Bragging is boring and rude, I know that, but I can't keep myself from saying that there's one thing I do better than almost anyone. I make a mess of things.
Whatever it is -- a bed, a newspaper, a refrigerator, a garage, an office, a freshly pressed suit -- I can make a mess of it in a matter of minutes.
My office is a shambles. I make a pile of papers marked IMPORTANT because I know I ought to do something about them right away. I don't do anything about them right away and, the next day, more papers arrive that demand immediate action. I put those on top of the ones that demanded immediate action yesterday. This continues through the week.
When the camera crew arrives in my office to tape a piece for television, I want the office to look neater than it is, so I put the piles marked IMPORTANT, all jumbled in together, in a big box and mark the box, IMPORTANT. I have dozens of boxes marked IMPORTANT and the boxes are in a closet, all jumbled together. If you wrote and didn't get an answer, your letter is in there. Thanks for writing.
At night, away from the office I made a mess of, I go home, make a mess in the kitchen, make a mess of the living room while watching television and reading, then I go upstairs, where I destroy a made bed. Because I'm claustrophobic, I feel trapped in bed if the blankets are caught under the mattress and my feet are not free. The first thing I do when I get into bed is pull out the sheet and blankets where they're tucked in.
In bed, I toss and turn. Every half hour, I change positions to allow blood back into the arm I've been sleeping on to restore feeling in it. My manner of turning makes clear what the phrase "tossing and turning" means. When I turn over, I don't simply turn, I toss. With a bouncing motion, I try to get enough elevation to get clear of the sheet underneath me. I give a strong, quick, upward thrust to the blanket over me, hoping that it will catch enough air under it to sustain its elevation while I make my turn before it settles back down over me.
The bed I've been doing this in all night is not a pretty sight in the morning.
Earlier this week, I looked at what I had done to the Sunday paper. Most Sunday newspapers in America are already a mess when we get them, but I'd be willing to bet there aren't 10 people in the whole country who do to a Sunday paper what I do to one.
Everyone takes the section they like and separates it from the body of the paper and never puts it back. That's pretty standard Sunday newspaper reading, but when I read something I want to save, I tear it out. Even if I use scissors and cut it, this seriously damages that section because you can't just cut out one side of a page.
I have a special talent for making a complete mess of the interior of a car. A car is not merely a method of transportation for me; it's a clothes closet, a tool chest and a wastebasket.
The top of my dresser is a mess. My idea of how to straighten it out is to sweep everything there into one of the two top drawers. My drawers are a mess.
You may think none of this is important, but the messes I make are not limited to beds, cars, garages, dresser drawers or offices. My days are filled with things I put off doing, can't do, or don't feel like doing. If there's a mess to be made anywhere in my life, I get right at it.
- The Great Driving Machine
- There's Power in the Wind
- Familiar Names of People and Places
- A Master Mess Maker
- The War of the Sandwiches
- In Praise of the Common Cold
- Nobody Wants a Bummer Ending
- There Are So Many Problems in the World
- A Pile of Magazines
- Thank You For Purchasing Your Ticket(s)
- The Anti-Social Network
- Andy Rooney: What's News to You is News to Me
- Andy Rooney: Familiar Names of People and Places
- Readers Must Wash Hands Before Turning the Page
- It Pays to Advertise
- Where Have all the Good Girls Gone?
- So Many Things, So Little Space
- Meaningful Numbers in My Life
- We're Going to Need a Bigger Press Conference
- Magic, or Love at First Sight
- I Have Been Known to Save Things
- I'm King of the Burger!
- Mad Men
- 8 Kids with 6 Moms? NFL Star Is Shameful
- My Kids Have Weird Names, Too
- Writing and Ditch Digging
- The President's Residence
- Slow Train to Albany
- Get Off My Lawn
- Money for Nothing
- 50 Ways to Beat the Heat
- Things Not to Do Today
- Lebron James Will Regret Leaving Mediocre Team
- Is There a Doctor Near My House?
- Marinades for You and, More Importantly, Me
- Same Sex Marriage is on its Way
- Desire is a Terrible Disease
- Things That Are True II
- A Collection of Random Thoughts
- Home, Sweet, Wet Home
- Bed-Buggin' Out
- I Want to Like Soccer
- Up In Smoke
- How to Become Unemployed in 7 Easy Steps
- Mommy's Little Polymer
- Watching My Watch My Way
- The Tools of My Trade
- New Jersey is the New Black
- Man Versus Plant
- Some Thoughts on Saving and Spending
- Sure Sign of Summer: Construction Season Returns
- I'm Not Looking Forward to 40
- Does This Naked Woman Look Like Me?
- Money Makes People Jittery
- BP Oil Spill: And a Child Shall Lead Them
- Much Ado about Justin Bieber
- Andy Rooney - How Times Have Changed
- I've Been Thinking About Women in Government
- Endless Bummer: The E-Mails of Spring
- Charity is Never Easy
- Sound Machine
- Bits and Pieces in My Mind
- What Makes a Housewife Desperate
- Is There an App for That?
- The Weather Brings Back Pleasant Memories
- Paying Taxes is a Blast!
- Tax Reform: How to Fix a Broken System
- Before You Ask for the Key to a City...
- View on the News (04/2010)
- View on the News (02/10)
- Don't Touch the Celebrity and Other Things to Know When Approaching 'The Famous'
- Suggestions for New Events at Next Winter Olympics
- Some Sound Ideas
- The Great B-17: A World War II Memory
- It's All Rice and Potatoes to Me ...
- Three Seasons...Not Four!
(Write to Andy Rooney at Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207, or via email at email@example.com)
(c) 2010 Andy Rooney
About Andy Rooney
Andy Rooney born January 14th, 1919 is a writer, humorist, radio and television personality.
Rooney became most famous as a humorist and political commentator with his weekly broadcast on the CBS News Program "60 Minutes" since 1978.