Monday, February 04, 2008

Fast Talk: Alphabetical Order

Sometimes I get an idea for a blog entry but it doesn't really blossom into a fully formed entry in my head, so the darn thing never gets written. But then I thought, why should these little gems lay buried in the deep ocean of my mind, unseen by the masses hungry for my insights? Then I thought I was full of myself.

Nevertheless, I am instituting a new feature here on the blog. At first I was going to call them "Quickies" but hey, this is a blog for all ages, so I settled on "Fast Talk." These entries will be short and sweet but every bit as odd and charming as the full length versions. Enjoy.

Alphabetical Order

Every once in a while someone notices that my books and CDs and DVDs are arranged in alphabetical order and they chuckle at me with the look that communicates sympathy for my obvious OCD. Sometimes there is even a patronizing, "You put these all in alphabetical order?"

But I like alphabetical order. For one thing, there are often delightful little ironies that emerge when things are arranged alphabetically. My movie collection finds Finding Nemo right next to A Fish Called Wanda. How wonderful!

But even more wonderful is the profound elegance of it. A few easy to remember rules and any mass of information -- the titles of every movie ever made, let's say -- can be put into a useful arrangement with due diligence. I get a thrill putting a new title in it's proper place knowing it is in its proper place, Superman modestly moving aside to make way for Spiderman, 50 First Dates and 10 Things I Hate About You sliding in nervously next to 12 Angry Men (in my system, numbers go first before letters, though I could have treated them as if the words were spelled out -- these are judgement calls).

So when my friends snicker at me for putting things in alphabetical order, I snicker back with an equally patronizing, "how else would you do it?"