now muscle shoals has got the swampers

Taking the train to work on Monday, I spotted a subway flyer for Bay State College, advertising programs in “Entertainment Management.” I snagged a card as a reminder then looked it up when I got in front of a computer. Bay State does, in fact, offer a B.A. in managing a band. You can get a college degree in managing a band – historically, one of the few jobs you never needed a college degree for. I don’t think you technically need to have a home to manage a band. You can sleep out of a car and eat every meal standing and still adequately represent a band’s interests. You probably don’t even need shoes with laces. Not more than one pair, anyway.

Last week’s post on how The Sims made me a cleaner human got me thinking more about mundane rituals. I used to be pretty bad about laundering towels, as former roommates Fraley and Hawver can testify. “Could you do something about that yellow towel?” Fraley would ask. “That filthy yellow towel of yours? I get out of the shower in the morning and that wall of steam hits it, unlocking this … this odor of …” And then he’d shake his head and gag, like a dog disagreeing with a golf ball it ate.

That was five years and a few girls ago, so my habits have since improved:


  1. Buy two towels.
  2. Hang one in the bathroom.
  3. When you do a load of regular laundry – every couple of weeks – drop the used towel in the bottom of the hamper.
  4. Hang the fresh towel in the bathroom.
  5. Repeat step #3 until death.
Simple rituals that transcend conscious thought. Automatic habits to banish the bad smells away. Do it without thinking, because you know it works.

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