Styrofoam

July 13th 2020

Today I did my best to validate my Dad’s longstanding villification of me that, “for such a smart guy you have absolutely no common sense”. To be fair, I absolutely agree with him, and here’s an example of why:

I went round Spence’s new flat today to help him set up a wardrobe. I know that something as practical as constructing a flatpack wardrobe from scratch may go against the impression of impracticality that I’m presently appearing to present, but it’s basically just following instructions. And I can do that. It’s thinking for myself that I struggle with, and here’s an example of why:

After we’d finished putting up the wardrobe and I was ready to head off, I offered to take the packaging that it came in back to my flat. I’ve got a bin shed where it could stay, whereas Spence would’ve had to keep it in the flat for a week until the binmen came. That level of detail was not precisely necessary, but it paints a picture.

Part of the packaging was a six foot long strip of Styrofoam™ that was too big to fit horizontally in the backseat of my car. If you’re unaware (but mostly so I can use this description as a device to point out this story’s protagonist’s primary problem) Styrofoam™ is a (tradmarked) material made of loads of little polystyrene balls vacuum-packed (or something) together to be used as insulative protection around things like flatpack wardrobes.

Because it’s made in that way, if you tear it, these little polystyrene balls just explode and go everywhere. Naturally, I didn’t consider this when I began to attempt to snap in half the long strip of Styrofoam™ that was struggling to fit in the back seat of my car.

If Spence hadn’t stopped me, I’d’ve snapped it and thousands (probably) of those little balls would’ve speckled the upholstery of my backseat like the first Winter snow over the Black Forest. It’s very rare that I use simile on this blog — or in general — so I’m not sure where that came from. Sorry.

The consequences of what I was about to do just never crossed my mind. I didn’t think “If I do this I’m goin to spend the next three years picking Styrofoam™ out of my passenger seats” I just thought “if this was less big it would fit” because that’s just how my brain works.

I am deeply analytical, I see problems, and I see solutions. But the solutions rarely marry with what my Dad — and the rest of society — considers to be ‘common sense’. Thankfully, Spence has common sense by the spadeload, so he stopped me in time.

Until tomorrow, I wouldn’t’ve enjoyed cleaning that up.

Jacn

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