I have a very mild case of OCD. My particular (again, mild) version has to do with the order of certain things. For example, coat-hangers. Over the years I have collected a variety, although almost all of them are made of colored plastic and uniformly sized. There are four that are not: one is clear plastic, and three are plastic but larger than the rest. I find this annoying, but it certainly isn’t worth spending money on hangers. So I simply ensure that all the hangers are arranged properly by type (clear plastic, large plastic, regular plastic) and then by color.

Occasionally, however, there are more difficult challenges. Take, for example, these boxes for Apple products:

I know it seems simple. But here are my thoughts:
1. Does the black box (for my iPod) go at the beginning (alphabetically, “b” before “w”) or at the end (the color white before the color black)?
2. There is no text on the side of the black iPod box, only the Apple logo. Does that mean it should go first, or last?

Ultimately I decided to place the logo at the end, because of the “.mac” box. I figure that punctuation (“.”) should come at the beginning and a logo at the end. Okay, first problem solved (with considerable effort, as I look at these boxes every day).

Now we come to the real problem. Notice that they are arranged alphabetically: “.mac,” “Applecare,” —- ah, but they aren’t! Why not?

Because I own iWork ’06 and iLife ’08! Do you see the problem?

If those two boxes are arrange alphabetically, then they are out of order numerically! If numerically, then they are out of order alphabetically!

You see, there is no perfect solution (unless I pay $79 for iWork ’09 and another $79 for iLife ’09, which isn’t feasible, unless I take up a collection).

So, I rearrange them constantly.

What is all of this in aid of? I found this picture on the web and it and it make me laugh!


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