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How To Be A Slob  

Or, Why Martha Stewart Won’t Return My Calls

By Tom “I’d rather be napping” Waters

Do you notice that there’s a piece of food on your shirt three days after you put it on?  Do you wake up at noon and gargle with flat Dr. Pepper after experiencing the fungus on your tongue rather than opting for a toothbrush?  Does your room/dorm/apartment/treehouse look like you’d need snowshoes to make your way to the bed due to all the flotsam and jetsam on the floor?  Do exotic insects and arachnids nest in your hair?  If you qualify for the last one, you’ve gone too far, but if the others apply, then you may already in fact be: a slob.  Slovenliness isn’t merely a lack of hygiene or means of housekeeping neglect, it’s a lifestyle, a way of thinking and being that transcends table manners, etiquette, and all of the other bastions of anal retention.  They say that a clean desk is the sign of a sick mind.  I truly believe that can be applied to every avenue of one’s life.

Wardrobe isn’t so much a matter of content as it is the way that you wear your clothes.  Buttons are optional; if they’re missing, there’s probably an important reason for it, so why mess with the powerful cosmic forces of fate?  If that iron-on shirt is so cracked that it looks like pop art from a starving artist sale, all the better to flaunt it!  It’s a veteran, and if anyone can decipher that it’s a concert shirt from Mr.Mister’s 1983 smash tour, you’ll be that much cooler.  Wrinkles, while adding comfort and character to apparel, can be obtained by sleeping overnight in the desired clothes.  To add flair to my ensembles, I don’t wear socks.  For some reason, this blows everybody’s mind.  They’re shocked and outraged, as if I’ve committed some sort of federal offense.  Socks are a lot like ties; unless I’m getting paid seven dollars an hour, I’m not wearing them.

Housecleaning should be performed either every four months or whenever there’s a two-hour “Best of 90210” retrospective.  The last time I cleaned my room, I found penicillin growing behind one of the bookshelves, the original Charlotte’s web in a corner of the ceiling, and the husk of an animal which I believe to be the missing link under the desk.  Personal items can be distributed about your living area by throwing them on the ground and retrieved when missing with a dowsing rod.  Paperwork can be filed and alphabetized by cramming it where it will fit or on a pile in the room where it won’t be stepped on too much.  It’s best to place perishables and foodstuff where you can’t see or smell them for the foreseeable future.  When entertaining guests, crop dust your room with about half a can of Lysol and half a can of Off before their arrival to create the illusion of cleanliness.  If their hair doesn’t fall out, your visit will be a complete success!

Hygiene should be attended to in order of importance.  If I’m just going to be skulking around the house for a few days, then it won’t offend anyone if I stink.  If I’m going out with friends, there’s a 40% chance of showers.  Water is one of the world’s most important natural resources, remember.  Glasses should be cleaned either every four months or whenever it looks like you have a pap smear on one of the lenses.  Shaving is very optional; except for the occasional crazy whims at two in the morning, follow your heart (unless, of course, small children are swinging off of your nose-hairs).  Deodorant: if people vomit when you do jumping jacks, hit the stick.

Cuisine is where you get to bring out the preschooler in all of us that loved to finger-paint.  Finger foods, sloppy joes, and any dish with condiments that have that tendency to ooze onto your hands, leave permanent stains, and revolt those you dine with as they wonder what cage you escaped from.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner; the slob does not recognize these shackles!  Cold chicken is a perfect breakfast treat, and who says that a Kit Kat won’t fill you up for dinner as long as you compliment it with a chocolate malted?  And in the grand scheme of food preparation, the microwave is the epitome of slobdom.  Low maintenance, no fuss, and with a little tinfoil you can have a budget-fireworks display after the meal in the privacy of your own home.

The slob has gotten such a bad rap after the short-lived couch potato craze of the eighties.  Is it so wrong to be shiftless, lazy, and constantly fatigued?  I think not!  Perhaps our lives are so important that we’d rather expend our energies on other things besides appearance, manner and the ability to see clearly through our glasses.  Einstein had five identical suits so that he wouldn’t have to waste the mental energy deciding what to wear in favor of creating revolutionary theorems.  And I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that they were all missing buttons.