Benny and his friend Griffin at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

10 Reasons Why I Hate Lists

OK, there really isn’t a list. Are you kidding?

Whenever I virtuously sit down to compile a tidy list of groceries, chores, summer clothes, Christmas presents, video game strategies or my five favorite spaghetti sauces, I can just feel the light and happiness leach out of my soul.

I once thought it was the content of the lists; nobody gets excited about a list that includes "pick lint off cat." Nah, I hate 'em all. I never read The Onion's funny lists, I yawn through David Letterman's Top 10 ... I can barely read my own resume, one of Life's Ultimate Lists.

But I was determined. I started searching online for The Perfect List and stumbled onto a frightening site called This amazing household planner listed everything from “sort shampoo bottles” to “clean toaster.”

The latter item included “and empty crumb tray.” I didn’t know there were people who cleaned their toasters’ crumb trays. I didn’t know toasters had crumb trays. I thought toasters just absorbed everything until they spontaneously exploded in a shower of bread crumbs.

And “sort shampoo bottles?” I have enough trouble keeping them upright. The last time I visited my sister, I kicked the shampoo bottle over and spilled the entire contents down the drain.

OK, Forget the Internet. Maybe I could spice up my lists, stop scribbling "diapers, window cleaner, whiskey bottle" on the back of ripped envelopes. After all, there's a cottage industry of cheery, decorated list pads. Pick your poison: teddy bears, kittens, hot-air balloons, baskets of fruit, ancient maps, leering snowmen -- yikes, that was a list!

No good. Broccoli is still broccoli, no matter how much cheese you pour on it, and a list is still a numbered Pit of Despair, even if it’s ringed with dancing bunnies.


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