Jack McNamara/The Mirror

I’m not going to lie, writing a column can be hard, even when it comes down to picking a name. One of my housemates thought I should have called this ‘Jack! Off the Record,’ but that was almost-immediately rejected for reasons that should become apparent when you remove the exclamation point. Still, I had no idea what to do for the first of a series of 15 editions, so I asked around for some ideas.

I remember one response as being particularly lively.

“Shut up, Jack! Shut up, shut up! I hate you SO much! Now get out!”

As I stepped out of the confessional, I thought to myself, “Gosh, what a disaster,” and, with that last word now on my mind, I realized I had my first subject: my living room.

I live in a 7-man townhouse and, truth be told, I am a bit of a neat freak. This can be a bit of a problem, considering a majority of the rest of my housemates are almost certainly not. If you can envision the path of destruction a tornado chock-full of exploding bombs and disoriented elephants might leave behind, then you have successfully envisioned what the main floor of my house looks like six out of seven days a week.

Granted, the townhouses are not much to look at from the start. Built during the Reagan administration, their provided furnishings are Spartan and constantly teetering towards the brink of dilapidation, their foundations have been deemed no man’s land fire hazards and many — including ours — have had an ant infestation that was more complicated and problematic than the network of fighter tunnels used by the Viet Cong.

But God, I love them more than Snidely Whiplash loves a dastardly plot.

So, for a while, there were attempts to be proactive about our deficit of cleanliness.

Being the lovable, passive-aggressive ball-o’-fun that I am, I put up a sign which said, “REMEMBER THIS! DO THE DISHES!”  But eventually, after a few months of it being shamefully ignored, the tape holding the sign up, much like my once-strong ambitions for basic organization, just gave up. It just gave up and stopped trying to get its housemate to move his frickin’ amplifier.  IT’S BEEN THERE FOR MONTHS, KYLE!  MONTHS!  PICK IT UP!

Whoa, got kind of real there, sorry.

I try not to hold any of this against them, because if the worst thing in our house going on is that it occasionally falls into state of disorder, then fine. Besides, I’m a fairly open-minded kind of guy.

I just need to tape that sign back up.

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