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In an episode of Monk the other night, Monk got out a couple of eggs for breakfast, then put the egg carton back in the refrigerator. After closing the door he paused for a minute, opened the door again, got the eggs out, and arranged them in the carton so they were equally spaced. I told Captain OCD about this: “See! I’m not the only one! If you don’t balance the eggs, you run the risk of picking up a dangerously unbalanced carton and then you’ll have broken eggs all over the floor. And then you’ll fall and break a hip. I’m just trying to protect my family.” He does not know what the theme of Monk is, so now he thinks his egg-carton balancing has been justified. Lost on him is that the writers of Monk thought that that scene, sans dialogue, was sufficient indication of the severity of the character’s neurosis.

Captain OCD buys our fire logs at a lumber yard, where they know him well. 

I need 42 logs.

We can do that. Can I ask you a question?


Why do you usually get 42? Why not 40 or 45, like most people?

Because it’s a multiple of six and I carry six at a time. That way I don’t waste a trip upstairs with less than a full load. So my next number would be 54.

Not 48?

Well, that can present a dilemma because 48 is kind of a difficult number. It’s too close to 42. So, if I’m going to get 48, I might as well get 54.

Makes perfect sense to me.

I’m not sure if, in these trying economic times, especially for those supplying materials to the building industry, they’re indulging this good customer of theirs or if they’re agreeing with him. He, however, suffers no such uncertainty.