Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

Order.

I have always been somewhat of an organised chap but I find of late that I am taking it far more seriously than is my norm. In my hotel room everything is laid out and neat. My clothes are nicely folded; my pens are lined up in regimented lines; I carefully hang my towel and bathrobe; I put away my reading glasses in their case. All is in order.

In the hotel restaurant I make a point of eating with the cutlery in a polite manner. My napkin is placed neatly on my lap; I make sure my mouth is clean when I sip from my glass so as to not leave a distinguishing mark; I sit up ramrod straight; when I have finished my meal I align my knife and fork in the proper way so the waitress will know that she can remove the offending items.

All is in order.

I caught myself doing this yesterday but I had no need to ponder on the significance. When you find yourself in complete chaos then the only available recourse is to put as many things as you can in some semblance of rigid order. The chaos must be counter-balanced. This is how you survive such ordeals. I have seen true homeless people, living under a bridge in dire circumstances, and they have the same order to what meagre possessions they own if only for a brief time.

Having order in your daily life is always beneficial but in very trying circumstances it is crucial to your wellbeing. I am actually doing very well considering the circumstances, and I only write about it so that others will have the benefit of my experiences. I am not after sympathy, in fact I find that sympathy tends to make things worse. We are our best as men when we give those men we care about shit to their face.

“You’re a dickhead, mate. Only a total loser would let his wife throw him out of the house. Where’s your nut sack? Pinned to a tree? A mango tree, ya fag.”

Such are the small and blessed comforts of life.

What I will say is that your expectation should be that you will wind up in similar dire straits in your life. Nothing is for ever and everything is on constant flux. This is really basic stuff but I find that it is exactly the really basic stuff that trips us up and that we need constant remaindering about. Sure, you can go and read Marcus Aurelius and deeply ponder the deep mysteries of life the universe and everything. But that’s small change when you’re out on your ear and you’re wondering where you’re going to sleep that night.

The fact that I have progressively grown more orderly over the course of my life has been a boon to me now in this moment of crisis. I didn’t just magically become a man of order once the shit went down. Our good habits that we develop as a day to day part of life then sustain us when everything that we thought was real turns out to be nothing more than foo-foo. If you have a distinct lack of good habits, if you are not centered as a man then inevitably you will be found wanting when the craporola hits the wind turbine. Anyone can survive the happy times, it’s what you do when you’re down and out that sorts you out.

So in my time of testing, yet another one on my long journey, I take comfort in my personal order. Writing this little article is another example of good habits. People who suffer a crisis and then melt down and go on a debauched orgy of drink and drugs have somewhat missed the point. You don’t survive and solve one set of problems by simply creating more. Of course, the escapism stems from an inability to face the unpleasant reality.

So here’s to order. That’s the real reason to go and clean up your room, no matter what some lunatic lefty professor might have to say on the subject.

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8 Comments

  1. In addition to Order and Habit, as you pointed out, Ritual and Involvement are also helpful when dealing with a crisis situation. Have a schedule and stay active and relevant.

  2. TD

    And here I thought that we cleaned our rooms and practiced good posture to honor our lobster ancestors.

  3. This is also a variation of finding the “silver lining” in things as well. Even bad circumstances can have a ray of positive. Maintaining composure is another way of looking at it.

  4. MatrixTransform

    Well, in keeping with the spirit of the post …

    the first step on a journey of a thousand miles

    walking in the footsteps of every bloke before you.

    chin up buddy

    Welcome to manhood, mate.

    • Post Alley Crackpot

      “… the first step on a journey of a thousand miles …”

      … typically involves obliterating the footsteps that led you to where you are.

      Because you, good sir, are being hunted, and it is long past time for you to stop behaving like prey!

      • MatrixTransform

        what the fuck are you talking about?

        You children are indeed walking in the footsteps of every fella before you … its just that you like to try and use smarmy self indulgent gibber as a spell.

        Your’e no different boyo except perhaps that instead of hunted your’e now farmed.

        go on….pump some iron, play a computer game….say something witty.

  5. TechieDude

    I think being orderly is a man thing. I know where all my stuff is, because it has a place to which it goes when I’m done with it. Pens, tools, parts, whatever. The only time my shit goes missing is when it’s been borrowed and joins the woman’s debris field.

    I think women are genetically incapable of putting something back either where they found it or where it belongs.

  6. Post Alley Crackpot

    “Having order in your daily life is always beneficial but in very trying circumstances it is crucial to your wellbeing.”

    So is looking under your vehicle in a theatre of war for limpet trackers and IEDs that have magically attached themselves …

    Ah, but you believe you’re not actually in a theatre of war.

    It’s a comforting illusion offering solace to the inevitably doomed.

    When we’re dealing with The Great Adversaries or even smaller ones who can be similarly dangerous given the chance, the last thing you generally want to do is to be predictable in such a way as to make the enemy’s engagement with you a mostly pro forma despatching job.

    One way of looking at your situation is that you became so orderly and predictable that Your Current Adversary decided that an opportunity existed for a limited engagement and then took it while you had temporarily wandered away from the theatre.

    Naturally you’ve taken whatever half-baked criticisms have been offered and internalised them to such a point that you’re playing with place settings and such like at your dinner table, all so you can prove to yourself in some amusing yet somewhat concerning way that you have not in fact lost your shit.

    Will Mopsy, Flopsy, and Cottontail be joining you for afternoon tea, good sir? 🙂

    What you need is method and model, not order for its own sake.

    With method and model, you understand the place you’re in and piece together just enough of a routine to survive whatever insanity you’ve managed to be dropped into.

    Order is often this thing that Rear Echelon Mother Fuckers like because it looks like the troops are doing their level best even when they’re taking flak for being so bloody predictable …

    Perhaps we should discuss trade craft then — the “Moscow Rules” and the “Washington Rules” are highly informative on the subjects you’re likely most interested in.

    Most people know the “Moscow Rules” by way of various exotic and charming novels in which highly competent and athletic protagonists get themselves out of whatever insanity they’ve managed to be dropped into.

    The “Washington Rules” are completely different — they’re rules that are intended to keep you out of that insanity by seeing the operating theatre and terms of engagement more clearly.

    Realise that you are in fact being hunted, and on that premise sabotage the expectations of your pursuers to the point that they cannot reliably track where you will eventually land.

    Naturally, you have free roam to lie convincingly to all of us as long as it gets you out of this tight spot you’re in. 🙂

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