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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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Saturday, May 25

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r / January 26, 2011 4:07 PM

I always have to check my oven dials when I leave, as I once came home after a 10-hour absence to see one of them had been on all day long.

I also bite my nails. And I can't go a day without sugar.

Jenny / January 26, 2011 4:24 PM

I pick the skin around my fingernails.

When I eat small things that are served in large quantities (e.g. nuts, crackers), there has to be a specific number (multiples of 3 are good, but I hate 24) and I have to spread them out in a pattern. I eat the least attractive one (maybe it's burnt or broken) first and then continue until the "best" one is left. If they're M&Ms, I sort them by color.

I dissect Kit Kat bars.

eee / January 26, 2011 4:50 PM

I have a whole system for when I make tacos, and I've been this way since I was a small child. Taco ingredients MUST be in the following order:

Meat goes in first, then cheese so it melts into the meat. Then tomatoes, because ed looks good next to the yellow cheese. Next lettuce, because lettuce goes with tomatoes (like in salad). If there are onions, cilantro, salsa, or hot sauce, those go in next to complete the "salad" theme. Then sour cream to hold the veggies in place, with black olives smushed into the sour cream. That said, if I get tacos in a restaurant I don't care how they're made. Go figure.

I also have a system for dealing with creamer and sugar packets when I have coffee in a restaurant, but I won't bore you with that.

kate / January 26, 2011 5:15 PM

I alphabetize words in my head.

(I aabeehilptz dorsw in my adeh.)

Lakshmi / January 26, 2011 5:17 PM

I wanna hang out with kate - wow

Tracie / January 26, 2011 11:08 PM

I didn't think this was so quirky until I told my colleagues, and they thought I was weird. Which begs the question, who decides what's "quirky"? Anyway, I don't like carbohydrates. Bread, cake, muffins, pancakes, rice, etc. Eating them makes my stomach feel like it's going to explode. I do tolerate pasta, though in small doses.

Cinnamon / January 27, 2011 12:14 AM

I always turn my shirts inside out when I take them off, but no other article of clothing. I play with eyelashes when I'm tired (even though I have a major eye phobia). I'll spend 20 minutes making curtains even but can't be bothered to dust. I won't bore you with the very strict order of the order to hand-wash dishes in.

Meems / January 27, 2011 1:22 PM

Apparently I have a fake laugh I did not know about. I just do a little "hmph-hmph" if something's not really funny.
I also eat frozen fries.

Charles / January 27, 2011 1:30 PM

When I was a kid and being bad or whatever, my mathematician mom made me count multiples of numbers on the stairs until I had calmed I have the quirky habit of counting the number of letters per syllable in words and sentences in my head...3 is the most common

alyssa / January 27, 2011 1:59 PM

Because I was awful at math growing up, my dad used to ask me to add up the numbers on license plates in my head until I had a single digit left (I believe this is called 'collapsing digits'). I have done it for years and still do it (but only when I'm in the passenger seat).

Mucky Fingers / January 27, 2011 2:08 PM

When occupying a booth or table at a restaurant, I always take the seat with the best view of the entrance. I like to keep an eye on things.

Spook / January 27, 2011 3:38 PM

When ever it seems that I'm hopelessly surrounded and trapped by Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, and other evil cyborgs, I can't help but to reach into my coat pocket and offer them some, jelly babies. I don't know, I guess I've been doing this going on a few centuries now, give or take.

charlie / January 27, 2011 5:48 PM

I count my steps. Not always, but often find myself at 13,14,15 etc. I am never aware of the first few steps as it relates to my counting.

I don't do anything with this information I just do it. I don't know how many stairs there are in our apartment building or anything. Sidewalk squares, I always count the sidewalk squares.

I was terrible at math as a kid.

jen / January 27, 2011 7:15 PM

I like to eat my Skittles in color/flavor order, from least to most favorite: yellow, orange, green, purple, red; I've done this since I was little.

mike-ts / January 27, 2011 11:56 PM

I have a tie:

1) Things have to come out even. I'll begin walking on a carpet with my left foot so I take my last step with the right one before I end up on a hard surface. Therefore an odd number of stairs on a staircase sucks, though if I take 7 steps with the left foot and 6 with the right, next time I use it, I'll lead with the right to even it up overall. It never was a BIG thing, but by the time I was 8 years old I knew to beat it down before it became a stupidly important thing, and it worked. When I learned one classmate had to eat his own snot on compulsion, and another had to use colors instead of numbers to do math, I knew I had to kick this anomaly, and it's more entertainment than irritation. I'll reflexively make things even if it's not an inconvenience (if I bang a table with the back of my left hand I'll tap it with my right if it doesn't call attention to me) but I have no problem if I can't.

2) At dinner, I have to completely finish one food item on the plate before touching another, and this bothers fellow diners to this day. I've had people get irate about this, even in business settings, and I don't get their level of anger.

Jill / January 28, 2011 9:37 AM

EEE - I didn't realize it until now, but I also always put my taco ingredients on my shell in the same order every time. It never dawned on me to change the order. But your way sounds much better, from now on, that's how I'm making tacos.

jj / January 28, 2011 11:02 AM

I also eat my dinner one food item at a time, and I hate it when they touch on the plate. I have been doing this ever since I can remember. And Mike, you're right, it does sometimes make people inexplicably angry. Which also makes me wonder why they are paying attention to how I'm eating!

Carrie / January 28, 2011 12:30 PM

Jenny- I also save the "best" for last.

I also start eating on the right side of my mouth, and then always have to switch back and forth between each side. If I don't, my meal feels "off". And if I eat something "special" (ie: just took a bite of pizza with X ingredient) then I have to make sure to get the same ingredient on my next bite for the other side of my mouth to enjoy. Now, if doesn't happen because I've eaten all of the toppings, my meal isn't ruined, but you know, the left side of my mouth is probably a little disappointed. Also, you see this where I'm talking about my mouth like it's its own thing? Yeah, that's also a quirk.

Baldeesh / January 28, 2011 1:16 PM

I really hate making left-hand turns from side streets or parking lots onto busy streets.

I'll plan errands so that I'm taking right-hand turns out of parking lots, I'll go around the block to avoid having to make a left-hand turn, and I've been known to skip gas stations if they're on the side of the street that would force me to take a left turn out of them.

Though if I'm at an intersection with a light, I have no trouble making a left there.

I've been doing this since I started driving, and it can sometimes drive my passenger nuts. That's when I give them the option of getting out of the car and walking.

Kara / January 28, 2011 3:20 PM

Without realizing it, I hold my breath when I'm really into a book that I'm reading. It drove my little sister nuts when we shared a room as kids. "Kara! BREATHE!"

MEH / January 29, 2011 1:22 AM

I do this less now than I used to when I was younger, but I have been known to count how many seconds I pee.

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