September 15 2010

The Voice of (Bad) Reason

So the other day I rented a car from Avis and when they pulled up with the car a voice in my head said, ‘Hey! Make sure you walk around the car and look at it– in case something is dented or scratched or something. You don’t want to get blamed for it.’ Then another voice in my head chimed in, ‘Meh. Just get in. Don’t worry about it. If the car is messed up– you can just deal with it later…’

This is the same voice that tries to talk me out of charging my phone before I go to sleep (Meh. You can just charge it in the morning when you get up.) The same voice that has cost me dozens of ‘great’ ideas (You don’t need to write it down! No way you’re forgetting and idea like that!) The same voice that tells me I don’t have to put the ATM card back in my wallet after I use it. (Meh. Just put it in your back pocket. You can put it back in your wallet later…) Sometimes it’s days before the ATM card finally makes it back into my wallet.

I don’t know what this voice is but it always seems to chime in when I want to do something practical or responsible on a very small level. It’s not really a straight procrastination thing. (Or it is procrastination at pro-level or something?) In any case it is some dumb dumb voice in my head that tricks me out of doing things that will make my life easier. (Oh you’re going out? You need to buy coffee AND aspirin AND stamps? Just write CAS on your hand and you’ll know what that means later!) Why would I think I’d know CAS would mean three hours later? Why not just write the full words on a post-it note? Is it that much more effort?

The thing that’s amazing about this voice is that it convinces me of things that I know are dead wrong. I’ve lived with myself for decades and I’ve never been particularly responsible or organized– but this voice has a way of convincing me otherwise– by using ridiculous logic. It makes me believe I am someone that I’m not. Nor have ever been. Nor will ever be. Nor strive to be.

Lately, I’ve been able to flag this voice sometimes and identify it more and more– like with my ATM card in the pocket thing. I’ll be sticking it in my back pocket all absent mindedly and then I’ll be like, ‘Aha! Caught you! Trying to screw me up!’ But even then the voice will be like, ‘Look at you! All organized and responsible! Good for you!’ Which will feed the illusion that I am responsible– which will backfire for later trickeries.

It’s an ongoing project I’ve been working on to silence this voice. I’ve been hitting override switches in my head so I do things like charge my phone at night or prioritize things properly. But I feel like it’s a mental shapeshifter– while it may abandon the ATM backpocket argument. I suspect it moves into other worlds of disorganization– worlds that I may not even be aware of yet…

ok bye!


Pookie says:

I do the ATM thingie all the time. I always end up putting stuff in my back pocket and losing track of it for days.

You are not alone lol.

Donny says:

i have a voice of unmotivation. i’ll say to myself, i really need to work out today. it’ll tell me, ah you can do it later tonight. then in the evening, should i work out? nah you can make up for it tomorrow or the weekend. all sorts of things, vacuuming, dusting, grocery shopping.

when it comes to repsonsible little things, they are automatic to an almost ocd level lol. same way every time. is there such a thing a compulsive un motivation? not depressed, just not motivated, but not lazy.

good post todd 🙂

really though, we need a toon soon! no slacking on halloween toon at least. please todd!

Krankor says:

Todd, I am your father. Come over to the dark side…. get organized.

Goats says:

And I thought I was high—wait—I am.

the REAL weeze says:


Anonymous says:

GELLUS? Yea…we so wish we could be just like you!

Z says:

You’re on the right track, tOdd. Just refute the evil voices inside your head.


dumb dumb says:

I left my ATM card in the ATM machine the other day… got my money, and walked away all “wooohooo cash mon-ay.”

MsM says:

I know I am naturally disorganized, and have no memory, so I have to work at putting the ATM card back in the same slot of the wallet.(Yeah, I left it in the machine once, & it took 6 weeks to get it back!) They changed the machine so you just swipe it now. MY fault,no doubt. I have years of practice straightening out stuff I put off, so I force myself to get stuff done when it needs doing. Sometimes I backslide, but I hate “fixing” stuff SO MUCH, that I do the thing.

Medusa says:

Are you kidding it’s just oldtimers, you forget the important stuff all the time. But I bet you remember the mundain unimportant crap easily.
And by the by when does weeze post, should he not be in school when he posts? Shall we call the truant officers or someone.

umm.. says:

Does Medusa mean Alzheimer’s? *facepalm*

Medusa says:

No I meant oldtimers, it’s what happens to people who are getting a bit older. Take on to much and lose things in the brain. But they always resurface at the oddest times, usually hours after we needed the info or after you get home from work. Then you do the facepalm, make the homer simpson noise and then forget where your pen and paper is so you can write yourself a note to remember it tomorrow. Cause by then you have the dog jumping on you to take him for a walk or the kids want dinner. Or you need to see what tOdd is up to.
But not the legitimate disease that affects so many.

gtpjerry says:

1. So what happened with the rental car?

2. Where’s Mr. Deng been?

3. Are you ever going to be able to block the Weeze’s of the board? Haven’t we had enough of these assholes already?

Nicol says:

Great post. I was supposed to get almond milk yesterday and I put the free coupon on my fridge. If I had written it down I wouldn’t have had to go back to the store at 10:30 p.m.

George Costanza says:

Just do the opposite of any impulse that you have and voila…

the REAL weeze says:


the REAL Weeze's alter ego says:

If I, the REAL Weeze, ever post again, I am admitting I’m a total attention-grubbing board-whoring hate-trolling no-life never-laid pussy.


the REAL Weeze says:

no caps today; too depressed. downside of bipolar disorder. only love i get is $2.99 a minute. no money coming in now that craig’s list took my site down, so i can’t afford it. at least now my jaw muscle has a chance to heal.

My Butt Here says:

The voice is actually an implanted subroutine done by the frontal lobe freudian conditioning you experienced throughout your early education. You have become a perfectly engineered and programmed failure. Even though you are aware of this there is only one hope for you. Massive changes in your life. Get rid of the television, eat whole foods, drink plenty of water, get exercise, quit drinking alcohol, don’t use drugs, and learn to meditate and release yourself from this conditioned response to your environmental stimuli. Try to focus your conscious awareness to the upper middle portion and let go of the frontal lobe grip.

Jane says:

When the voice tries to feed the illusion that you are responsible, tell it that the reason you need to do stuff like put your ATM card back is that you’re NOT responsible.

I used to work at a bank, and we were taught to do things exactly the same way every time, even if we think there’s no way to mess it up. The only thing that truly works to prevent mistakes is habit and rote, habit and rote. It’s when you try to get jiggy with it that you end up doing something stupid.

Oh, and btw, the rental car guy should’ve required you to walk around the car with him. If he didn’t, there’s your defense.

Just Ken says:

There’s a painting by Salvador Dali called “Young Virgin Being Auto-Sodomized by her own Chastity.” I have moments like tOdd’s, and I refer to it as “being auto-sodomized by my own laziness.” It happens, and it sucks.

pink banana says:

Marry me Todd! says:

Cool. Greetings from the Speedy DNS.

bjj iphone says:

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