In my youth, there WAS a time that I was a neat-freak. I have long since disabused myself of that severe character and behavior disorder, though.
Years ago, when I was in the OSI (“Office of Special Investigations”), I had a ritual I went through every morning to clean my desk. I was anal about it, and also a “neat nik”.
I’d come in in the morning and first remove the clear lucite cover on my desk. Then I’d remove all the papers displayed under it, like one with important phone numbers, a cheat sheet on how to format reports the “OSI way”, etc.
Then with a wet rag I’d wipe down the cleared desk surface.
Then I’d replace the papers meticulously, lining every one up north and south and perfectly oriented . . . like you would straighten a picture on a wall.
Finally, I would place the clear lucite cover back over the papers (after wiping it down, of course), but if it so much as altered the placement of the papers a millimeter, I would remove the cover and start the straightening all over again.
I was so anal about this that my office mates would always gather round and watch the ritual with grins on their faces.
(DIGRESSION NECESSARY TO UNDERSTAND THE STORY: The office was in the desert . . . Edwards Air Force Base . . . so we had a “swamp cooler”. For those that don’t know what a swamp cooler is, it’s an “evaporative cooler” that simply blows air over water soaked pads and by virtue of the evaporation of the heavily laden water soaked air, it cools the space.
They are very efficient in arid climates, and a lot less costly than Air Conditioners since you don’t need to power a compressor motor. etc.
However, they don’t work very good in a humid climate. For example, you wouldn’t use one in, say, Florida, but you would find it very effective in certain areas of desert in Southern California.
But, once you get around 115 degrees F, like it does here in Arizona nine months of the year, they lose a lot of efficiency. We have AC, and most up here do. A lot of people up here, though, use a swamp cooler to cool their garage. END DIGRESSION)
Anyway, back to my desk cleaning ritual. It was spring when this happened, and it was beginning to get uncomfortably warm inside. Of course, you don’t need to use a swamp cooler in the milder months, so it just sits dormant during that time . . . the blower unit and the pads are mounted on the roof.
With the high winds and blowing sand in the desert, the unit becomes full of sand. So, the first time you turn it on for the season, it blows a big cloud of sand at first. (See where this is going?)
An office mate said something about it being hot, and of course I was perspiring because of my ritual activity, so he said, “Hey, why don’t we turn on the swamp cooler?”
I should have noticed the giggles of the group and known what was going to happen, but I was too focused on my ritual.
So, I said, “Yeah . . . good idea.” I had just finished with my desk cleaning when it was turned on. Out from the vent came that cloud of sand and it landed on my desk. Wild laughs from the peanut gallery.