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Doing The Dishes Is Like Tetris.

Dishwasher Tetris - Coming soon to the Nintendo Wii.

I know it's a fairly typical thing to say, but I really do hate doing the dishes. I hate it so much that I've often considered replacing all the dishes we own with disposable paper plates, dixie cups and plastic cutlery (sporks optional). Aside from the inherent wastefulness of going down that route, I think one of the main reasons I can't bring myself to do it is because most plastic cutlery is too weak (for example, try cutting an onion in half with a plastic knife). So yeah, I'm definitely gonna stick with real dishes until I can figure out a better solution. I also know that I shouldn't even really complain about doing them since having a dishwasher can actually be a luxury depending on where you live. I've lived in places where I had to do all the dishes by hand and that's an entirely different level of annoying.

Now while I hate doing the dishes, I must admit that I always get this odd satisfaction after I've managed to cram way more dishes into one dishwasher load than you would think was humanly possible. It's a delicate act of making sure you put the right cups and plates in their correct spots, just like placing blocks in their correct spots in a game of Tetris. I even line the silverware up in a specific way to ensure that I can fit more of them in there so that they'll still get clean but not prevent the door from being able to shut. But here's where I get even more ridiculous with the dishwasher loading situation: I actually get annoyed when Re throws off my dish loading system. "You put one of the tall cups in the fourth row towards the back? What in the HELL were you thinking!?" All I get in return are blank stares or a reminder from her about what a freak I am... and rightfully so.

I fully recognize this as a totally nitpicky, OCD-like quirk of mine and nobody in their right mind should feel like they just accomplished something great upon the completion of loading a dishwasher. It's really nothing special. Furthermore, it's only necessary for me to cram so many dishes into the washer in the first place because I always procrastinate doing them until I'm literally using our rubber tupperware covers as makeshift plates. Nothing says "classy" like eating fish sticks and rice off of an inverted Rubbermaid cover because I didn't run the dishes.

Still, at least I can hold my head high, for I am the Master of Dishwasher Tetris. If they had competitions to see who could load the most dishes into a single dishwasher, you can bet your ass I'd be taking home the first place prize. And no, I'm not breaking out rulers and protractors or anything like that in order to calculate how to squeeze more dishes in there... that's for the math nerds. I'm a natural dishwasher loading talent. The Dish Whisperer if you will. If you just stop and take the time to listen to the dishes, they'll tell you where they want you to place them in the dishwasher.

Somebody please tell me I'm not the only one who does this kind of shit.


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Spruce Moose on 01/17/2008 4:06 pm

"Somebody please tell me I’m not the only one who does this kind of shit."

You're on your own, skip. But I do procrastinate with the dishes. I myself have no machine to do it for me. Luckily, it's college, so most of me eating comes from the dining hall. The dishes I do occasionally use will sit dirty until the mold comes to play.


Anonymous (Guest) on 01/17/2008 4:15 pm

Don't worry, rog, i do this too. my family thinks im strange because of it.


Zachary (Guest) on 01/17/2008 4:21 pm

I have a dishwasher loading system as well. Like Re, my wife also deviates from the system. Although I want to load as many dishes into the dishwasher out of cheapness rather than procrastination. If you can pack every dish in the house ito one load it saves on the Cascade budget.

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mburbank on 01/17/2008 4:27 pm

Woe betide the man, woman or child that 'Ph*cks' with my dish loading system. There's a way that dishes go in the washer, and that way is my way. Crap in my sock drawer if you have to, use my toothbrush for back yard archeology but do not get in the space between the sink and the washer and do not lay your damn dirty ape hands on the dishes once they are in there.

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JJ the Jetplane on 01/17/2008 4:47 pm

What do you mean "sporks are optional?" SPORKS ARE THE MOST POWERFUL OF ALL PLASTIC UTENSILS!!! If they found out about this blasphemy, they would send in their special forces squad to destroy you right now.

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chemquat on 01/17/2008 5:03 pm

i have a dishwasher system as well: cram them in there willy-nilly. what doesn't fit doesn't get washed this go-round.

also, i am very generous with the dishwasher. i will let anyone load it, anyone at all.

i would let bin laden if he could get the super-huge soup pan in there.


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BakaGaijin on 01/17/2008 5:04 pm

My girl would always unload and reload the washer whenever I put something in there to "maximize the space". It got to the point where I just thought "screw it" and started leaving the dishes in the sink. Of course, I caught even more hell for that. So, back to rinsing, stacking, and watching her rearrange. Whatever makes the little batshit crazy chick happy.


Number6Faye (Guest) on 01/17/2008 5:25 pm

I've had to do the dishes at my house for several years, so I have a whole system worked out. And, like you, I can't stand when someone else does them and screws the whole system up, or puts something in the dishwasher that wasn't supposed to go in there (like non-stick pots)...

And here I was thinking that I was the only one who did this AND thought of it like Tetris! XD

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bloodyegg on 01/17/2008 6:10 pm

Ugh...just reading this thread made me think of the huge pile of dishes lurking in the sink at home, waiting to be washed BY HAND. I don't use any of your fancypants 'water' or 'soap' neither; if handfuls of broken glass soaked in turpentine were good enough for my grandpappy they're good enough for me, by gum.

Man I wish I had a dishwasher.


Steve (Guest) on 01/17/2008 6:48 pm

If you're smart, you'll rinse and clean a dish with a paper tower and put it back immediately after you use it. This works great on cereal bowls.


ColdFusion (Guest) on 01/17/2008 7:19 pm

I hate dishes too. There's gotta be a machine you can just put every dish into after you're done eating off of it, and it cleans it right away. That way you wouldn't need that many.. you'd just put it in there and it'd clean it automatically.. and take it out next time you use a dish..

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Teal on 01/17/2008 7:34 pm

I actually kind of like doing the dishes (by hand)...but I hate putting them away..I think that makes me a little odd...

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Ruinne on 01/17/2008 7:50 pm

" Guys are such wusses. Dishwashers? HA! I do mine by HAND, by HAND I tell you! When you've washed dishes after a New Years party by HAND then we'll talk dishes!"

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Colonel Flagg on 01/17/2008 8:26 pm

I have manually unpacked the dishwasher, dirty spoon-by-dirty spoon til it was pristine, then painstakingly repacked the whole enchilada only to get one or two more plastic cups in just the right places. Yes, I know I need help - it sounds like we have the beginning of a support group here.

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Pentegarn on 01/17/2008 10:33 pm

Two things...

1)Sporks are NEVER optional! They are mandatory!

2)When you get 4 sets of dishes all lined up, do they all disappear?

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Invisible on 01/18/2008 12:23 am

All by hand for me. Too poor for a dishwasher. But it almost brought a tear to my eye to know that men even DO the dishes. When I tell my husband he needs to do them, he contracts sudden Narcolepsy.

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autodidact on 01/18/2008 1:06 am

I like to skip that 'pre-rinse' step. I'll set the dishes on the floor, call in my dogs, and in less than a minute, a whole meals' worth of dishes is ready for the machine.

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Durin413 on 01/18/2008 1:08 am

You're missing the obvious solution that would give you the best of both worlds. Simply treat the nice silverware and plates as you would the disposable ones, and trash em, then buy new ones, and keep large amounts. This way, you dont have to do dishes, but you can still have a metal knife to cut your onions.

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incognit000 on 01/18/2008 2:30 am

I miss having a dishwasher.

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stevetothepast on 01/18/2008 5:31 am

I hate not having a dishwasher, it absolutely "blows dogs for quarters"

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simogene on 01/18/2008 6:56 am

You are not alone. Not only do I play dishwasher tetris (and yell at my husband when he loads the dishwasher), but I do not allow the boys at the grocery store to pack my giant re-useable grocery bags because they don't do it right.

yes, I play grocery tetris too. And I can fit 120 bucks worth of groceries into 4 bags.

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Pandajuice on 01/18/2008 10:42 am

I'm with you on this one Rog. It's yet another thing you and I have in common that makes me think we had the same parents or are long lost brothers.
As much as I hate loading the dishwasher, I spend a lot of time arranging the dishes in such a way to fit absolutely every dirty dish possible without compromising the cleaning power of the washer. I also yell at my wife when she tries to load it or commits the ultimate sin in doing a "half load" when my back is turned.
It is a sad day and I feel a great mourning when I just can't fit that last 12" frying pan in...

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Ronin S on 01/18/2008 11:05 am

I don't like doing the dishes either, but I hate seeing a sink full of dirty dishes even more. For me it's a task though having to separate the dishwasher-safe from the non-dishwasher safe and I still need to wash that stuff by hand.

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imockyouw on 01/18/2008 11:27 am

I love doing diswasher tetris... unloading it, not so much.

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doopa on 01/18/2008 2:01 pm


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umop apisdn on 01/18/2008 4:41 pm

I don't have a dishwasher. Well I do, but he's my roommate. I just have one paper plate, one spork, and one solo cup which I was and reuse after every meal.

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Ferrit on 01/18/2008 7:40 pm

I'm not OCD about loading up the dishwasher - but my girlfriend is. I load it up - she rearranges everything. If she wants to go in and make sure everything in there is specifically lined up perfectly while getting icky food all over her hands while doing so - hey, power to her. I always thought of a dishwasher as a L A B O R S A V I N G device requiring little to no thought energy expended.


Dalten (Guest) on 01/18/2008 7:45 pm

I feel for you, RoG. Alas, but my dishwasher went kaput a few weeks ago. I get to clean the dishes by hand now. I think I have a strange obsession with thoroughly washing my hands in scalding water after each ordeal...


Ridureyu (Guest) on 01/19/2008 12:10 am

I have been calling the dishwasher Tetris for a long time. i am capable of fitting more into it than should be humanly possible.

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Themasterofflies on 01/19/2008 9:58 am

so what you're saying is that you're like playing Tetris in real life while loading the dishwasher?

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Its_Not_a_tumor on 01/19/2008 11:32 am

I too have an odd system that my girlfriend hates entirely.

We don't have a dishwasher, so I like to organize all of our dishes on our island in the center of the kitchen by type, size, and color.

Then, I start always with the pots, move to the plates, bowls, cups, knives, and then flatware, only in this order.

My girlfriend also has some things that she likes to do when she does dishes in order, but they are far more practical.

I also like to line up my french fries by size, then eat them. Am I crazy? (-:

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Angryhydralisk on 01/19/2008 1:21 pm

It's stuff like this that makes I-Mockery my favorite site to go to.

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mburbank on 01/19/2008 1:39 pm

My wife says that this dishwasher thing is yet more proof that I'm gay for you.

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thecatillaccat on 01/19/2008 7:00 pm

I do this, as well, Rog, my friend. And then I claim myself to be immortal and run about doing the Rocky Dance.

Oh, yes. God I love I-Mock. This blog was so random.

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Geminate on 01/20/2008 2:36 am

At this stage I can't imagine (in America) being too poor for a dishwasher. They make cheap all-plastic ones you know, that last for 15 years. If you can hook up cable TV, you can install a dishwasher.

I found the best method, for getting the dishes actually clean, is to just do them every day. Doesn't matter if the machine is full, the less there are the cleaner they get. Ten minutes a day beats trying to shove a weeks worth into the machine and then nothing gets clean. Not to forget the stench and bio-hazard of a weeks worth of dishes sitting around and all that living bacteria shooting into your sinuses as you gag and rinse them...unless you relish getting new and exotic illnesses, flesh eating bacteria and mold that eats you entire face away.


AshleyRiot (Guest) on 01/20/2008 3:47 am

Whats a dishwasher??? I use a Slimer. Cleans a weeks worth of dishes in less than ten minutes and leaves a long lasting scent of fresh ectoplasmic goop.

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Ancient Echo on 01/20/2008 6:38 am

Dishes are to life as pain is to humanity. Try as we may, we'll never be able to rid oursleves from them, like pain, because we always have hunger, and this hunger demands a means of delivery.

I guess you can tell a lot about a person by their dishes.

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Asila on 01/20/2008 4:49 pm

I live in an extremely old house, so all of my dishes are done by hand... but back when I had a dishwasher, yeah I was extremely anal about it. Thanks to my dad the ex-marine, all my dishes have to be stacked properly and my sheets have to be cornered right.

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Invisible on 01/20/2008 7:38 pm

Yes, believe it or not, people are too poor for dishwashers. Try feeding a house of six people on 200 dollars a week. Yeah, poor.

But I do have two teenagers that I need to learn to con into doing dishes for me. Someday, when pigs fly, I can make that happen. :)

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-RoG- on 01/21/2008 5:23 am

It's often not even a question of poverty, it's often just people who live in older houses and apartment buildings. Go to just about any big city and you'll find a plethora o' places where having a dishwasher (along with a washer & dryer for your laundry) are considered luxuries. Hell, out here in L.A. it's considered a luxury if an apartment comes with a refrigerator! I'm sure that sounds insane to you, especially since a fridge is more of a necessity than a luxury, but most places out here don't come with a fridge and that was one of our first purchases when we originally moved out here. Welcome to Bizarroland.

Well anyway, I'm glad we've all formed a support group for Dishwasher Tetris players. Thanks for all the feedback everyone... now I don't feel quite as insane about my OCD-like tendencies towards doing the dishes.

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TheBigMan045 on 01/22/2008 5:20 am

if it dont fit it goes on the bench until someone else does it or it stays there till tomorrow


Atari (Guest) on 01/22/2008 10:38 pm

Sporks are, in fact, the retard child of a fork and spoon. It's a pop culture trend to think sporks are any more than plastic wannabes.

It is a joke that should have died a long time ago because, frankly, fast food sucks. (But it tastes so good! T_T )

I can't stand sporks, or the idiots who dessiminate propaganda about how wonderful they supposedly are.

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El Sammo on 01/24/2008 1:25 am

Atari...You sadden me. The Spork is not the retarded offspring of a spoon and fork, it is the GENIUS offspring. It is BOTH, at the SAME TIME. I don't understand why we don't have metal sporks. The only things a spork cannot do are soup and long noodles.


maNDan Jim (Guest) on 01/24/2008 10:57 am

I don't even have a dishwasher son! I have pretty much converted to the disposable action. Paper plates and keg party cups all around. I do still use real silverware however.

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Great Mighty Poo on 01/25/2008 7:09 am

Thanks RoG, I found myself humming the tetris theme the last time I was loading the washer. Now my roomies look at me even stranger.

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hontsi on 01/26/2008 11:44 am

As the resident chef I make the mess, I don't clean the mess. Simple equation: if you want to eat, then you will do dishes. The only flaw in this system is that it tends to break down when I'm home alone for any extended period of time.

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