the man can't be bothered to lift it sometimes when he takes a piss?

94: Sorry, Cala. Leaves one's skin too dry, plus peppermint smell makes me yack.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:21 AM
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You people are totally fucking grossing me out. First, someone is getting your towel wet, second, everyone has a distinctive odor, even when they're clean, and they're getting it all over your towel. Distinctive odor is not what I want to rub myself with when I've just bathed. I'm surprised y'all have so much time to comment here, what with all the baying at the moon you have to do.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:22 AM
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Can I come visit you, Ogged?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:23 AM
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Pee on the seat because the man can't be bothered to lift it sometimes when he takes a piss?

Please god, don't let this thread go there.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:23 AM
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102: Dude, my HOME has gone there. Fuck the thread.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:24 AM
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okay: so maybe the lurkers should ask their nightmare houseguest to lift the mountain laurels before he pees?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:24 AM
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re: 96

Oh fuck all. 'Bespoke' isn't intended literally. It's just the short of shit 'gentleman's' shops say.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:24 AM
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Everybody bring a used bath towel to unfoggeDCon! It'll be like a key party, but elegantly scented!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:25 AM
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Pee on the seat because the man can't be bothered to lift it sometimes when he takes a piss?

This is obviously unacceptable. I expect this to be uncontroversial.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:25 AM
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my expensive comb

What bad outcome do you foresee from his using your comb?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:25 AM
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I don't feel like I've really been welcomed as a houseguest until I pee on someone's toothbrush.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:26 AM
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100: Dude, you claim to wash your clothes by wearing them into the shower. I am so not being shamed for insufficient fastidiousness by someone who does that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:26 AM
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108: Lice.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:27 AM
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108: First, I can't find the goddamn thing. Second, he buys himself the cheap-ass combs and if you're gonna use the nice stuff you should take equal responsibility to provide it. Third, it's MY FUCKING COMB, dammit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:27 AM
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110: At least those are his *own* clothes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:27 AM
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you claim to wash your clothes by wearing them into the shower

Wait, what's wrong with that?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:28 AM
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99: Gotcha. For me, the peppermint smell is the best part.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:28 AM
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They've got all those other smells, too. I like the almond one.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:29 AM
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Honestly this whole conversation of finding a specific place to pee is sort of confusing me. It just dribbles harmlessly down your leg, and your pants dry soon enough. Doesn't anybody else do this?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:29 AM
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116: Eucalyptus!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:29 AM
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109--
heebie, that's just gross, okay?

in our house, the rule is you only pee on your own toothbrush.
plus, that moistens it before you scrub the grout around the base of the toilet.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:29 AM
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I actually want to know how this Ogged laundry thing works. Do you soap up with the clothes on and then rinse and take them off to hang dry, take them off and wash them with regular body soap, keep a bottle of Woolite in the shower, what?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:30 AM
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114: Other than the whole 'not actually making them clean' bit?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:30 AM
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The lavender is really nice, too.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:30 AM
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Maybe someone could come up with a toothbrush that doubles as a pregnancy test!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:31 AM
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Honestly this whole conversation of finding a specific place to pee is sort of confusing me. It just dribbles harmlessly down your leg, and your pants dry soon enough.

I have friends (girls) who will pee sitting on a curb. When they're out, downtown, at night. I swear to god.

They'll recruit two friends to sit on either side of them, then stretch their shirt down over their hips and sit on it, and pull down their jeans and go. (Shirt has to be sufficiently long.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:32 AM
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Other than the whole 'not actually making them clean' bit?

Jesus. Before I get into the shower, I take off the clothes and put them on hangers. Then I get into the shower and bathe. Then I take the clothes off the hangers, and scrub them with (a different, more astringent, bar of) soap. Then I rinse them and hang them to dry.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:32 AM
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124: That never occurred to me but hey! Great idea! You could also do it wearing a skirt.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:33 AM
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I had definitely interpreted taking the clothes into the shower with you as wearing the clothes into the shower.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:33 AM
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120: he shampoos with woolite, and it rinses down onto the clothes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:33 AM
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128: Plus it makes his back hair nice and soft.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:34 AM
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126: I knew girls who would do something similar all the time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:34 AM
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I knew girls who would do something similar all the time.

Don't they run out of urine?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:35 AM
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131: that's what beer's for, young heebie.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:36 AM
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Coyote urine is supposed to be an effective repellant for mammalian pests, B. Maybe you could spray some on your towels.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:37 AM
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125: Still weird, and with no necessary connection to 'taking a shower', unless you don't own a change of clothes. What you describe there is called 'handwashing' your clothes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:44 AM
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Yes, I handwash them in the shower. Rarely, I'll handwash them in the sink. It's not so odd.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:47 AM
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Laurels prefer acidic soil and urine, in the long run, acidifies soil. It does, though, create a bunch of hydroxide at one stage in its decomposition, which can burn leaves.

We're in agreement that laurels prefer acidic soil, but I think there is some confusion about the impact of urine on soil acidity. Cala correctly notes in 5 that urine is slightly acidic. However, the decomposition of urea creates hydroxides that are strongly alkaline, as noted in 14. I don't know enough chemistry to assess what long-run process might result in the soil reverting to acidity, but the short run impact is definitely to produce a more alkaline soil. Pace 3, It is entirely plausible that the piss is killing the laurels.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:54 AM
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Totally odd.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:54 AM
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he shampoos with woolite, and it rinses down onto the clothes

When I lived in New Orleans, the kitchen sink in our apartment was so tiny that my roommate and I washed the dishes in the bathtub.

On the topic: Yeah, tough love.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:54 AM
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Ogged, that seems like an awful lot of work. Do you bring a rock into the shower to pound them on, too?


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:55 AM
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You guys, Ogged lives in California! He's saving water! Don't hassle him. You should be thanking him for helping provide your winter produce.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:57 AM
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In college, when the dishes had really built up in my dorm room, I'd bring them into the shower - let them soak while I bathed, then scrub them.

I've occasionally worn bike jerseys into the shower, but they still stink afterwards, so to hell with it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:58 AM
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Do you bring a rock into the shower to pound them on, too?

Actually, I pick up a day laborer by the train tracks and let him wash the clothes in his half of the shower while I bathe myself in my half.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:58 AM
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140: taking showers saves water?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:59 AM
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You guys, Ogged lives in California! He's saving water!

Somehow I doubt this is his primary motivation.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:59 AM
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I doubt that he is saving water. Maybe if he was doing what we all thought at first - wearing the clothes into the shower. But Instead he's running water at a high rate in the shower instead of a slower rate in a sink.

Waste, waste.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 10:59 AM
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Actually I completely don't buy the "saves water" argument, since a washing machine doesn't use a continuous water flow. Saves energy, maybe.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:00 AM
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taking showers saves water?

Compared to taking showers and running washing machines, yes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:00 AM
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If you want to minimize water use, washing clothes in a full sink and taking baths would probably be the way to go.

Or alternately wear your clothes into the bath with you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:01 AM
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Actually I completely don't buy the "saves water" argument, since a washing machine doesn't use a continuous water flow.

He probably takes less time to wash his clothes in the shower than a washing machine cycle would take, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:01 AM
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Do you bring a rock into the shower to pound them on, too?

Rhymes with rock.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:01 AM
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I doubt I'm saving water, but I appreciate the thought, B. I think your koi pond saves water, too.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:01 AM
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147: but he's running the shower twice as long.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:01 AM
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148: Or don't wash your clothes. Or your body.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:02 AM
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I bet R. Kelly can resolve the battle of the sexes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:02 AM
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OT, but Yggles just linked to Rick Hertzberg, who has identified the RNC memo that started the whole "Clinton cackle" story.

Your liberal media at work.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:03 AM
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NSFW! Wear your headphones!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:03 AM
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You guys are the best: informative, insightful and amusing. I referred to myself as a lurker in my email to ogged, though I didn't mean to suggest that I need to be anonymous.

I think those of you suggesting the direct approach are quite right. Subtlety will probably not work here. I have thought along the lines of comment 2's 'Have you seen any dogs...?' scenario, but know I would be unconvincing.

I don't think he's doing the big dog thing. He's done some more electrical stuff around the house, the kind of stuff we'd have paid him for previously. He keeps to his room. He's often up before Kevin and drinks the coffee I set up for Kevin so he sets up another pot. He's good w/the cats and buys them the occasional toy/treat. I just think he has some interesting personal habits, some of which don't bother me (he sleeps on the bed, not under the covers; odd, but harmless), some of which do (peeing in the yard). I'm sure he pissed in the yard wherever he and his now ex-wife lived and thought nothing of it. I have no problem w/someone pissing in their own yard. I guess I'm just surprised to find someone who thinks nothing of pissing in someone else's yard. Perhaps I'm naive and don't know a sufficient variety of people.

Wrt ulterior motives on my and Kevin's part, I'll certainly think on that, although I am hardly objective.

Wrt invoking gender stereotypes (comment 15): Thought about that and may go that route.

Wrt being overly sensitive about M's feelings: I think I'm sensitive to this bc, though not raised in a barn, I learned about personal hygiene, cleanliness, dress, etc. not from my parents, but from others' kind and unkind actions and comments. I know, I know, M's 50-something years old, should be able to handle the offense, probably is able to handle the offense, but I guess I'd just prefer to avoid offense if possible.


Posted by: Annie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:03 AM
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156 -> 154. Now go put your headphones on and listen, because it's very very hilarious.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:04 AM
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Some quick googling tells us that a 4 minute shower uses about 10 gallons of water, whereas running a load in an EnergyStar compliant washing machine uses 18-25 gallons of water per load. Given that it probably takes 4 minutes to wash the clothes, and that only gets one change of clothes clean, if you buy these numbers: no. Not saving water.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:05 AM
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What he's doing is marginally more efficient than a single-garment running of the washing machine, but more water-intensive than using a sink or washing lots of clothes in a single machine load.

I'd like to claim this is the dullest thread ever, but it's not, is it?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:05 AM
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Dear Mineshaft,
I have a houseguest who keeps peeing in my koi pond, then drying off the fish with *my* towel. Also, he keeps flicking cigarette butts into the laundry. How should I broach the subject?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:05 AM
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I'd like to claim this is the dullest thread ever, but it's not, is it?

I think it's one of the better ones we've had lately, actually. But I haven't been around much for a while.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:07 AM
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Ogged should marry B and wash his clothes in the koi pond.

max
['Carping!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:07 AM
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I have a houseguest who keeps peeing in my koi pond, then drying off the fish with *my* towel. Also, he keeps flicking cigarette butts into the laundry.

I'd tell him directly, but he's my husband, and he doesn't listen. Any advice?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:08 AM
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I'd like to claim this is the dullest thread ever, but it's not, is it?

Then someone hasn't gone and appreciated the R. Kelly song in 154. Basically the second half of the song.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:10 AM
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158: Yay! It is funny! I can't really figure out what's happening, though. Is it a behind-the-scenes chat? A music video? An E! True Hollywood Stories? Wow.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:11 AM
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Everybody bring a used bath towel to unfoggeDCon! It'll be like a key party, but elegantly scented!

Howabout instead have all the men go to this site (which features a prominent picture of a plastic dick) and make um, copies, and then y'all can pass them around as party favors.

max
['And skip the pheromones!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:12 AM
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I'm just sad nobody but bitzer picked up on my "roommate having sex with hookers in your bed" story, which is 100% true.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:12 AM
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KR, it's not as if urine is a brand new fertilizer in need of more research before we can be sure of its effect. Search and you will find a lot of papers affirming that, like practically all other high-nitrogen fertilizers, urine has a net acidifying effect on soil.

As far as houseguests go, reasonable tastes can differ, but I see no reason to object to anybody pissing in your yard unless they're doing it in front of you.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:13 AM
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I doubt this is his primary motivation.

So?

Re. Koi pond, *not my house*. I wouldn't put a koi pond in, are you kidding?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:14 AM
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Turns out it's not true, either.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:15 AM
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169: You don't think that the resulting smell matters?


Posted by: Annie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:15 AM
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171: totally true. He was sleeping on the couch and once, in a fit of generosity, I had offered him some clean sheets and a little private time with his girlfriend in my bedroom, so I guess he figured "hey, fair game whenever!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:17 AM
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168--
nobody but bitzer.
i'd be deeply hurt by that line, if it had come from someone who mattered, i.e. anybody but tweety.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:17 AM
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174: why would you be hurt? You backed me up, man! You're my bro! Or lady bro! Depending?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:19 AM
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I feel I've been in Annie's position before, and it's not as easy as "We need to talk about stuff," especially if the roommate/houseguest is just oblivious about certain things. Calling him on the pissing thing is difficult because, to her, this seems totally unbelievably weird, while to him, I'm sure, it's nothing that any man wouldn't do, and nothing that any woman wouldn't do if she could. So you're not just saying "Hey, don't be rude," you're saying, "Who are you that this is okay with you?"

I realized this when I lived with people who (a) would not train the cats, who peed and shit all over my stuff ("Hey, man, they're like animals, you know? And stuff is just stuff!") and (b) could live for months without toilet paper and refused to buy it, though they were happy to use it when it was there ("Hey, man, like, toilet paper is an invention of the Man to make us feel weird about our bodies! It's a luxury item. We have a shower!") I couldn't talk to them about these things after several attempts because it's not like they didn't recognize my position; they thought it was insane.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:20 AM
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171 to 170


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:22 AM
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176a gets it exactly.


Posted by: Annie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:24 AM
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176 is correct.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:24 AM
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176b: What did they use in place of toilet paper? And did they really think it was an invention of The Man blah blah blah?


Posted by: Annie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:26 AM
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I find it somewhat hard to believe that one man could produce enough urine to make a whole garden bed stink permanently. I mean, unless the bed has no drainage, or unless he's excreting something that's not supposed to be in a healthy person's urine, there shouldn't be any lingering smell since all the odorific chemicals should break down very quickly. (Maybe something to do with the meds?)

In particular, your comment about being able to smell it even with a stuffy nose and a window made me suspect that you're actually smelling the -idea- of urine.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:28 AM
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Zeth Wheeler is The Man.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:28 AM
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neil is annie's houseguest.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:28 AM
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I waited about a year (slightly more I think) before asking a roommate who I get along with really well and am now good friends with whether or not he was aware that he almost never closes the cabinets after getting out a plate or a glass. The frequency of his doing it greatly decreased afterwards.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:29 AM
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I'm smelling the -idea- of a stripper's ovulation.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:29 AM
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175--
mollified now. i thought you were chopping my liver.
our honor is satisfied.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:29 AM
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180: Yes. He was raised by heroin addicts; she was raised on a humanitarian mission to Guatemala. They came from opposite sides of the tracks and found that all their ideologies folded neatly into one beautiful thesis: marijuana at 8am.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:31 AM
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What did they use in place of toilet paper?

There's a passage in The Places In Between in which Rory Stewart discovers that the reason he was never offered a pitcher of water to clean himself after relieving himself in Afghanistan is because their technique was to use gravel. It's on page 87 of the paperback edition.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:34 AM
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187: I spent several years researching that thesis. Never wrote much down, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:35 AM
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189--
i should hope not. writing stuff down is totally an invention of the man.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:37 AM
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They never explained what they did without TP, though I think I noticed my male roommate tending to take showers fairly often. My female roommate, though... she is a mystery to me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:37 AM
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Some mysteries should remain unsolved.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:38 AM
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188: The places in between are so raw and scratchy.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:39 AM
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191: Maybe she was one of the magical pretty princesses.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:40 AM
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"The Places In Between" was a compromise title that they settled on after the publisher refused his original title, "The Taint".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:41 AM
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That passage being in a book titled The Places In Between is almost too good to be true.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:41 AM
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Washerdreyer, can I marry your roommate? Because that's another thing Mr. B. does that drives me nuts.

In our last house when we redid the kitchen we just didn't put doors on the cupboards.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:42 AM
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"The Places in Between" is, in very nearly every sense, too good to be true.

Here, also in the blurb on the back cover.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:44 AM
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181: He doesn't pee in the flower bed (that's where he was flicking his butts). He pees on this one spot on the ground just past where the patio's concrete ends and which also happens to be where the mountain laurel grows.

I do admit that, with 5 cats, I do sometimes think I smell urine when a quick re-sniff tells me otherwise.

Kevin and I separately smelled the urine, thought we were surely wrong, then repeated this sequence for a couple of days before one of us asked the other, 'Do you smell piss outside by the mountain laurel?' Of course, I don't know how I can convince you that the smell exists, although you're more than welcome to visit and smell for yourself.

He is out there a lot bc he smokes a lot. He drinks a lot of coffee. Probably a couple of pots/day. He's also out there in the wee hours bc he can't sleep (wonder why). So he has plenty of opportunity to piss up the joint.


Posted by: Annie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:50 AM
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almost never closes the cabinets after getting out a plate or a glass

I have this same problem, and no, we don't realize it. My wife thinks I may be a little retarded.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 11:56 AM
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I am apo. Buck has a tendency to get into conversations about how blissfully happy our marriage is that then veer off into "Except that she can't close the goddamn cabinets."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:01 PM
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I also fail to close the cabinet doors, but only while living alone. I always find it interesting to trace those behaviors that one would never do (a) while living with strangers, (b) while living with friends/partners, (c) even while living alone. Like, I amass clutter while living alone, and will sometimes not put away clean laundry during a busy week, and I'm bad about keeping all the dishes done (I'll do like half and then get distracted), but I absolutely will not tolerate a dirty toilet. When I live with people, though, I keep the clutter in my room, and try to stay on top of any public-area messes.

This makes me wonder if I just don't respect myself enough.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:02 PM
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203

Well, like I've said, if garden health is your concern, urine is not harmful (certainly not compared to cigarette butts) unless highly concentrated. If he's peeing where concrete meets dirt I suppose that it could reach harmful levels of concentration that much faster, so ask him to pee in different parts of the yard.

It sounds more than a little bit like you are resentful of his presence per se, not just his effect on the yard. But I'm not offering any advice on this subject other than that you consider it.

I think smokers tend to have especially pungent urine.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:05 PM
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I come from messy people. I just wasn't raised to keep the house cleaned. My mom seems incapable of doing it. My dad is incapable of doing it.

But, both my gf (living together 4 yrs) and my last live-in gf were obsessive neat freaks.

Despite being extremely messy all my life, I have now been trained to pick up after myself. You can teach on old dog new tricks.

(If I come to DC Unfogged, do not mention to my gf that I claimed to be neat. She would still laugh.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:06 PM
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urine is not harmful (certainly not compared to cigarette butts) unless highly concentrated. If he's peeing where concrete meets dirt I suppose that it could reach harmful levels of concentration that much faster

So the people who yell at me for letting my dog pee on a tree are sanctimonious and correct, or sanctimonious and incorrect? (This is in Brooklyn, with concrete.)


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:10 PM
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My MIL doesn't close cabinets, which is obviously where Mr. B. got it from. Aside from the untidy look of it (which hardly matters, given what a mess the house as a whole is), it pisses me off because the open cabinet cupboard corners are always right about at face level for me; Mr. B. is too tall to fucking hit his head on them.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:10 PM
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Every guy I've dated has woken up in the morning to make the bed. This is totally absurd to me. Like, we wake up, and then we each move to a corner of the bed and start tucking sheets and pulling corners. Am I the only person on earth who does not, as an adult, "make" the bed? If people are coming over, I'll make it, but just for myself? It would take a lot of retraining to get me to do that, though I happily help the weirdos I've dated make theirs.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:10 PM
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Ah, destroyer! You are a neighbor!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:11 PM
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I make the bed every morning. Not always very well, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:12 PM
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Garden health is not my only concern, although the plant was given to us by my FIL when we bought our house and we do like it.

Besides saving the plant, my reasons for M's not pissing outside are:
- I don't want to smell piss every time I:
- walk in the back door
- bring the garbage cans out and back (piss spot is right next to the cans)
- a usually welcome breeze wafts through the dining room
- sit at the patio furniture which is approx. 4' away from piss spot
- I don't want anyone pissing in my backyard. It's unacceptable behavior in its own right. It's also un-neighborly. And completely unnecessary.


Posted by: Annie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:12 PM
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Well now I'm in college, but sure. In fact, I believed you mentioned you were from Park Slope once? If so, we're really neighbors.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:13 PM
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Is "every guy I've dated" an exaggeration in 207? Because if not, this may be the single weirdest thing you've ever revealed about yourself here, AWB. Every one??


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:14 PM
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205: Sanctimonious and correct - there's a whole lot of dogs in Brooklyn.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:14 PM
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207: I have trouble even comprehending why people would make the bed. If I think really hard about it, I can just begin to get a sense of why they might find it important.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:16 PM
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Am I the only person on earth who does not, as an adult, "make" the bed?

I would only make the bed when changing the sheets, except that Roberta is a total Nazi about it. Though mostly she makes the bed.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:17 PM
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212: weirder than apologizing for penis size?

I smell a correlation! (Tangy!)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:17 PM
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Buck makes the bed daily -- if it were up to me it would probably never get made. But he works in an office that opens off our bedroom, and explains the need for the bedroom to be visually neat as minimizing distractions.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:18 PM
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216: The hypothesis, then, is that bedmaking men are poorly endowed. Ogged, is your bed made?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:18 PM
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212: Oh, I forgot about that one. I should catalog more carefully.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:18 PM
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I sometimes "make" the bed right before I get in it at night. In my case, though, that's just putting the comforter across the bed kinda orderly, instead of leaving it crumpled up. I don't believe in flat sheets. I'm not a particularly neat person, but I like the feeling of getting into a made bed more than laying on the bed and pulling the comforter over me.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:20 PM
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219 to 216, I meant.

In some parts of Germany people still shake out the duvets in the morning and hang them out of the window to air out. Big fluffy duvets hanging out of windows everywhere.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:21 PM
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I suspect that we could fairly accurately predict the bed-makers on Unfogged.

(unrelated to Apo's hypothesis.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:21 PM
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218: I beg your pardon.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:22 PM
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As I have explained before, all the guys who have apologized about penis size have also been at least averagely, even well, endowed. And they all make their beds.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:23 PM
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I broke my wife on the bed-making issue. She used to do it daily, but now our bed hasn't been made in years.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:23 PM
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224 really is weird. Maybe the correlation is that guys who watch a lot of porn tend to be bedmakers?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:24 PM
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I am shocked that this thread has turned to penis size. Simply shocked.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:24 PM
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Am I the only bed-maker here?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:24 PM
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225: Does that mean that you never change the sheets, or that when you do, you just throw some clean sheets in a heap in the middle of the bed?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:25 PM
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"Sorry I'm taking so long; I made the bed a lot as a kid."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:25 PM
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Apo irons and folds his underwear. How could he not be a bedmaker?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:25 PM
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228: Depends. What size is your penis?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:25 PM
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Bedmaking sometimes has to do with the size of the living space. If people are going to be using your bed as a couch, bringing their subway-contaminated behinds into your sleeping space, it's nice to have the bed made because the comforter/duvet protects your sheets from their dirt.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:26 PM
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229: he takes the bed into the shower with him and cleans the sheets there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:26 PM
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LB:

He is a child! Shame on you.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:26 PM
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232: Only one way to find out.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:26 PM
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I don't iron anything.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:27 PM
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229: the fitted is put on properly, but the top sheet and the blanket gets thrown in a heap in the middle of the bed.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:27 PM
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Stay out of this, will.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:27 PM
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Actually, wait. I might need you to broker a divorce.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:28 PM
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What is the point of the top sheet? I hate them. It just gets all twisted up and is down at the bottom of the bed by the end of the night.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:28 PM
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I don't iron anything.

Why are you letting the facts ruin my story?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:28 PM
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236: Indeed. Ogged, mail LB teo's cock photo.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:28 PM
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238: very complicated to figure out what this might be saying about your penis size.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:28 PM
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Am I the only person on earth who does not, as an adult, "make" the bed?

No, if it's any comfort. In fact I don't think I know anybody who does. The stupid, pointless work thing is getting better though - when I was a kid my mother not only made her bed, but ironed underwear and socks. Later in life she gave this up, so inch by inch we move forward.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:28 PM
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I would appreciate it is this thread became a general "how to make your spouse do more housework" advice thread. Mine doesn't do enough.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:28 PM
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What is the point of the top sheet?

So you don't get sweat (or what have you) all over the blanket.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:29 PM
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Annie, I have a side question, why are you *lending* him money? This puts either you in the position of nagging, or him in the position of not paying you back. Find some chores for him to do around the house or the yard and pay him for it.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:29 PM
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I think we can say that people who are fastidious about bed-making are more likely to be paranoid about penis size. (I love how small n's give rise to exciting hypotheses.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:31 PM
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246: I could actually use the reverse. Mine does too much, and I feel guilty. I'd be happy with a messier house, or to hire a cleaner, but actually cleaning as much as he does is unlikely to happen.

And my interest in teo's penis is purely scientific. Teo, you'll be receiving a form from my Institutional Review Board shortly. Just sign it -- there's nothing to worry about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:32 PM
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241: the way I hear it, it keeps you from having to wash your duvet cover quite so often.

I like top sheets, actually. There's something deluxe about having that extra layer of fabric. Mattress cover, bottom sheet, top sheet, blanket, comforter, and in the middle of the baklava, the golden honey and nuts.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:32 PM
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Mine doesn't do enough.

Have you tried putting it in writing, Brock?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:32 PM
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The top sheet is for those of us who are warm enough during the night to not want a heavy blanket. Also, layers keep you warmer in the winter. Doesn't anybody else turn the thermostat down when they go to bed?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:32 PM
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253: And open the window.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:34 PM
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I like sleeping without any covers unless it's very cold. If I get too hot at night I have terrible nightmares that are extremely realistic. Then I wake up, as I did this morning, confused as to which crimes I've actually committed and which only my subconscious is guilty of.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:34 PM
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254->243.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:34 PM
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Every guy I've dated has woken up in the morning to make the bed. This is totally absurd to me. Like, we wake up, and then we each move to a corner of the bed and start tucking sheets and pulling corners.

Where does AWB find these men she dates? Is there some kind of exchange program from another planet? So strange. I know 212 commented on this already, but I just had to say it again.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:35 PM
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And my interest in teo's penis is purely scientific.

Damn. I guess 243 is Plan B.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:35 PM
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If we made the bed every morning I'd probably be wondering where the bed went that night. The only time we make the bed is when we're changing the sheets and then we're all crazy obsessive about it.

The funny thing about the towel business is how it gives the lie to UnfoggeDCon as Hook-Up Central. You're all going to be standing around a punch boil kept at a sterilizing boil, wearing hazmat suits.

Run a small length of electric fence through your mountain laurel?

I have a funny story about my dad being a child in the '40s and thinking it would be hilarious to grab a cow's ear with one hand and an electric fence with the other and thus shock the cow. (Yes, he now knows this is extremely cruel and stupid.) Turns out the cow barely felt a thing. It just mooed at him. My dad, though? The reason I can't really tell the story in text is because it's only funny when he tells it and does the little dance.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:36 PM
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now our bed hasn't been made in years.

So do you just toss freshly-washed sheets on the mattress?

I'm a neat sleeper, so making the bed has always meant, for me, folding the corner back up. Which is not to say that I've always done it. I seem to recall that, when I moved out of my bad long-term GF, I started "making" the bed more regularly in my bachelor apt. How's that for passive-aggressive?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:38 PM
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Top sheet by itself is good, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:38 PM
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248: We were lending him money before he came to stay. The understanding is that, since he doesn't have to worry about rent, he'll have more money available to pay for stuff he needs. He has borrowed some money since he moved in, but he has paid that back when he gets paid. And it has slowed down. We don't expect to get much, if any, of the pre-move in money back, but we're at peace w/that.


Posted by: Annie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:38 PM
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how it gives the lie to UnfoggeDCon as Hook-Up Central

I don't think that's a lie. Presumably they all just retired to seperate showers with individual sparkling-clean towels afterwards.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:40 PM
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I would appreciate it is this thread became a general "how to make your spouse do more housework" advice thread. Mine doesn't do enough.

Isn't she pretty much full-time caring for the Brocklet?

I've had some luck with the playful 'do you mind doing some dishes because if I have to come home from school and do them I'll probably be too tired for sex' line.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:40 PM
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260 would not have been so pathetically 229-pwned except that I had to help my daighter go potty.

Just for the record. When do the pwnage rankings come out, anyway?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:42 PM
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Where does AWB find these men she dates?

I would try to answer this, but instead I will provide the answer my old roommate gave when we asked him why all the boys he was interested in were pale, sickly-looking skinny things: "Those are the only ones I can cull from the herd."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:42 PM
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I seem to recall that, when I moved out of my bad long-term GF,

Dude, you made the bed over her immediately post-coitus? No wonder it went bad....


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:42 PM
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the playful 'do you mind doing some dishes because if I have to come home from school and do them I'll probably be too tired for sex' line.

Is this "playful" because you have no intention of sex anyway? Because that's just mean.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:43 PM
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259--
how now, ground cow?
why not wait until after they're slaughtered, and have ground beef?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:43 PM
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268: No, it's playful because we're probably going to have sex anyway, but it gets the point across.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:44 PM
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266--
yes, i remember once wondering why all of my dates wore thick, coke-bottle glasses.
wondering briefly.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:44 PM
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we're probably going to have sex anyway

Ah, newlyweds....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:48 PM
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If I make the bed, the room looks clean. If I don't make the bed, the room looks dishevelled. I can't imagine the mental processes of someone who doesn't think this way.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:48 PM
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273--
opposite of 'dishevelled':

hevelled?
or shevelled?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:49 PM
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And open the window

You really are German at heart, aren't you, Blume?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:53 PM
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Either that, or it's a family thing- my dad does it, too. Unlike him, however, I have yet to set up a bed in the tin-roofed shed. He likes to sleep in when it rains.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:56 PM
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in s/b there


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:57 PM
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Also, layers keep you warmer in the winter. Doesn't anybody else turn the thermostat down when they go to bed?

Yes, being cold helps me get to sleep. And so does the noise of a fan in addition to the coldness it provides. And I can't get to sleep unless there's a sheet or something on top of me, unless it's like 90 degrees in the room and I wouldn't be able to get to sleep anyway.

I found last year that the rule "the colder it is, the easier to get to sleep" only applies down to about 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Below that it is too cold to sleep.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:58 PM
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And open the window

My freshman roommate & I were barely on speaking terms over this issue. I could not understand how someone (from VT!) could want to sleep in an overheated dorm room without ventilation (especially, let's be blunt, with 2 18 yr old males in it - we weren't pigs, but it's not like a lot of cleaning and laundering was going on).

A very pleasant aspect of my first time sleeping with my now-wife was an unseasonably mild February night that permitted open windows.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:58 PM
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There were also other pleasant aspects.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:59 PM
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Hypothesis: Sleeping with the window open is most highly correlated with geographical location (urban areas = no, suburban/rural: yes) and personal preferences re: the scent of processed air.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:59 PM
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Either that, or it's a family thing- my dad does it, too. Unlike him, however, I have yet to set up a bed in the tin-roofed shed. He likes to sleep in when it rains.

I love sleeping in cool weather with the windows open while the rain hits the tin roof.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 12:59 PM
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280: She made the bed?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:00 PM
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I've had some luck with the playful 'do you mind doing some dishes because if I have to come home from school and do them I'll probably be too tired for sex' line.

The problem with this is that if she then actually did the dishes I'd probably feel pressured into having sex. Yuck.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:06 PM
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She made the bed?

I married her, didn't I?

She's actually much more bed-making focused than I am. She'll make it immediately before bed if need be - she likes ot slip into a made bed, and obsesses about clean sheets. I swear, if we had a maid, my wife would have the sheets washed every single day.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:09 PM
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My gf cleans up for the maid.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:10 PM
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I love a bed that's been made.

This doesn't of course mean that I make the bed.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:10 PM
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Hypothesis: Sleeping with the window open is most highly correlated with geographical location (urban areas = no, suburban/rural: yes) and personal preferences re: the scent of processed air.

Eh. I've lived in city limits for the past 17 years (and never in the country), and only sleep with windows closed when it's full-on winter.

What amazes me, personally and professionally, is that there are people (many, I'm given to understand) who literally transition from furnace to A/C and back, without ever, you know, opening the fucking windows.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:11 PM
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I'm so glad I don't live with you people. Then again, I live with my wife, who shares your appalling housekeeping habits, so same dif.

Also, I couldn't come up with a clever "Cat on a..." twist on the tin roof theme, but somebody should.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:15 PM
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288: Wait, are you an architect? Because while I know that those crazy people you mentioned exist, I am still infuriated that they are given the power to design buildings. Every place I've worked for the last ten years = no functional windows. Deliberately.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:15 PM
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My gf cleans up for the maid.

This is, apparently, near-universal behavior. I think that my wife has even said that one benefit of getting a maid would be encouraging us to clean up more often. It's also possible that the crazy ex said this.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:18 PM
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It's called being considerate of the person to whom you are paying sub-living wages.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:20 PM
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290: Oh, commercial buildings are a whole 'nother thing. Basically, it was a bad confluence of stupid architects (who liked the clean look of uniform facades) and lazy mechanical engineers. Architects have gotten smarter (not all, of course), but engineers no lazier. It is SO much easier to design an HVAC system with no random inputs, such as someone opening a fucking window.

Makes my blood boil.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:20 PM
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This is, apparently, near-universal behavior. I think that my wife has even said that one benefit of getting a maid would be encouraging us to clean up more often. It's also possible that the crazy ex said this.

My gf gets fired up the night before the maid comes, firing off cleaning commands to me and scurrying around putting things away.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:21 PM
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It's called being considerate of the person to whom you are paying sub-living wages.

Clearly, you do not use a maid. One day, I played around with the math. I suspect that our maid makes about $75,000.00. (we are just one of many people that uses her.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:22 PM
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Maybe instead of a maid, you could hire someone to come to your house and scold you if it's dirty. Saves money!


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:23 PM
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It's called being considerate of the person to whom you are paying sub-living wages.

Well, yeah. I also think it has a lot to do with honesty about what the maid's there for. If we were ever to get one, I suspect it would only marginally reduce our housecleaing load, but we'd get a much cleaner house out of it. I actually think we keep a decently clean house, and it's not too onerous, but there are things that just don't get done, or get done annually (like polishing built-in woodwork).

It's entirely unclear to me what my dad's maid cleans, because his house is packed to the rafters with newspapers (exageration). Actually, he fired his last one and hasn't replaced her, I believe. No discernable change, except the bathrooms could be cleaner.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:25 PM
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Cleaning for the housecleaner is nuts. Decluttering for the housecleaner is strongly advised, both for your benefit and hers (or his).


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:27 PM
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Will - is she freelance or part of a service?


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:27 PM
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Christ, will, clean up your fucking house already.

That'll be $150. I take PayPal.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:27 PM
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the clean look of uniform facades

Holy smokes, I read past this the first time. Are you kidding? The fact that a building might look "uneven" by having, say, a window open on one side and not the other is an actual motivation for so-called professionals?

Please, please tell me I'm misreading you.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:29 PM
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This is, apparently, near-universal behavior. I think that my wife has even said that one benefit of getting a maid would be encouraging us to clean up more often.

This is a sensible practice. The comparative advantage of the maid is in making things clean, not making things orderly. Indeed, you may have difficulty finding your stuff again if you rely on the maid to put it away. By putting things away, you create order (half of the "clean room") effect and lay bare the surfaces for the maid to clean (the other half).


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:30 PM
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The thing complained of in 301 makes perfect sense to me. A big high-rise that is mostly windows would look a whole lot different with a bunch of windows randomly open all over the place. Many building designs are about the effect of lines, and when you open windows you add all kinds of extra lines in unpredictable places.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:31 PM
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misplaced paren: s/b (half of the "clean room"effect)


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:31 PM
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She is freelance. Maids working for a service make less, but can still do ok. (relatively speaking)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:34 PM
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When Gehry met with the future tenants of his MIT building, the one thing they all insisted on was that the windows be able to open. He made lots of arguments about how it was easier to keep the building comfortable if they didn't, but no, the nerds stood firm. Go, nerds!

There are some places (high hurricane risk zones, for instance) where windows that open are more of a liability.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:34 PM
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when you open windows you add all kinds of extra lines in unpredictable places

God forbid.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:35 PM
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Many buildings designs are should be about the effect of lines comfort and practicality of the people who use them.

I think that's the heart of the matter. Totally different priorities.

Don't mind me, I'm cranky after having had a fight about comfort vs. sex appeal in clothing styles.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:36 PM
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There's a lot of variation in how much money cleaning people make. Consider: some places are cleaned by services that exclusively employ illegal aliens who were smuggled expressly for the purpose. Mostly these are corporate clients, like Wall Mart, but there has also been forced labor in housecleaning.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:39 PM
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Clearly, you do not use a maid.

I used to, and I'd clean up alongside her a lot of the time. I also gave her regular raises and two weeks paid vacation. Nonetheless.

I suspect that our maid makes about $75,000.00.

You're factoring in the time and costs of driving from one job to another, cleaning supplies, taxes, social security, and health insurance, right? And keeping in mind that cleaning is hard on the body and she'll probably develop repetitive strain injuries if she doesn't have them already?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:43 PM
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308: Which side were you on?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:43 PM
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the clean look of uniform facades

Actually, I meant that operable windows look different than inoperable ones, so you'd get this variation in frame thickness. Nowadays, architects often take advantage of this effect, butit was deprecated back in the day.

And, indeed, some architects do mind the effect of randomly-open windows. Mies van der Rohe designed window shades that only have 3 positions (open, closed, and 1/2-way) so that his Lakefront Towers (?) buildings in Chicago wouldn't look all sloppy. I believe that this was a concession; his earlier residential towers had no shades at all.

None of this is sane or healthy, and Witt is right at 308.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:45 PM
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Maids working for a service make less, but can still do ok. (relatively speaking)

Apparently the average salary for a maid is $13,832.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:45 PM
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310: he may also be assuming she's able to put in a full 8 hours of cleaning every day, don't forget that one.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:46 PM
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312: of course, back in the day, it hadn't occured to anybody that HVAC wouldn't be preferable to open air.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:46 PM
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314: I assume he's using a standard 40 hour work week, which is why I mentioned the time involved in commuting between jobs.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:47 PM
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Yes, the Modernists were quite irate about having to have tenants in their buildings who would screw up their lines by doing stupid things like operating their window shades.

Solution: Either open or closed. All or nothing.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:48 PM
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Or halfway.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:50 PM
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312: You are thinking of Lake Point Tower. Another Mies (actually, built in his philosophy by his students). I love you, Mies, despite all these hataz.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:50 PM
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Frank Lloyd Wright didn't let the petty bourgeiosie's desire for a roof that kept the rain out get in the way of his artistic vision.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:52 PM
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Hey, whaddya expect if you leave a piece of art out in the rain?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:53 PM
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A good building is one that doesn't leak.

Great architecture leaks, but nobody cares.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:54 PM
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Are those bourgeois petty in the sense of frivolous or small-minded?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:55 PM
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323: do I have to choose?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:56 PM
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Gehry doesn't think about things like icicles, or multiple exits from buildings. In its first year alone, his building at Nerd U very nearly killed people due to the extraordinary icicles that formed on a swooping wing of roof, and then did kill people when a psycho with a machine gun very easily kept everyone in the building hostage for eight hours because he could monitor all the exits from a single vantage point.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:56 PM
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Actually, Wright's buildings are uniformly more practical and humane than nearly all by his Modern contemporaries. Operable windows, thoughtful sunshading, functional built-ins. His was a very different vision.

But he refused to bow to mere "technological limitations," and so you get drooping cantilevers and leaky roofs. Caveat emptor.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:57 PM
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320: I thought petty bourgeoisie was an eggcorn for petit bourgeoisie. Was it honest-to-god wordplay?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:57 PM
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Hey, whaddya expect if you leave a piece of art out in the rain?

"Someone left the art out in the rain. I don't think that I can take it..."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:57 PM
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did kill people when a psycho with a machine gun very easily kept everyone in the building hostage for eight hours because he could monitor all the exits from a single vantage point.

The real tragedy is that the building's still there, but they're all gone.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:58 PM
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eggcorn?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 1:59 PM
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324 to 327.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:00 PM
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Eggcorn.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:01 PM
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Many chinese skyscrapers have windows that open. This makes me fear that we barbarians are going to lose.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:01 PM
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But petit bourgeoisie doesn't mean frivolous or small-minded.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:02 PM
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Nor would it fit 320. A mystery!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:04 PM
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333: Traditionally, though, the Chinese have been very generous about letting barbarians assimilate into the empire. I think if we learn the Confucian classics they will let us enjoy their skyscrapers with windows that open.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:06 PM
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Well, kind of.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:06 PM
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337 to... another mystery!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:07 PM
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skyscrapers have windows that open

See, but this is where the mechanical engineers have a legit excuse; pressurization gets really tricky that high above ground. It's not so much the airplane thing (although that's part of it), but the entire building acts like a chimney, with air rushing out upper floors and in lower ones.

That said, early skyscrapers had operable windows (I think the Empire State even), so it's not insurmountable. Just hard.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:09 PM
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Apparently the average salary for a maid is $13,832.

I'm not suggesting that all maid are going to get rich.

But, I've done some divorces for maids who work for services. For people with less than a high school education, I've seen them make in the low twenties. (tips and wages included)

They like the flexibility.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:11 PM
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This building famously uses its shades as a user-controlled design element. Can't open the windows, though.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:19 PM
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Which side were you on?

Comfort and practicality. In clothing as in housing as in consumer products of all kinds.

(Not saying that everyone has to choose comfort and practicality at all times, just that I'd prefer that it be the default.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:19 PM
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340:

But

I think you are using this word improperly.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:22 PM
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341 is nice, but I gotta question the colors. I know Euro tastes in color are very different from American, but I thought the building was a holdover from the 60s. Yeesh.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:23 PM
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I think you are using this word improperly.

Why are moderately ethnic women always focused on the but?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:34 PM
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Huh, I like the colors. Maybe KR's got it right in 275.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:40 PM
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Great architecture leaks, but nobody cares

Near where my mom lives is one of Peter Eisenman's high-concept houses, a monumental failure. The flat roof in a high-snowfall area was just one of the problems; much of the plywood in the construction rotted, and the place was appallingly expensive to heat.

I find willful waste deeply offensive, hence my objection to windows that don't open when any sensible person would turn off the heat/AC and open the window. Skyscraper designers may have an excuse, but most of the residential construction around here, especially multi-unit buildings, has built-in A/C. In Portland fucking Oregon, for crying out loud.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 2:53 PM
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302 is exactly right.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 3:03 PM
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326: Wright's buildings LOOK humane, but try sitting on the chairs or figuring out how you'd change the lightbulb.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 3:14 PM
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I've seen them make in the low twenties.

Oh well there's a living wage.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 3:20 PM
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On the original topic: it won't solve the underlying problem, but hosing the area down periodically ought to help with the smell.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 3:30 PM
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Some people make supercool buildings, but should not be (/have been) allowed to make housing. People I've met who live in Corbusier's apartment buildings curse him all the day long, but his Carpenter Center in Cambridge, MA is one of my favorite public buildings ever ever ever.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 3:37 PM
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try sitting on the chairs

Well, his barrel chairs are super-comfy. I tend to find this complaint over-wrought - most non-Aeron, non-club chairs aren't especially comfortable over any length of time; Wright's at least look good.

how you'd change the lightbulb.

Fortunately, CF technology has minimized this flaw....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 3:52 PM
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My mom knew some people who housesat Falling Water for a while. Apparently it was dank year-round and bred indoor mousquitoes.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 5:01 PM
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I totally flunked Peeing In The Ocean 101 in the dark last night. I was wearing a skirt and was careful to arrange myself so that I wouldn't accidentally pee on my underwear. I was so focused on not peeing on my panties that I wasn't looking at where the water line was and as I was crouched down a big wave came and splashed me, soaking my underwear.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 8:21 PM
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I was surprised at how hard it is to pee in the ocean when you're in deep enough to be not touching bottom. All that water-treading makes it difficult to relax.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 8:25 PM
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356: backstroke. AGAINST the tide and prevailing wind, though


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 8:27 PM
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indoor mousquitoes.

Ack!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 8:27 PM
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355: Never turn your back crack to the ocean.

/lifeguard


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 8:41 PM
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358: shoulda called it "Standing Water," I guess.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-07 8:44 PM
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