Let Me Tell You a Story about Some Skittlebrau

Let me tell you a little story about some Skittlebrau. Do you know what Skittlebrau is? Please click the image below to watch an excellent seventeen-second video.

So, one night a bunch of us were hanging out on Becky’s back porch after floating in the pool, drinking beers and enjoying a summer night. I had some random domestic light beer in cans and a bag of Skittles and a moment of genius. “I shall make Skittlebrau!” I ceremoniously annouced. My friends were bemused at best, but their lack of enthusiasm didn’t faze me. As I began carefully plunking the Skittles one by one into the mouth of my beer can, I started tittering with laughter and repeating the word “Skittlebrau” in my best Homer Simpson voice, which turned into giggles, which eventually dissolved to near-cry laughing, and I dropped the last little handful of Skittles on the concrete floor of the porch.

“Oh no, too bad,” said someone. Was it too bad, friends? Was it too bad, I ask you, that the precious Skittles fell to the concrete floor? No. No it was not. I just picked them up and continued putting them into my beer. For one thing, this was a critical Skittlebrau experiment and I would not be stopped. For another thing, I simply do not care about germs. I do not.

This horrified one friend in particular (imagine a shocked and disgusted “Nooooooo” echoing through the night), but really I could not have cared less that the candy might have come in contact with some intangible floor bacteria. I don’t have a “five-second rule” or any other such belief that allows me not to care; rather I just don’t find everyday environmental bacteria to be a deterrent to living life to the fullest. I think we can all agree that missing an opportunity to make and drink Skittlebrau would really put a damper on living life to the fullest. Right? Right.

You will all be sorry to hear, then, that the Skittlebrau experiment was mostly a failure. I got some good laughs out of it, but the resulting product tasted pretty disgusting. The Skittles made the beer get flat; it tasted too sweet; and after the beer had been drunk, the Skittle remnants in the bottom of the can were too slimy to touch. But none of that matters. I tell you this story as my way of confessing to you that, in the Toothbrush Debate below, I am The Sinker. The Sinker is I! We are one and the same! Surprised?

The vast majority of you all are Team Cup, which I suppose is understandable. It’s a pretty reasonable point of view. However, I have never even had a toothbrush cup in my bathroom until recently. I have always been a Sinker. The Cupper in my life is the first person to ever suggest to me that the bathroom sink might be germy in the first place. The sink is where I wash my hands, therefore, to me, it is a clean place. Even if it is actually swarming with bacteria, I guess I still don’t really mind.

The things that tend to gross me out in life are mostly disgusting textures — I hate anything slimy, greasy, sticky, chalky, crummy, scummy, and so on. I don’t like touching food when I’m eating or using a chalkboard or holding a newspaper. I don’t like popcorn mainly because of the kernel skins that get in my gums but also because of the squeaky texture it makes when you chew it, which gives me the shivers. I have my own neuroses, for sure. For whatever reason, though, germs aren’t one of them.

For some reason, though, I find this kind of topic incredibly amusing, even sometimes fascinating — the whole differing approaches to seemingly mundane domestic tasks. I’ve been living on my own since I graduated from college in 2000. During the past 12+ years, I have certainly developed my own set of weird domestic quirks. I forget to close the bathroom door when I’m in there. I always make more coffee than I want and save half the pot for iced coffee the following day. I let Egon “help” me clean out my breakfast oatmeal bowl and often forget about it and leave the bowl sitting on the floor by the coffee table all day. I hang around in my underwear all morning (and afternoon) if I’m home alone on a weekend day. You know how it goes. (Do you?) Years of living solo can turn you into a real weirdo. I just never imagined that setting my toothbrush on the edge of the sink would be considered a strange domestic quirk by anyone else.

So anyway, now that I know most of y’all are Cup People (and you probably think I am gross!), please do me a favor and confess your own weird domestic quirks in the comments below. It will make me feel much better 🙂


  1. Um. So. I poo in a sizeable bucket which I keep outside, and then cover the poo with a liberal helping of sawdust sourced from the joinery down the road and when the bucket is full, I tip it all into a bed of straw kept in a huge old apple crate and then cover the poo/sawdust combination with more straw, weeds, whathaveyou, and leave it to do its thing. Don’t tell anyone.


      1. Is this gardening related, water conservation related, both, neither? At any rate, at least I am not resting my toothbrush on the edge of such a bucket! 🙂

      2. Yairs, I would be keeping my toothbrush well away from the poo bucket. After thermophilic composting, the poo is as pathogen free as any soil you might happen on, but in the interim, it’s … well, what you’d expect.

        The humanure system is partly about water conservation (the reservoirs for this city of 5 million people dropped to 26% of their capacity in the last drought … instead of looking at waterless toilets and water recycling, we started constructing a dirty big seawater desalination plant). It’s more about not wasting a rich resource. Seems silly to buy in horse manure to replenish the fertility of the garden when there’s a herbivore on the premises producing plenty of manure for free.

  2. Hmmm. I’ve been living with roommates since my second semester of uni, and I’ve developed some weirdo quirks along the way. I hate wearing pants and spend all my room time lounging pantsless. It annoys me no end to put pants on to get a glass of water or make dinner. If I feel like I can make it to the bathroom or the laundry room without being seen, I’ll make a run for it. My male and (very) Catholic roommate has been shocked to the core on two occasions thus far.

    I have also developed a distaste for cooking or cleaning in front of my roommates. Cooking because one of them will inevitably try to make small talk, and all I want to do is listen to music and eat. Cleaning because I’m the only female and thus apparently the only person who bothers to clean up after themselves. I feel like if they see me cleaning up the common areas, they will feel like they can continue to not give a shit.


    1. Down with pants!!!

      And if I had roommates who didn’t clean, I have to admit I would be very likely to engage in some passive-aggressive behaviors, à la “that dish isn’t going to be cleaned until YOU clean it!”


  3. I constantly drop food on the ground and pick it up and blow/wash it off and then eat it. And there’s dog hair in pretty much all my food whether I try hard to prevent it or not. And I very rarely get sick (KNOCKING FURIOUSLY ON WOOD). I think slovenliness (in moderation) builds a healthy immune system. That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.


    1. Agree! I get a cold maybe 1-2x per year, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve had any time of stomach virus or anything similar. Knocking on wood here, too.


  4. Um, I DO know how it goes. I believe you know my feelings on *pants*? And I don’t care that I live with 2 other people!
    Hmm, none of my domestic quirks have much to do with the bathroom so much, but I hate to wash dishes–to the point where I have a mental block about it and will leave them in the sink for days. Luckily, Sean washes dishes neurotically, so we’re a perfect match. It is like they turn invisible to me once I put them in the sink. I also forget to flip the laundry. I often have to run the washer multiple times a load (so wasteful, I know!). Hmm, all I am doing is confessing domestic flaws…not quite as cute as *quirks*.


    1. How you feel about the dishes is how I feel about the laundry. I will let it go as long as humanly possible. In college and grad school, I frequently bought more underwear to avoid doing the laundry. Insanity. These days, my laundry dysfunction manifest this way: I will keep extending the drying time over and over and over because I’m not “ready” (or willing) to get the clothes out and fold them yet. Once I’ve gotten everything out of the dryer, it will often live in the hamper, half folded, for days before being hung up or put away.

      In other news, I sort of accidentally/neurotically washed someone else’s dishes yesterday. It started out with me innocently moving some things around in the sink to have better faucet access and ended with me cleaning an entire kitchen. I couldn’t stop myself! But I like washing dishes. I just hate putting them away after.


  5. Here’s my little story about Skittlebrau. Many years ago, after a bad relationship ended, I started hanging out with a whole new crew, and my new friends frequented a bar that happened to have a candy machine. We’d often buy Skittles on the down-low and then proceed to torture one of the guys with the Skittles by attempting to throw them in his beer. Or dumping handfuls in his mug when he got up to use the restroom. You get the picture. Hilarious. (For us.) It’s five years later and the bartender at our new watering hole recently mentioned he was thinking about getting candy machine, and we immediately started threatening my friend that we were going to bring back Skittlebrau. My friend keeps insisting that’s “an Old Bar thing” and it will NOT be happening at New Bar, absolutely not, under no circumstances, you heard it here first. WE’LL SEE ABOUT THAT.


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