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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Monday, February 26

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Leo / March 18, 2005 11:19 AM

I recently drove cross-country and, in order to keep myself awake, sang the entire score of Jesus Christ Superstar-- including the instrumental pieces.

Leo / March 18, 2005 11:19 AM

I wasn't even singing along to a CD, mind you. Just acapella.

Steve / March 18, 2005 11:27 AM

I avoid all condiments and dressings. All of them. If it's cold and wet, I ain't putting it on my food.

kerry / March 18, 2005 11:32 AM

I collect and photograph pokemon action figures.

emily / March 18, 2005 11:50 AM

i make excel spreadsheets of my vacations in order to stay organized and focused. holiday time with the fam is scheduled down to the half hour. even my honeymoon was planned and color coordinated. it's sad, i know.

Veronica / March 18, 2005 12:41 PM

Here's something I don't do that everyone thinks is crazy: comb my hair. It only happens when I've washed it and I've slathered it with conditioner, and even then that's only twice a week. Otherwise, I stay far away from combs. Brushes, too.

me / March 18, 2005 12:58 PM

pluck body hairs

Roni / March 18, 2005 1:05 PM

It's something I did. I turned down a job at the Feminist Majority Foundation & a summer internship at Berkeley. I know...I know...

roxana / March 18, 2005 1:14 PM

I don't use an alarm clock. They really mess me up (I wake up very confused and frightened). I just go to bed every night and hope for the best. Hasn't failed me yet.

daruma / March 18, 2005 2:47 PM

OMG Steve, me too! My friends think I'm a freak for being anti-condiment.
Veronica, my friend Sara is known for never combing her hair either. But somehow it always looks fine!

karen / March 18, 2005 3:21 PM

i dont eat the fat ends of chicken fingers.

my friends think im crazy. you know how chicken fingers are shaped from pointy to round? i start at the pointy end, eat about 3/4 of the way down, then stop. at the round end, there is this weird little clear string thing that i refuse to eat. granted, whomever i am with usually eats that part once im done, but i say more power to them. its not crazy to me, but people freak out over this.

Jason / March 18, 2005 3:46 PM

When I'm not in a hurry, and it's not too cold, I walk only as fast as my momentum naturally carries me after the first step. It might take me 15 minutes to walk a block.
If I try to do this with a friend they usually freak out. It's not easy.
Why walk so fast? Where are we all going?

Eamon / March 18, 2005 4:13 PM

I drink champagne out of a can.

e_five / March 18, 2005 4:19 PM

I regularly set aside time each week to cry, usually on the floor, usually in my underwear.

emily / March 18, 2005 4:24 PM

i don't comb my hair either. of course, if i did my curly mop would expand to a frizzy afro.

Paula / March 18, 2005 4:43 PM

I clean out my cat's ears with a q-tip once a week so they are clean, pink, and wax-free. She doesn't seem to mind my obsession (in fact she usually purrs the whole time and closes her eyes halfway) but my husband thinks I'm insane and that I should let nature take it course.

k. / March 18, 2005 4:53 PM

i sleep holding my childhood security blanket. also, i let my cat sleep on my head.

Andrew / March 18, 2005 5:11 PM

I wash the outsides of upper-story windows by hanging out of them with a paper towel and a spray bottle. I close the window part-way so that if I fall backwards, my legs will hit the window and I won't fall.

Amy / March 18, 2005 5:51 PM

I love french fries so much I'll eat them frozen while I'm cooking the others. I also make my bed every single morning, even if I'm running late. Maybe not that crazy, but somewhat compulsive.

leah / March 18, 2005 6:15 PM

One person, and now all of you know about this: I have been accused of knowingly drinking from glasses that my cats have also drunk from.

I was only recently caught in the act by my boyfriend. He was appropriately disgusted.

chris / March 18, 2005 8:29 PM

I enjoy picking really zits, and I like smelling my own farts.

chris / March 18, 2005 8:30 PM

I enjoy picking really BIG zits, and I like smelling my own farts.

paul / March 18, 2005 10:09 PM

Well, you'd think that would stop this discussion in its tracks.

I use to cave, and actaully had a Navy Seal tell me I was crazy for doing it.

And Andrew, I use to do the same thing, but unfortunately my insurance doesn't cover doing windows or caving anymore.

Ron / March 19, 2005 10:17 AM

Spending hoiurs making meat towers

waleeta / March 19, 2005 12:43 PM

I have never, ever had a slushee in my life, even as a kid, and I live right by a 7 11.

Selenium7 / March 19, 2005 1:39 PM

I used to pop all the big zits on my college boyfriend's back. Ok, sometimes the little ones too. I liked the noise, the instant gratification, and the feeling that I'd somehow beaten nature at her own game. And it's really gross!

chris / March 19, 2005 3:45 PM

Hey Selenium7, you are a rare girl. I wish I could find a girl to pop the zits on my back..I agree with you about popping zits = instant gratification. I always like it when I get a big, throbbing zit, so I can smash it. heh

Leelah / March 19, 2005 4:00 PM

Move out to LA at 21 all by myself to work for a music agent.

And of course, more currently, make sure I send log descriptive emails to everyone I know every day of my vacation.

I am doing that right now. LOSER!

j3s / March 20, 2005 12:10 PM

I eat the skins of kiwis. They're tangy and delicious.

Mister C / March 20, 2005 4:45 PM

I leave festive lights up on my back porch all year round. I only use the industrial grade ones that are made to be up & on all the time-for safety & all, and change them at least once a year if I don't anyway for various holidays (with great eccentricity comes great responsibility).
They get turned on every night, which is sometimes a challenge if you're feeling down, but it forces you to get into that festive space for at least a moment, which can be quite therapeutic.
I'm sure many (most?) of my neighbors think this is way crazy (although I've seen I'm not the only one who does this), but I've always found that personal eccentricity works quite well as a "social spam filter." There's nothing more annoying than wasting time interacting with a neighbor only to find out they're an uptight snob, better to do something innocuous that will automatically drive away the stodgy and prim.
Pardon the epic length of this, I guess I'm just a rather verbose poster.

Jasmine / March 21, 2005 12:46 AM

I have a fear of lettuce. On the rare occasion that I will eat it in a salad, I have to eat it with my fingers and dip each piece individually in the salad dressing that's always on the side.

pat / March 21, 2005 9:41 AM

i crave deep fried hotdogs from the Marquette Inn. People are always astonished that they will deep fry them.

I also don't eat seafood or mushrooms. Or mayonaisse. Yech. People are always calling me out on those.

Thurston / March 21, 2005 10:04 AM

I refuse to ever see the movies Rudy and Forest Gump. I just can't subject myself to that generic paint by the numbers sentimentality that (I assume) both those movies possess, and I just know that both movies really suck. Poeple get really upset when I tell them about this, and I find it amusing.

Mrs. Notifbutwhen / March 21, 2005 10:30 AM

I rearrange the dishwasher after someone else loads it. You know, in order to maximize the use of the space. I also eat lychees, and don't know anyone else that does.

I also do/know things that make people crazy, like recite the lyrics to "Ice, Ice baby" and spontaneously bust out into a cheer (yes, from the cheerleading days).

Miss clean / March 21, 2005 10:57 AM

I totally rearrange the dishwasher to maximize use of space as well! My friends make fun of me but efficiency is key. I also used to compartmentalize my food. Did not like to have different foods touch on a plate. I think Gaylord's Indian buffet cured me.

paulette / March 21, 2005 10:59 AM

I rearrange the dishwasher too! I hate seeing wasted space in there.

I also always cross my street at the alley in order to take a diagonal path. It's just more efficient (OCD is all over FUEL today).

Steve / March 21, 2005 11:24 AM

The gal gets pissed at me for rearranging the dishwasher after she plops things in there, but she just has no concept of how to use the space efficiently! Quelle horreur! (I hate wasting the extra energy, water, and detergent stemming from a poorly packed dishwasher.)

That said, there's nothing crazy about doing so. Is there? Is there?

Also on the dishwasher tip -- I did something incredibly dumb yesterday when I failed to adequately rinse out my steel mesh coffee filter before putting it in the dishwasher. Cascade Complete will *not* dissolve coffee grounds.

And Paulette, I'm down with the diagonals as well. And when I'm trying to navigate on foot in two dimensions (say, from Franklin and Lake to Wabash and Adams), I always go with whatever light is green at each intersection rather than waiting for lights to change along a pre-determined route of travel -- this drives some of my friends nuts.

Does efficiency = OCD? I thought OCD was more geared towards checking nine times to make sure the oven is off before leaving the house and things of that, er, obsessive and compulsive nature....

Tracey / March 21, 2005 12:08 PM

I seriously, can NOT watch the classic cartoon movies for children. I can not sit through Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi....not because i'm too mature for them, but because i find them way too depressing and they make me feel physically uncomfortable when the characters are are ostracized. And I cry through them. Basically non stop.

Nicole / March 21, 2005 12:25 PM

I have a very, very serious fear of puke. Doing it, hearing it, seeing it, anything. I will never ever help my friends if they are sick. I will actually run in the opposite direction. I'll probably do the same if I ever have kids.

Mike / March 21, 2005 12:28 PM

I play chess whenever I can, usually online. Whenever I'm playing, I guess I concentrate or become so wrapped-up that my body language gets really fucked up. I'll chain smoke, my back gets all humped, I ball my fist around my nose and stop blinking.
It's not like I'm some intense grandmaster--I kind of suck most of the time--but maybe its because its one of those things where there is no luck involved, so if you get beaten its all your fault. Give me a game with dice and I'm cool as a cucumber, but put a chess board down and I look like Gollum with a 2 pack-a-day habit.

Craig / March 21, 2005 1:32 PM

I obsessively avoid walking on grass due to a inexplicable fear of stepping in dog shit.

Chris / March 21, 2005 1:48 PM

I avoid pills like plague.

IB profen, Tyleonol, Sudafed, perscription,over-the-counter etc.

I just won't take them.

Mister C / March 21, 2005 1:52 PM

I think Steve is right about OCD and dishwashers. If you went back 20 times to check that the dishwasher was still properly aligned, then you'd be straying into OCDville. The worst that could be said about the dishwasher efficiency posse is they're fussy or fastidious, but that's pushing it, since they are just doing things properly.

While I'm holding forth, a big second to Thurston's quip on those crappy feel-good movies that folks get all pushy about everyone having to see. That could be a whole topic unto itself, as there is at least one new sappy-thon every year.

mike / March 21, 2005 2:34 PM

I tend to take pride in annoying close friends and family. My roomates hate talking when the TV is on, so I talk to the TV. My mother wants to be a grandmother, so I send her links to adoption agencies and tell her to pick a Cambodian kid for me. I like to tell my PC friends I hate Eskimos, which I do. I also just made stickers that say "How Am I living?" and put them on a friend's mailbox and then called her and expressed my concern for how she was living.
I am loved by many.

paulette / March 21, 2005 3:17 PM

Steve - I didn't mean that effiency = OCD. But, rigidity of behavior is one aspect of OCD (and obsessive compulsive personality disorder).

Many of us who have certain ways of doing things may have a little more of those OCD tendencies than others (I'm not talking clinical levels here). To you and me, diagonals and dishwasher effiency (and the way I eat waffles the same way every time) are just the right way to do things. Yet it would never occur to some people that there is a "best" way to cross the street.

And I do the green light thing at intersections all the time too.

laura / March 21, 2005 3:19 PM

sometimes i put my finger in my belly button and smell it. just to make sure it's clean in there. it's not something that everyone cleans on a regular basis, you know?

and i generally order the same item on the menu when i go to certain places. when i find something good at a particular place, i don't stray much from it.

Brandy / March 21, 2005 3:23 PM

I just bought a pet hedgehog. That count?

kerry / March 21, 2005 3:31 PM

Paulette said: "(and the way I eat waffles the same way every time)"

Yeah, my boyfriend points and makes OCD jokes when he sees me eat waffles because i put roughly equal amounts of butter in every little square. I say it's not really OCD until you start putting *exactly* equal amounts of butter in every little square.
It just makes sense to want an even distribution of butter, y'know?

Mister C / March 21, 2005 3:42 PM

I suppose the warning sign would be if you start carrying around a little measuring spoon just for Waffle Declivity Butter Increments (WDBI's).

....... / March 21, 2005 3:44 PM

two of my big ones have already been mentioned. nicole, i am totally afraid of puke as well. like, to an extent that i sometimes evaluate whether or not i want to participate in public activities in terms of the odds of there being an 'incident'. ugh.

craig, i too share your aversion to walking on grass. i simply will NOT do it, because you just know that dog shit is EVERYWHERE. particularly in snow- or leaf-covered grass. i know it's hiding under there!

Thurston / March 21, 2005 4:23 PM

One more thing... I have been told that my CD organization practices are a little insane. In this age of burned CDs, I often am gifted a homeboy's new favorite album with simply the band name and album written on the disc. I appreciate the gift but I have to get things prepared under these circumstances. I always have jewel cases, inserts and CD labels on hand so that each disc has its own case and is well labeled with the artist name, correct song titles and the year released. I don't give this treatment to "Spring Break Beach Party Mix 1998" type discs, but for everything else I put in to the Thurston Decimal System for entry into my music library, the Thurstonian, in my study. I don't care for those case logic things - too hard to keep organized!

Steve / March 21, 2005 4:36 PM

Thurston, that's insane!

My CD process goes like this: alpha by artist, chronological within an artist, with albums by an artist, then any singles I may have of theirs. Soundtracks and compilations go under their title, except when the compilation is a tribute to a specific artist.

Any disc someone else burns for me gets ripped to my PC (and, if worthy, copied to my Archos), then tossed in a drawer. An unorganized drawer. After all, there are dishwashers I could be rearranging and condiments I can be avoiding, people.

Maggie / March 21, 2005 4:44 PM

I don't feel so bad about my OCD tendencies when drinking Coke now. 20 oz. bottle can be cold, can should be room temperature, fountain should be no ice, unless its from McDonald's and then I want ice.

I also do the green light thing, rearrange dishwashers (causing huge fights with my mother when I lived at home) and the waffle thing.

Kirsten / March 21, 2005 4:54 PM

I guess this is the opposite of things I "do" but I've never had a PB&J sandwich, which all my friends think is totally insane. I didn't grow up with it, and now the though of it sounds so disgusting to me, even though I'm not a picky eater. I know I should just try it, but..
I also refuse to see movies in the theater on opening weekends.

..... / March 21, 2005 5:29 PM

i refuse to clap in movies. absolutely refuse.

Jenni / March 21, 2005 5:33 PM

I participate in "Crazy-Offs" with friends, where we go around in circles and tell the craziest thing we've done lately to see who's most nuts. This weekend's contest offered some great stories, but didn't have a clear winner; in an earlier contest, I won for being afraid my nipples would get frostbite while I took a bath in my 68-degree bathroom. Fun!

thomas / March 21, 2005 10:52 PM

when someone says hi to me, i say hello. when someone says hello to me, i say hi.

paul / March 22, 2005 1:46 AM

I hope to get the last word before this post is closed, because I can't contain my infuriation from the content within the posts to this question.

I'll bet, sitting in on a "crazy-off" with some of my friends will send most of you into fetal positions, complete with crying and pissing on yourselves.

You people think spending a few extra minutes loading a dishwasher is the farthest you can stray from normal exsistence without someone questioning your sanity?

Haven't any of you people come closer to death? Haven't any of you people looked at the uncoming Metra train and wondered if you could make it across the tracks, even though your logic tells you that you can't?

Haven't any of you dared to climb up a rock, or crawl down a hole you weren't sure you'd be able to crawl down from, or up out of?

Haven't any of you dared to go anywhere that you haven't been before? Have you even considered going anywhere without map, or without mapquest, without voice activated GPS, without reading the lonely planet book, or without a credit card, or without a flight home?

Haven't any of you had your heart race hearing the stories from those military men and women who've made the drive from central Bagdhad to the airport? Those who've just done months of patrols, and the scariest thing is the ride to the airport?

Go ahead, indulge in your fear of movies, catsup, CD dis-organization, seafood, dry waffle squares, zits, puke and grass. Make them the scariest things you'll ever encounter. Cushion yourselves from the truely horrifying.

Guess what? If your measure of an extreme existence is an efficient dishwasher rack, you ARE fucking crazy.

mike / March 22, 2005 2:59 AM


Everybody has had loss in their life. Everybody has dared themselves mentally and physically. Everybody has tics. People, when you actually talk to them and appreciate them, are generally crazy and enduring and fun and a little scary. Your idea of "crazy" is nothing more than a way to give yourself a pedestal, to think, for a moment, that your life must be more fulfilled than others. Whatever crazy things you think you've done, others in history and others to be have done it and will do it better, with more necessity, and with more passion, many with actual mental disorders.
Of course, we think what you think, and do loco things in puncuated moments throughout our lives like you must, but often, it is our day to day behaviors and patterns that reflect who we really are.
I once had a 13 year old student who told friends and teachers she had to go straight home every day and that she really never left her house on the weekends or the summer either. Of course, her classmates defined her as "crazy." Being alienated, of course, increased her "crazy" mannerisms and abilty to interact socially. She developed social tics to compensate, things like speaking too loudly or changing clothes three-four times a day. One day, as an assignment, she gave a speech about a person she admired, her mother. She explained that every day since she had been 11 she went straight home and took care of her mother who was dying from AIDS. Nobody knew. Her "crazy" behavior that everybody was so quick to judge was nothing more than a response to her devotion, love, and necessity going unnoticed. Often, the way we act and hate and love daily is much deeper and more telling than flying to Cairo with nothing but a ticket or sending a family member off to war or mentally skip-hopping over metro tracks.
All things I have done, all things millions of other people have done and will do.

Steve / March 22, 2005 9:20 AM

Clearly I misread the question -- I should've read it and heard the theme from The X Games go though my head and gotten all amped and mentioned the time that I deliberately stuck my finger on a moving bike chain (the bike was on training wheels, the rear wheel over a small ditch, while my older sister was peddling) to see what would happen (it ended up in the sprocket, and bled something fierce), or the time me and a friend tried to walk 30 miles in the middle of the night along I-88 from DeKalb to Aurora to catch a train and got picked up by the state troopers or the time I threw a smoke bomb in an antique shop when I was young and ended up at the police station or the many little garbage fires I started when I was a kid.

But, silly me, I took the question as a prompt to talk about goofy little things we do that leave our friends and families chuckling and/or clucking at us. Now, where's my Red Bull and Linkin Park disc?

bill / March 22, 2005 9:53 AM

Paul's friends all told me they think he's crazy because he's always getting up on these very unstable and angry high horses and riding them around in anonymous forums meant for lighthearted chatter. He's a wild man, they say.

j3s / March 22, 2005 10:03 AM

Paul: I have gone skydiving, bungee jumping, climbed cliffs and glaciers, kayaked over waterfalls, stuff like that...but really, people seem more disturbed by my ingestion of kiwi skins than any of those things I just mentioned. Except maybe my mom.

joe / March 22, 2005 10:16 AM

Remember yesterday? This was fun back then.


joe / March 22, 2005 10:16 AM

Remember yesterday? This was fun back then.


roderick / March 22, 2005 10:25 AM

I came to this party late.

The question is "What's something you do that everyone else would think is crazy?" I thought that this would be in reference to a habitual thing, not a one-time-only thing, as per Paul's expectation.

One summer when I was a kid I made my own giant firecracker (bomb) by emptying out the gunpowder of little firecrackers into a home brew construction paper tube. I lit it in the driveway between my neighbor's house and ours. The exposion was so big it knocked me back, my glasses flew off, and I think I still can't hear that well.

Habitually, I only eat pb&j sandwiches with toasted white bread (usually Wonder Bread), dipped in a bowl of milk. When the sandwich is finished I slurp up the milk, finding gems of grape jelly at the bottom that slithers down my throat.

Man, I need to stop procrastinating.

courtney / April 1, 2005 1:12 AM

I have a phobia of vomit-it gives me a panic attack
I hate pasta and white sauces
i have never been to Chucky Cheese
I have never seen Gone with the Wind
I cannot stand when people say "I'm doing good" (YOU ARE DOING WELL!!!)
I put things in the microwave for times like 1:27
I can't do simple math in my head with numbers that don't add up evenly (like clue)
I refuse to eat all pig products. Not for religious reasons but because I am absolutely terrified of thrichinosis...

Beth / June 7, 2006 1:52 AM

I have a few things... I like the smell of my farts...I love poping zits... I pluck hair every day... I smell everything (hands, couch, wall) I rearange the dish washer for easy unloading... count every step up or doown stairs.. I can't stand to see or hear chewing even with closed mouths.. I could go but I will leave room for others lol

RAD / August 30, 2006 4:52 PM

Today, I am making a necklace using live .45 caliber rounds. I'm about to drill a hole in the first shell casing with a dremmel. Hope it doesn't explode! I'll let y'all know how it went. By the way, i like making homemade porn vids with the women i date.

Boo / March 21, 2007 10:39 PM

Everyone tells me I'm going to die from my sodium or caffeine intake. I drink Mountain Dew more than water, and I once drank like 4 XXL Monster energy drinks and fell

Boo / March 21, 2007 10:42 PM

Everyone tells me I'm going to die from my sodium or caffeine intake. I drink Mountain Dew more than water, and I once drank like 4 XXL Monster energy drinks and fell right to sleep. And for the sodium part, I eat Cup o' Noodles (which gives you 50% of your daily requirements) for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner, plus I like to eat the leftover crumbs in a pretzel bag. I hope I won't die soon.

Booger / March 21, 2007 11:04 PM

I've got you all beat. I love to eat parts of me. I'll eat my boogers, hair, scabs, skin from my feet, ear wax, belly button lint and even the dried up deodorant crumbs in my pits. I also enjoy popping zits (and eating the pus) - I'll pop the zits of complete strangers. One time I saw a guy on the bus with a big white head and I reached over and exploded it. I only date people who have uni-brows. My favourite past time is seeing how long I can hold my breath until I pass out. Oh, and I like to scratch my butt and then smell my fingers.

Jaiden / August 20, 2007 11:02 AM

Wow, I can relate to so many of you. I do the dishwasher thing, LOVE to pop zits ( my own and others), watch zits being popped, clean my ears and my dogs ears obsessively, love to dig out ingrown hairs and nails (such a relief).

Karen my friend does that same exact thing with the chicken fingers because of the jelly string in side of it. Doesn't bother me though

Alex / March 13, 2010 8:31 PM

When I was little I used to smell the household pillows to see whos was whos, I still can but i prefer not to.
I hate going inside of hospitals from the fear of getting sick or catching something, if someones sick and they are talking to me I will not inhale while facing them infact Ill aovoid conversation and walk away holding my breath then gasping for air in a clear airspace. I havnt got sick very much at all-i also wave away unclean air in front of me(very discretely)

I also have an extremely diverse personality, I make people laugh and can hold a conversation far above someones head and have more expiience than anyone my age. I do not fit in any social click atttt allll. Ive had many best friends, and now have only a handful of Just freinds. Some times I ponder on the universe and think of how this life could be a dream and that I might just wake up from it.
And some times I think that every one except me cant see what I can mentally THINK OF sometimes, or that my thoughts can be heard by everyone so I dooo not think of things I wouldnt want other people to hear.sometimes i feel like Im the only one who knows whats going on and sometimes i think that some how i will live to see the last sunset.I also for some reason think I SHOULD BE IN Africa, living surviving and also, just......being there seeing everything and having the freedom of living in an untamed world. Could be a rough world but I think I would like it. srry if the content in here didnt pretain 100 percent to the topic-im sixteen

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