Winner 2009 - 'The Care And Feeding Of Clutter Blobs' by Jennifer Brodeur

Jennifer (aka Garan Gwyn)
02/19/16 05:49:45PM
5 posts


After being told recently that I was fighting a clutter blob in my office, my friend Nancy became concerned.  “Are they…is it…dangerous?  Contagious?”  I was amused by her apparent ignorance as to the nature of clutter blobs.  Upon giving it more thought, I realized that I had never seen any information published on caring for and raising clutter blobs.  For someone who is obviously a neat freak (I’ve seen her house), the idea of a clutter blob was unsettling.  But humans tend to fear what they don’t understand.  It was clear that there was a need for some simple facts and discussion on this subject, and I was just the person to provide it.  I am the clutter blob expert par excellence.

I have some exceptional specimens of clutter blobs.  You have only to stop by unannounced some time and you will be able to see a number of them.  To the untrained eye, it may appear that there is only one large clutter blob living in my house.  However, further investigation will reveal that this is really a number of colonies of highly individualized clutter blobs, each requiring their own unique environment, care, and feeding to keep them healthy and growing. 

Clutter blob colonies reproduce at an exponential rate – faster than rabbits and cockroaches.  Their growth pattern is phenomenal given the right environment, and which, obviously, I have provided.  However, it is rare to establish a colony immediately.  My son is the only person I have ever seen who has achieved this feat.  After losing his job, he returned home from the small one-bedroom apartment where he had been living. The specimens he raised at his apartment in the two years he lived there were extraordinary. However, I was certain that uprooting them the way we did, cleaning them and boxing them up would result in their demise, especially those we had stored outdoors on the patio, in the garage, and a large metal storage container nearby. However, barely a fortnight had transpired when I had occasion to open his bedroom door, and to my utter amazement, the entire room had been taken over by enormous colonies of various kinds, all happily comingling with one another so that it was impossible to tell where one ended and the next began. The same anomaly occurred in my garage and on my patio! Unfortunately, I neglected to check the metal storage container at that time.

Normally, however, colonization only occurs by introducing one small clutter blob into what you think will be an out-of-the-way place for the time being, and to which you will soon return. 

The initial, infantile clutter blob must be left undisturbed for at least several days.  Several weeks is even better.  You may feed it by adding more clutter – which, of course, should conform to the individual attributes of the particular species you have introduced into your environment. In this way it will appear to be more intentional, which has a pleasantly sedating effect on you, the handler. But it also reinforces the ecological integrity of the clutter blob community that you are establishing.  Be advised, however, that it is very dangerous to try to remove any of its elements too soon.  You must allow enough time for both the clutter blob and especially for yourself to become comfortable with its new home.  Soon your clutter blob will be happily growing without any further attention from you.

Once your initial clutter blob has taken hold – and you will know this because you will suddenly feel overwhelmed at the idea of removing it – you can move on to attend to new and diverse clutter blob specimens.  Chances are, by now your clutter blob will have begun to spread by means of scouts, rhizomes, tentacles, or other means, and which have already mutated into their own little colonies.  A close inspection will reveal that each of the new clutter blob colonies have their own specific characteristics.  Some will take on the paper blob form; others, the knick-knack blob, the laundry blob (also commonly known as a “pile”), and so forth.  Even within each species can be found subspecies; for instance, the paper clutter blob may take on a newspaper, junk mail, or to-be-filed characteristic.  Usually its original species is still ascertainable, however.

Once your clutter blob colonies begin reproducing on their own, you can rest assured that they have become well-established and will take very little care except to keep feeding them.  At this point you can even remove parts of them, and they will grow back.  Your clutter blobs are there to stay.

Clutter blobs are not without their negative aspects, however.  They are mischievous and, if left uncontrolled, can even be dangerous, mostly because of their insidious nature.  They enjoy sneaking up on people when they aren't paying attention, causing headache, memory loss, and anxiety due to the fact that they block the flow of chi and enjoy hiding whatever it is that you are looking for and need the most.  (They have a natural propensity for this.)  They also like to throw things in front of you at the last moment causing you to trip and fall, possibly leading to physical injury.  However, all of these seemingly ill effects only lead in turn to a more fertile environment for them to thrive.

As a clutter blob colony ages, its originally distinct characteristics begin to fade.  In its final stage of colonization, a clutter blob colony will evolve into one of the following forms:  Aliquis novus, Aliquis necessarius, or Aliquis irritus.  The final form into which your clutter blob mutates is essential to its continued survival.  Unfortunately, you will have little control over it at this stage.  If your clutter blob evolves into an Aliquis irritus form, it will likely be removed either by yourself or another household member.  The picture referred to in this article shows the untended storage shed wherein the clutter blob transplanted by my son grew too large for its environment and suffered a near-fatal eruption. This specimen, regrettably, has taken on the form of a mature Aliquis irritus and will undoubtedly require eventual removal upon notification of the local authorities.

However, if your clutter blob has evolved into an Aliquis necessarius, nobody is likely to be inclined to part with it.  And if, in the best case scenario, your clutter blob will have achieved the Aliquis novus form, you will be delighted to find in it new specimens you never knew you had, and which almost certainly will provide the nuclei for entirely new generations of clutter blobs!

updated by @jennifer-aka-garan-gwyn: 02/19/16 06:05:14PM