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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

Tweaks And Quirks

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Monday January 28th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   Everyone on this planet is at least a wee bit crazy to a certain degree, and I have yet to hear of or personally meet any exceptions. We’ve all got tweaks and quirks of some sort, and it becomes an issue of whether we choose to either embrace or fight them. Whatever the case, they’re there.

   I freely admit to several my own, even though I haven’t decided whether I’m going to embrace or fight. All I know is certain things get under my skin even when I know they shouldn’t. We all have our own individual demons, and I guess that’s what makes life interesting – or maddening.

   One of my longest running tweaks has been the insane need to have my gasoline purchases end up at a round number. I’ll try to always hit it on an even dollar amount, but in a pinch I can settle for .50 or .25. What I absolutely CANNOT deal with is an ‘.01’. It drives me out of my mind.

   I know in the scheme of life it shouldn’t make even the slightest difference - but it totally does. I can’t stand going over the even dollar amount, and often I’ll keep pumping to the next one even if my tank is already full. I’ll get out a gas can from my trunk and fill that, and if I blow it again I find other cars and top off their tanks. I know full well this is meaningless, but I can’t get over it.

   I can’t be the only one to have this be an issue, as I swear some gas pumps don’t even have the ability to stop on the ‘.00’. I’ve had hair trigger pumps that have been impossible to master and it has become a lifelong crusade to avoid them like the plague. Give me accuracy or give me death.

   Another deep dent in my personal can is having to wait at a red light longer than those going in the other direction while there is an arrow for them to turn left. This frustrates me to the point of full on mouth foamage, even though I know there’s not one thing I can do but wait for it to pass.

   I know I should just turn up my radio and whistle a tune, but it goes deeper than that. I feel like I’ve chosen the wrong life path whenever this happens, and those going the other direction are on the road to success while my opportunities slowly leak away like the water in the baggie holding the goldfish I won at the carnival when I was nine. Is there a pill I can take to make this stop?

   Again, I don’t know why this particular situation should be so annoying to me but it is. It goes on every day, and if it were an even split I’d be a lot better with it but it isn’t. I’ve counted  how many times I’ve gotten the arrow in my direction versus the times I’ve had to wait and it’s never been close to being even. Usually it’s about ten to one against me, and that makes it even worse.

   I keep thinking the time I have to wait for the other side to go dips into my cosmic rhythm and causes me to be even more off track than I already am. How do I know I wouldn’t miss meeting the woman of my dreams by just a few seconds because I was stuck waiting at a traffic signal?

   This is all wasted energy, and sadly I totally know it. In a perfect world, we’d all be able to get over these eccentric issues, but everyone has them and they’re not going away any time soon. It’s a matter of choice as to whether anyone embraces or fights, and I still haven’t made up my mind.

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