AI: Little irrationalities

As we know, there are a lot of situations where irrationality is dangerous.  Jenny McCarthy?  Yeah.  Chiropractic? Oh hells yes.

But what irrationalities exist in your life that are little, and less harmful?  Do you always play the “in bed” game with fortune cookies?  Do you read the fortunes?  Do you know your sign?  Do you always eat your veggies last, after everything else on the plate?

Tell me your secret, little irrationalities, kids.  Go ahead, it’s cool. No judgement.

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.


A B Kovacs is the Director of Døøm at Empty Set Entertainment, a publishing company she co-founded with critical thinker and fiction author Scott Sigler. She considers herself a “Creative Adjacent” — helping creative people be more productive and prolific by managing the logistics of Making for the masses. She's a science nerd, a rabid movie geek, and an unrepentantly voracious reader. She doesn't like chocolate all that much.

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  1. I sometimes get mad at adverse circumstances, as though someone were out to get me or something.

  2. Sometimes I take vitamins even though the evidence has shown that they don’t improve health or longevity. I mostly take them for the iron, because I eat very little meat, and I just don’t see how I can get enough iron any other way. I’ve never been diagnosed with iron deficiency, but I just don’t see how I could get enough from my diet alone.

    I also see an osteopathic doctor occasionally. He’s not my PCP, but he works at the office that go to. At first I was a little wary about letting him do stuff to my neck, but it’s nothing like chiropractic. He just stretched some muscles and made those muscles feel a lot better. I see it as a more convenient form of physical therapy. I was worried at first, but he has never tried to use osteopathy in place of traditional medicine, and he’ll even prescribe pain medication when I need it without some lecture about muscles or whatever. He has the same qualifications of other doctors, and he has handled my chronic conditions the same as every other doctor has. He has never even suggested herbal or homeopathic stuff, and he has never tried to discourage me from using traditional tests and treatments. Yes, I realize that it sounds like I am rationalizing. But as long as he works like any other doctor, I don’t see any reason to avoid him.

  3. @catgirl: “I mostly take them for the iron, because I eat very little meat, and I just don’t see how I can get enough iron any other way. ”

    Dried beans and dark, leafy greens. More than they seems. Put iron in your jeans.

  4. I can sometimes get possessive of things for no reason… like, I prefer my own cups and dishes to those of others, even when they’ve been treated no differently. Or, when I don’t have my own things, I might ‘claim’ a mug as my own and give it the same preference.

    If I can’t use “my” things, or see someone else using them, I might feel uncomfortable or get an irrational sort of cold feeling about it.

    I guess part of it comes from the fact that I know where “my” stuff has been, know that I’ve cleaned it (a problem in my current apartment where my roommates leave dishes dirty for a month at a time), etc. But beyond that, there isn’t a real rational reason for this possessiveness.

    I have similar issues when it comes to sharing food or drinks with someone, but there’s SLIGHTLY more rational reasons not to drink out of the same container as someone else. I’ve also gotten good at beating back the irrationality of not wanting to share what I’m eating, but the weird feeling is still there

  5. I get very excited by and look forward to “cool” times during the day. For instance I have made my husband stay up just so I can see the clock hit 12:34. Many variations of interesting combinations for time will make me giggle.

  6. I refuse to use regular ball point pens.

    I like specific pens and I refuse to use any other kinds.

    Maybe not irrational, maybe more anal. But whatever.

  7. Things I am irrational about:

    Memorizing _Sports Night_ quotes will make me more attractive to women (or Sam Ogden).

    Pathologically avoiding cars. I’d rather walk ten miles than ride in a car for one. This goes way beyond a green lifestyle.

    Taking vacation. I cannot bring myself to leave work for extended periods even though I know I probably should once in a while. A lay-off might very well save my life.

  8. @davew:

    Dried beans and dark, leafy greens. More than they seems. Put iron in your jeans.

    I like those things even less than I like red meat. Thanks for the advice but it won’t work for me.

  9. I read my horoscopes every week!

    The Onion’s horoscope, that is… Well, ok, and the ones on Em & Lo‘s site, too.

    In both cases, it has very little to do with astrology and much to do with the people writing the horoscopes, of course.

  10. @Expatria: I’m the same way. I have one cup I drink from, and get irritated when I can’t find it-and its usually just one arbitrary cup out of the cupboard.

    I don’t mind my food touching, as long as they aren’t one on top of another.

    I eat my main course first, then move on to a side, and drink last. I often ask if I don’t want my fries, or something, so I respond-I’m not done with my burger.

    I don’t like people messing with my stuff, no matter the reason. If you want access to something I have, ask. Don’t go into my room w/o permission, don’t access my work computer w/o permission, don’t mess with anything of mine w/o permission. I can usually tell when someone has done so, since things are just slightly off-like my monitor may be slightly adjusted. I chalk it up to “If its not yours, don’t touch it.”

  11. I play the lottery every once in a while. But only when the jackpot gets really really big. Because what good is only 5 million dollars, right?

  12. I will not use my friend’s gaming dice. (OMGNERDLOL!). Years of experience have shown that if I borrow dice I’ll get ganked.

  13. @davew: Do the beans have to be dry? I don’t like them all cruncy like that.

    I am often very uncomfortable in crowds. I can force myself to walk in and make conversation but it scares me. I usually look for a woman or a small group of women and try to insinuate myself into their sphere of influence. I like women because I can often talk to them. Unless they get all woo then I walk off and look for a different woman/women. A lot of things guys talk about don’t interest me.

  14. @catgirl:

    This thread’s about irrationality
    And there’s lots of unreality
    In your dietary modality
    Avoiding culinary bestiality
    Leaves you with vitamin criticality
    To preserve joviality
    I’ll cease my ideality.

  15. I talk to my jewelry and sculpture while I’m working on them. Not just like “I think a little more red here” I mean “You’ll look great with just a little more red here”,

    Anyone who’s watched NCIS, the way Ducky talks to bodies in autopsy, I do that to my artwork.

  16. The irrationality of this is debatable, but I’m completely terrified of bees, wasps, and cockroaches, in order of ascending OMGHOLYSHITRUNness.

  17. I knock on wood, say “Bless you!” when someone sneezes. That’s about it. Mostly it’s to be ironic. especially the “Bless you!” and especially if I do the full “God bless you!” because I am an out atheist and I think it’s kinda funny.

  18. @MiddleMan: I DO THE SAME THING.

    Everything in twos.

    Once at the end of the peas, or the froot loops, I will eat two at the same time. In my brain, that can equal one or two. Thus evening it out. Just in case.

    When I was very young, I started on a quick path to OCD–I’d have to repeat everything under my breath (to say it twice), everything had to be done in evens … I remember it very vividly. But thankfully I grew out of MOST of it.

    I still like things in evens. Even if I am very messy and not all that organized. Why did I have to get the OCD that makes me want to eat my chips in pairs, instead of the OCD that makes me super neat?! WHY?! lol

  19. @Joshua: Me too! I shriek and squeal and flap my arms and run in circles and it’s really embarrassing. Only with wasps and hornets though. I actually think they chase me and no one can convince me otherwise. If one is spotted, I will leave the vicinity and not return until the bitch is dead.

    Besides that (and my OCD stuff), I don’t get a lot of fruit/veggies in my diet, so every now and then I’ll pick up an Odwalla or Naked Juice and guzzle it down the way a frat boy might chug a beer, then consider myself having met some sort of fruit/veggie quota, as if that one drink once a week or so is actually going to make a bit of difference besides put a $4 dent in my bank account. But it makes me feel ‘good’ and ‘healthy.’

  20. @Gabrielbrawley: I think he meant dry beans instead of canned. I do NOT have the patience for dy beans omg. So I just buy canned. But I like steak.

    And you just need to find the obviously nerdy men. They don’t talk about sports (usually). Most of my guy friends wouldn’t know the difference between a baseball and a football. They will geek out allll night long, though.

    Funnily enough, the few guy friends I know who like sports are gay!

  21. @Amanda: You know, if I walk into a crowd and don’t know someone, I usually just find a group with a mix of men and women.

    Generally, though, when I walk into a crowd and don’t know anyone it’s at a LGBT event, and usually they are all so friendly, and usually know at least one person I know, it’s not a big deal.

  22. @SJBG: I am NOT a fan of anything that flies and stings. HORSE FLIES OMG :( Wasps will cause me to squeel.

    Bees aren’t so bad, as long as they are alone.

    Most other bugs don’t bother me at ALL, though. A cockroach? Meh.

    I’m from the middle of nowhere desert, though. I’ve seen some big-ass bugs. And lizards as big as a cat. We used to catch tarantulas and scorpions (scorpions are supposed to be good luck, lol!). We’d poke the scorpions that used to hang on the side of the house, ‘cuz they’d get pissed and it was funny. Clearly we had nothing better to do.

    I live in the city now and city bugs are lame. Tiny little cockroach that doesn’t even fly?! Pfffffft.

  23. @Kaylia_Marie: “ooo Sports Night! I miss that show!”

    I knew it would work! It was only a question of time. :-)

    The Anniversary edition is worth renting at least. Sadly Josh Charles can’t do a DVD commentary to save his life, but Peter Krause is fun and engaging. The best ones, however, were with Greg Baker, Timothy Davis-Reed , and the rest of the venticelli.

  24. @marilove: I am so sports ignorant. I used to go over to a friends apartment in college to watch monday night football. Not because I cared but just because I was lonely. I was there to be with people and drink. So one night I have had enough drinks to talk and I ask

    “Who is the guy who throws the ball?”

    that got a lot of laughs.

  25. @marilove: “I think he meant dry beans instead of canned”

    It’s dried beans as opposed to fresh. Green beans, while good for you in many other ways, are not a rich source of iron. Lentils, kidneys, even (gack) lima beans are. As long as the type of bean is right I don’t think it matters if they are canned or dry. With respect to @Gabrielbrawley’s obvious cooking skills you can get even more iron if you leave serve them in the can. :-)

    Dried beans are easy to cook with if you soak them over night first and it’s much easier to make soup without them turning to mush. Canned beans on the other hand make an excellent base for dips (a little olive oil, salt, garlic, cilantro, pepper, and yumminess ensues.)

  26. I knock on wood when I say something with a mild amount of hubris.

    My friend once told me that whoever opened a pocket knife needed to be the one to close it, for safety, allegedly. Now I do that.

    When I buy a lottery ticket from a gas station while on a road trip, I don’t scratch it til I’m out of town, preferable out of state. Why? A little logic I made up myself: Murphy’s law says that if I’m going to win the lottery there will have to be some inconvenience to balance it out. So my inconvenience is having to return to the store in another town.

    It doesn’t work, by the way.

    For years I wouldn’t take a pill that someone else brought to me, without seeing the bottle… even if it was clearly a Tylenol and said so on the capsule, and the person was my best friend.

    I’m OCD so that helps me participate in a fair amount of irrationality.

  27. I sometimes read the entrails of sacrificed animals to predict the future.

    It doesn’t work. Or, more precisely, it doesn’t tell me anything I wouldn’t figure out on my own within seconds. “You will need a hot bath later,” for example. Or “you will feel the rage of those about you – best to stretch your legs for a sprint.”

    And I know rationally it won’t work, but I can’t help myself. It’s like not stepping on a crack — I spent my whole life doing it, and I just can’t help myself.

    Sure, you’re all shaking your heads, but how is that different from reading a horoscope? You snap your paper open or go to your favorite web site, take a glance to see what the ol’ Scorpios are up to today, and laugh at the silliness.

    This is the same thing — taking a walk after midnight in my black knit face mask, idly flipping my knife, then grabbing a small mammal(*) and checking to see what the entrails say. Then just laugh and laugh and run and laugh.

    What’s the harm, really?

    (*) When I say “small mammals,” I’m not talking about squirrels or anything. Have you ever tried to chase down a squirrel at night? No, I mean bums no taller than 5’6″. Those are quality entrails. If I’m going to have a silly irrational hobby, I might as well use the good stuff.

  28. I always eat around the middle of an apple as deep as I can so that I can then eat the top an bottom “shelves” in huge mouthfuls.

  29. @Gabrielbrawley

    Here’s the recipe. A food processor or stick blender are easiest. It’s too thick for a regular blender. I have also made it with a potato masher, but you have to dice the herbs and garlic first.

    White Bean Dip
    1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
    2 cloves garlic
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1/3 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves or cilantro
    Freshly ground black pepper

    Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and herbs in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.

  30. @davew: Thanks for the tip… my ex got custody of the Sports night DVD set and I haven’t gotten around to replaceing it yet……

    One of those shows that ended too quickly… although some of the plot points in season 2 were a bit “bleh.”

    “You shouldn’t think that just because I’m looking at you while you’re talking to me, that I’m necessarily listening to or caring about what you’re saying. It’s just something I do to be polite.”

    I want to hang that up above my desk… but I think my boss would flip….

  31. @davew: Ah-hah! That makes sense. :) I eat a lot of canned beans. Just heat ’em up a bit and they are good to go! I LOOOOVE black beans and dark red kidney beans omg. Yum.

    I hate soaking shit, I always forget about it and it sits there for 3 days. There is a reason why I rarely use my crock pot lmao!

  32. Somewhere in my brain there is an entire section dedicated to bizarre attributions of “fairness”:

    If I give attention to one of my pets I hunt down and give attention to the other ones of the same species. So, if I pet one dog I then go find the other dog and pet it too. Should another type of pet, like one of my rats, happen to witness this affection I then give affection to each of them as well. No witness, no extra attention for pets of a different species.

    When eating certain foods, especially candies, I alternate the side I chew on with each bite. If I wind up with one bite left and both sides of my mouth have been equally represented with food stuffs, I’ll either split the bite in half and chew it on both sides simultaneously or demand that someone else eat it.

    I feel bad for any stuffed animal set off on it’s own if other stuffed animals in the room are placed together. The exception is if one stuffed animal is “allowed” to sleep with it’s owner and the others are left on a dresser or something – in that case, I feel bad for them.

    When restocking paper or other supplies I put the new ones under the old ones so that the old ones won’t “miss their turn”.

    Every once in a while I’ll go against these ridiculous notions just to prove to myself that I won’t dissolve into a festering pile of obcessive neurosis. So far, so good.

  33. I simply cannot bring myself to lick an envelope.
    My sister told me a story with envelope factories and beetle eggs culminating in beetles exploding from your tongue.
    I wet my finger and rub the sticky stuff.

  34. There’s some weird people here! Glad I’m normal.

    (Put down that broom! I’ll find the door on my own.)

  35. @weofui: I am alternating between wanting to cuddle you for your quirkiness, or take you straight to a locked and padded cell.

    You owning rats, however, easily tips the balance in favor of the cuddling! :)

  36. @marilove: “I hate soaking shit, I always forget about it and it sits there for 3 days. ”

    I’m pretty sure this was how beer was invented. Good thing there were some lazy-assed Sumerians or we’d be stuck drinking wine with our nachos at baseball games.

    (Please to forgive if the above cultural reference to sporting activities and beer was in error. I did extensive research using The Simpsons before posting, however.)

  37. @Joshua: Well, if we are talking about irrational fears, then I’m scared shitless of sharks. Never been in the ocean. I love to swim, but only if I can see the bottom-pools only. Every once in a while, when I’m having a really bad espisode, while showering, I steadily turn around in the shower, making sure nothing is behind me. If it gets too bad, I’ll get out, soaped up or not. I get odd panic attacks anywhere. If I start to freak out, I’ll get off blue carpet. I’m also afraid of big spiders. Some plants are disconcerting because they remind me of their legs.

    Is there a way to get rid of these irrational fears?

  38. I have a bit of an irrational relationship with numbers. I like even numbers (my favourite number is 6) but I have a baseless dislike of odd numbers, especially primes.

    It doesn’t affect how I live my life at all but it’s just a funny game that goes on in my brain apparently. I’m thinking that I was exposed to too much educational programming/math games as a child ;)

  39. I buy almost any hair accessory I come across, especially if it promises to let me make really cool updos. I am almost always disappointed. My latest purchase was some bump-its, and they kind of work.

    I also buy really high SPF sunscreen, even though most dermatologists say you don’t need it. I was overjoyed when I saw 100 SPF!

  40. M&M, have to be eaten two at a time, and they have to be matching colors … unless it’s the end of the package and there aren’t any matches left. Then they have to be complimentary to each other.

    French fries are eaten first, then the hamburger.

    I’m not sure if any of the things listed are really irrational fears. They would probably be better suited to the OCD label. :) But what’s a little OCD among skeptics.

  41. Ice cubes and cups / glasses have to go in certain combinations. I have some cups / glasses that are even, and some that are odd. You can only have an even number of ice cubes in an even cup / glass. And only an odd number of cubes in an odd cup / glass. The beverage doesn’t matter, if it gets ice than the number of cubes must fit the rules.

  42. @davew:
    Great stuff! I make something like that often.
    Switch the beans to Garbanzos and you have Hummus. Slice up a sun-dried tomato and throw that in for a little kick.

  43. If I’m near the end of the bag of skittles or reeses pieces, or any other colorful candy, I like to (but don’t have to, I’m not totally nuts, yet) preserve one representative of each color until there’s nothing left but one of each. I can’t eat the last yellow one if there are two or more of any other color, for example. It’s the worst with the reeses pieces since there’s only a few colors, I always want to eat in groups with one of each color, or groups of only one color.

    I like groups of numbers if I can find ways of combining them to make the longest unbroken sequence of numbers possible, especially off a digital clock or license plate. If it’s 1:45, then 1=1, (5-4)+1=2, 4-1=3, 4=4, 5=5, 5+1=6… and now I’m irritated, I can’t make 7. The other rule to my little number game is you can use a number more than once if you distribute it across all numbers, like at 12:37 I could subtract one from them all to make 1, 2, and 6, but I could just subtract one from 3 and 7 without including the 2. Oh, so there’s my seven from 1:45, (4-1)+(5-1)=7. Yay!

  44. Between the confessional thread, the bad habits thread, and the irrationality thread, it seems the skepchicks are gathering dirt on us. That’s ok, there’s plenty of new content. I’ve got more dirty habits than the laundry room in a nunnery.

  45. I don’t like elevators. IF they work for me I always fart in them before getting out so that I can bless it with a little piece of me before the next person gets in.

    To my knowledge, no elevators experienced tragedy after I crapdust them, so it must work.

  46. @kevinf: Elevators aren’t bad, unless I have to walk in after you. :-P But escalators freak me right the fuck out. Why do the steps keep disappearing, and why do they need such viscous looking teeth? I just know I’m going to be eaten alive like that guy from Temple of Doom! I’ve got the Heebie-Jeebies right now just thinking about those things.

  47. I can’t drink from a glass in public. I must have a straw. Unless it’s alcohol.

    I do know my sign, but I don’t for a minute believe it means anything. Just like my birthstone isn’t good for anything except collecting diamonds from unsuspecting gifters.

    I can’t get into a small airplane. It must be huge or I can’t even approach it. Forget helicopters.

  48. House elves. I believe in them. Devoutly. All those things I lose in the house? They have them. And if I ask nicely, and provide shiny stuff in a bowl, they give it back.

    Not rational, no way. But I’m afraid if I don’t believe, I won’t get my crap back ;)

  49. I used to get high and toss the I Ching to help me make decisions, like “which grad school should I go to?” Maybe that’s why I flunked out. I haven’t smoked dope for about 12 years, though, and the I Ching doesn’t seem as meaningful and deep when you’re not high, so I don’t use it anymore.

    I refrain from commenting if I notice that we haven’t been given a lot of extra work at work. This isn’t entirely irrational but partly so: my coworkers would blame me for having brought it on us by mentioning it, so I’d have to do it. I don’t believe my comment would be the cause, but if there is extra work, I’d just as soon not get all of it.

    I try to take three steps in each sidewalk pavement on a certain stretch of the way to work. I avoid stepping on the lines (not so much the cracks).

    I already mentioned that I take vitamins on the confession thread, but here I’ll mention that the dose is 2 pills, and if I reach the end of the bottle and there’s only 1 pill left, I’ll just take that 1 alone rather than take 1 from the new bottle too.

  50. Jeez. You people are fuckin nuts.

    That said, I sort of pat/caress the skin of any aircraft I get into, be it airplane or helicopter. Just a little pat or finger brush on the fuselage next to the door as I enter.

    I feel compelled to add a recipe that has lima beans, as davew professed distaste for them and I feel that there is at least one recipe that can make them palatable.
    Full Disclosure: I cut and pasted the recipe and directions from the Epicurious website, then just edited it with my additions. (additional jalapeno and the lime juice and zest) I don’t measure too carefully, myself. Like any good recipe, it begins with bacon.

    1/4 lb sliced bacon
    1 small onion, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    4 ears corn, kernels cut off and cobs discarded
    2 large fresh jalapeño chiles, seeded and finely chopped
    1 (10-oz) package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
    1/2 lb okra, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
    3/4 lb cherry tomatoes (1 pint), halved
    2 tablespoons cider vinegar, or to taste
    1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
    juice and zest of two limes

    Cook bacon in a large skillet over moderate heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels, leaving fat in skillet.
    Add onion to skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in corn, jalapeño, lima beans, okra, and tomatoes and cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in vinegar, basil, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Add lime zest.
    Serve succotash with bacon crumbled over.

  51. Before I eat M&Ms I separte them into their respective colours and then eat them in a specific colour order.

  52. @Kaylia_Marie: now me, nearly half of my freezer is filled with ice cube trays for just that reason. They’re all special ice. I have a tray of coffee cubes for iced coffees, and a tray of tea cubes for iced teas, and a tray of cola cubes for sodas… and yeah there are a couple of trays of normal water ice cubes, but I have no idea what those are for…

  53. @Jake Lsewhere: “I have a tray of coffee cubes for iced coffees”

    If you make your coffee at room temperature you can create a delightful coffee concentrate. I use 1 cup coffee, ground fine, to 4 cups water. Shake and let stand over night. I dilute this 3 to 1 or 4 to 1 for hot coffee and a little more for iced coffee. (Don’t dilute it at all if you need a defibrillator.) The result is less acid, more flavorful, and much more stable than hot-brewed coffee. It keeps for days in the fridge. (The oils that go rancid and make coffee stale are not extracted efficiently at room temperature.) Ooh, ooh. You could freeze this stuff and mix with cold water for iced coffee. Imagine an iced coffee that gets stronger as you drink it!

  54. My worse irrationality is the fact that I often need to talk myself out of the belief that my actions somehow determine the performance of various athletes and sports teams. My mind often starts trying to determine what position on my couch is conducive to my team winning or whether or not my watching the game will bring good fortune. Then I have to remind myself that none of that makes sense and go about my business until it crops up again.

  55. @Sam Ogden:

    Not only do I buy lottery tickets when the jackpot gets really big, but I am actually surprised when I don’t win. And I don’t even consider myself a lucky person. I’ve never won anything except a free 20 oz Pepsi.

    Definitely anything less than $50 million is not worth leaving the apartment to cross the street and enter the liquor store where I can buy a ticket. BUT, I am seriously considering taking a TA position for an undergrad course that would require about 15 hours of work and commuting to another city3-4 days a week because it pays about $9K. There may be a disconnect there…

  56. Whenever I eat lucky charms I always eat the boring cereal part first to get it out of the way and then eat all the marshmallows at once. I’ve done that for years. Couldn’t really tell you why.

  57. @Wallace Finch: I do that too, but i know why, because eating all the mashmellows at once tastes better.

    Despite knowing that they’re harmless i’m terrified of roaches.

    I’m also prone to the occasional fits of over-generalizing, but i usually get over it fairly quickly. Ya know, a date gets canceled and “damn women are so unreliable!…wait, that’s a hasty generalization. But it keeps happening! That’s because you’re only remembering the times that confirm what you’re thinking. Oh…I guess i was wrong.”

    I also talk to myself.

  58. I continually notice all sorts of beliefs I adhere to that I picked up as a child that, when examined, I have no reason to believe.

    I heard it’s good to pee in the shower because it prevents bad microbes from growing on your feet. I don’t know whether that one’s true or not.

    Up until a year or two ago, I believed trimming facial hair made it grow back in faster and thicker. I now know this one to be false.

    There are probably 5 or 6 more ideas like that that I’ve slowly been knocking away.

  59. I always feel like, somewhere, less than ten feet away, there is a moth, and it is watching me, and waiting for a good time to land on me. I don’t really hate moths, but the paranoia is odd, I’m given to understand.

  60. Oh, I used to strongly adhere to the principal that being cold makes you catch a cold — the words are even related! My dad used to yell at me for not wearing socks on the tile, because I’d catch a cold.

    Then I took some biology classes a decade later and learned my parents had been leading me astray. There is absolutely no reason to think being cold will make you contract a viral infection, unless you get so cold your mucous membranes actually break down (really fricken cold)

  61. I read my horoscope daily for comic relief. It’s appropriate that the newspaper puts it on the “Comics” page.

    I have an irrational distaste for spiders and some other multi-legged organisms (sorry, Bug_Girl!), though I have been led to believe that it’s an evolutionary behavioral adaptation. (shrug) I don’t fear snakes at all, though. I thought venomous snakes were far more common than venomous spiders, but…?

    I do like most bugs, etc. and don’t harm them unless I have to. I think the mantidae are so cool, for example…!

  62. I take multi-vitamins. I know my sun sign, rising sign, moon sign as well as which sign is in Venus for me. I also carry a bloodstone for luck and occasionally light candles. I know. Bad skeptic-no cookie :)

  63. I like to think that I’m a rational person but the more I think about it, the less rational I appear to myself.

    I don’t like listening to songs on my ipod that I’ve already heard when I know that I’ve got thousands that are waiting to be listened to too. I feel that all my music should be given a chance especially after I spent so long ripping the CD’s and putting them on. I’ve even devised a playlist of all the unheard tracks which removes them once I’ve listened to them.

    It gets much worse though as I’ve a couple of albums which are only one track long which last up to an hour and are very bizarre instrumentals that I have to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy. I know if one comes up on the playlist, I’ll have to make a tough decision: do I skip it for another time but then feel guilty as each time I look at the playlist I can see it waiting for me OR do I listen to it when it comes up and force myself to sit through some very odd sounds just to get it out of the way.

    I don’t know if this whole thing is because I’ve spent a lot of money on the music and listening to all of it is the only way I can justify the expense to myself, but always at the back of mind is the truly bizarre feeling that the songs will get upset if I don’t give them all an equal chance.

    p.s. I also have a shed load of podcasts to listen to, not to mention books and DVD’s and at times I actually feel a little overwhelmed by how much oustanding stuff I’ve got to get through.

  64. @marilove:


    Egads! There’s more of us?!? I used to get ribbed by my friends about this all of the time. Glad to see I’m not the only one.

    As for the OCD; you’ve hit on something else we have in common. I find that it’s easier to ignore these irrational as I get older, but they still crop up every so often. As you will see in the next reply…


    Somewhere in my brain there is an entire section dedicated to bizarre attributions of “fairness”:

    If I give attention to one of my pets I hunt down and give attention to the other ones of the same species. So, if I pet one dog I then go find the other dog and pet it too. Should another type of pet, like one of my rats, happen to witness this affection I then give affection to each of them as well. No witness, no extra attention for pets of a different species.

    I sometimes do this to un-living things. I try to spread the love around to all of my WoW characters. This is truly “nerd-level-sad”.

  65. @middleman, marilove, weofui:

    I do that to my dogs, but only if the other dogs are in the room…mostly because Shelties know damn well when one of the others is getting a scratch and they are missing out.

    I swear that they are furry, four-legged toddlers!

  66. I kiss the clock when all the numbers are the same (1:11, 2:22, 3:33). When clocks went from dials to number displays in the 70’s, someone told me it was good luck. That has stuck with me and I still do it when I see the number line up.

    I read the horoscopes at the end of the day to see which sign I was.

    Recipe time – made this one up myself.

    Black bean rollups
    2 16-oz cans black beans, rinsed
    1 10-oz can Rotel Tomatoes (mild, medium, hot – your choice)
    1 tsp garlic powder

    Simmer together for about 20 minutes on low heat. Allow to cool a bit then transfer to a bowl or food processor, reserving most of the liquid. I prefer using a potato masher as I like it lumpy. Mash or puree, adding liquid until you get a good consistency for spreading. Spread a thin layer over flour tortilla leaving room at the edges. Roll it up and wrap with plastic wrap. Generally this will cover about 8 to 10 tortillas depending on their size. I do about 4 or 5 large to have some of the bean mixture left for dipping. Refrigerate overnight. To serve, unwrap and cut into pinwheels. You can allow these to get to room temperature before serving or place on cookie sheet, top with a bit of shredded cheese and a slice of black olive or jalapeno, and place under the broiler until the cheese melts. Warm up the remaining bean mixture for dipping. Other dips could be guacamole, nacho cheese, sour cream, or onion dip.

    People at work used to beg me to bring these any time there was a pot luck.

  67. I frequently have trouble with popping tires on rental trucks I take up to work on hard rock mine sites. One mine in particular was really bad for popping tires, and I developed a terrible fear of getting stranded out on the dumps one night with two flats (mine union guys won’t change the tires on a contractor’s truck). So I began to pray to the Goddess No-Poppy every time I went over a rough patch of road. I began throwing her offerings of bits of my lunch under the tires. At first it was mostly for the amusement of my crew…but I managed to get several of my coworkers into the cult of No-Poppy, and we genuinely feel betrayed when she lets us down.

  68. @ Marilove and @SteveT

    I’ve now discovered that I’m irrationally fond of being informed that my irrationalities and quirkiness are adorable and/or cuddly.

    (@SteveT – Regarding ratties, we’ve three: A hairless named ChooChooBear after the brilliant creation of Randy Milholland of Something Positive; a hairless/hooded hybrid named Tigger due to her complete refusal to run in favor of dramatic leaps and bounds; and a black and white hooded of gargantuan pear-shaped proportions named Nibbler after the Futurama character.)


    …always at the back of mind is the truly bizarre feeling that the songs will get upset if I don’t give them all an equal chance.

    Crappit. Until now I hadn’t considered the feelings of my playlist. My Panic At The Disco must be terribly jealous of my Fall Out Boy. *sighs*


    I try to spread the love around to all of my WoW characters. This is truly “nerd-level-sad”.

    I’ll see your “nerd-level-sad” and raise you one: I’ve set up a mini-shrine for my dead table-top and MMOG characters complete with character sheets and sketches.

  69. What kind of person always eats their veggies last?? That’s madness! One eats the veggies first, most of the meat and if not too full you can angle for a dessert by saying you bravely choked down the broccoli. Meat can be saved as leftovers, veggies go to waste. Did no one ever appeal their parent’s need to economize?

  70. I forgot to confess my irrationality – sorry! I’m a laundry Nazi. Baskets are separated properly, don’t think about putting a shirt or trouser in there inside out, lonely socks are given back. I use certain brands of detergents and fabric softeners because I hate strong perfumes. Drying times have to be a certain way to ensure the least amount of wrinkling and then folded – correctly with a folding board, before too cool and that way I never have to iron. Piles are arranged in drawer order for most efficient clearing away.

    I detest ironing. It’s such a hassle.

  71. @weofui:

    I’ll see your “nerd-level-sad” and raise you one: I’ve set up a mini-shrine for my dead table-top and MMOG characters complete with character sheets and sketches.

    I feel for your loss. Let me know where to send my gold piece donations to. ;)

  72. @weofui: I am now irrationally fond of you! We have two lovely hooded girl ratties: Cimorene and Alianora. They’re named after characters in the wonderful Dealing with Dragons series, by Patricia Wrede.

    One of my own irrationalities is ascribing conscious thought to animals. In my never-ending quest to preserve the flowers and shrubs in my landscaping, I have taken to live-trapping the unholy multitude of demon bunnies that wander into my yard. I drive them to a far away park and let them go, but the first time I did this, I purposely drove off in the opposite direction of my home so that the bunny would be confused and not be able to follow me back to the house. :) Realizing how silly this was, I now tempt fate by going directly home after letting them go.

  73. I say “Bless you” and “Knock on Wood”. I also find myself saying things like “God forbid”…which is odd, now that I stop to think about it.

    I read the fortunes in the fortune cookies and say “in bed” at the end of every one of them. I read my horoscope, but only so I can roll my eyes and giggle a bit at how generalized they are.

    I also eat (just) my french fries in series of two. Not only to I have to eat two at a time, but they both have to be the same length as well. Sometimes I will break apart french fries to make them the same sizes.

    Oh, and my father eats his burger and fries at the exact same velocity, so that he always has one bite of burger and one bite of fries left. It was how he figured out that my mother had taken a bite of his burger one night when he wasn’t looking – but it took him to the end of the meal to figure it out. To be fair, my mother can’t lie to save her life. She simply giggles her ass off.

  74. @Lyvvie: I always wash my shirts inside out. I’ve heard it preserves the designs.

    I usually wash twice, as I work in fields of poison oak.

    Then it all gets shoved in drawers unfolded.

  75. I can’t stand using umbrellas. It takes a LOT of rain and big need to go out to make me use one.

    I also really don’t like gas stations with open air pumps. I don’t know why but I feel real insecure pumping gas without a roof over the pumps. I do not know why.

  76. (sporefrog @75: Actually, shaving did precede my facial hair growing back thicker. I’m not sure if it is causation, but I can’t think of any other things which even seemed correlated.)

    Anyway, I used to be OCD in a variety of ways when I was a kid, but I have redirected my compulsions to things like double-checking to make sure the doors and windows are locked before leaving or going to bed and checking to make sure I have my keys before I lock doors.

    However, since I ditched some of my childhood ocd traits, I have started biting my fingernails, which is a habit I never had before and am having difficulty stopping.

    Anyone else think that justifying OCD behaviors may have started some religions?

    “Why do you circle that well counterclockwise three times every seven days?”

    “Umm… because it feels like I should.”


    “I guess some things we can’t see must be telling me it is the right way to do things. You should do it too, or bad things might happen.”

  77. @catgirl : another great source of iron: cream of wheat. I’m told that milk interferes with absorption but I have no idea if that’s true or not. I make mine with soy milk and it’s yummy.

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