If any show needed a drinking game…

So, I recently found that a friend of mine had never seen the A&E show “Hoarders”. Of course, she was instantly transfixed. Tonight, suffering through a severe bout of the I Wish To Devour The World stage of PMS, she decided that the best thing for us to watch was, of course, “Hoarders”.

For the uninitiated, “Hoarders” is a documentary show that features people who suffer the obsessive-compulsive disorder of pretty much never throwing anything away, or attaching value to things despite them being worthless, dangerous, or unsanitary. There are people who hoard animals, there are people who hoard newspapers. When it gets bad, you’ll hear about this person on the news, because part of their house fell over, or the owner had been discovered dead in there after 3 weeks but all their stuff blocked their egress and emergency workers’ ingress.

If you are not a hoarder, but you happen to get really down on yourself because your house gets a little cluttered or you don’t have a lot of time to keep it looking like a photo spread from Better Homes & Gardens, this show will make you feel a whole fucking lot better about yourself.

Of course, it’s a trainwreck. You can’t look away. These people, they put themselves on the teevee box (or their families did) so that they could get some help. The team on the show sends in a professional organizer, or a psychologist who specializes in OCD and hoarding, as well as a massive work crew of people to help get the house (which the city is ready to condemn, or the landlord is ready to evict from, or the bank is about to foreclose on, or the kids have been taken away from) in some sort of order the way that normal humans live, and they offer after-care to the participants as well. So it’s not like the most fucked-up version of Cribs that ever was – they’re actively trying to help people here, they just happen to be able to exploit them for ratings while they’re at it. From what the show says, over 3 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from this disorder, and it can indeed be a killer. Serious business. But also, really, it’s nearly impossible to look away. And for those of us who get that weird OCD cleaning compulsion, for those of us who have ever scrubbed a stove with a toothbrush in the middle of the night (people like me, in other words), we are GLUED to this shit.

So now, I’ve decided that there needs to be a drinking game. Otherwise, I’ll just sit and watch it for days, and feel the bugs crawling on me right through the TV, and go after the carpeting on the stairs with a goddamn COMB. A little nice, relaxing booze will help me to be able to sleep after watching 6 episodes in a row, especially because I doubt I’d be able to play according to the rules for a whole 6 episodes – I’ll be passed out long before then.

The rules are as follows:
1. Every time you see a box in which AVON products ship used for storage – DRINK
2. You hear the subject of the show say something along the lines of, “I’m not a hoarder. I just save things.” – DRINK
3. See live vermin (rats, mice, skunks, etc.) – DRINK
4. See any food expired more than 6 months – DRINK
4b. If above is true & hoarder says, “Nope – that’s still good to eat.” – DRINK X2
5. Floor or wall rotted through due to excessive animal urine – DRINK
6. Animal excrement shown – DRINK
7. Human excrement shown (this includes adult diapers) – SHOT
8. Hoarder takes something back off of the garbage truck – DRINK
9. Hoarder refuses to throw out something obviously stained/broken/no longer functional – DRINK
10. Hoarder chooses their stuff over their family members – DRINK
11. Hoarder refuses aftercare – DRINK X2
12. Animal skeleton found – SHOT X2
13. Human skeleton found – Just begin the binge drinking now, or perhaps find a way to mainline vodka. (Who knows? It could land you on the other A&E breakout show, “Intervention”!!!)

At any time during the show, you may place bets on whether or not the hoarder is going to shut down the cleanup prematurely. The loser has to rinse out all of the bottles and put them out for recycling (this is key – they must NOT stay in the house, or they risk being called a hoarder), and must be in charge of washing the shot glasses at the end of the night.

If you can come up with any others that need inclusion on this list, let me know, but I think I’ve pretty much covered the basics. Next time this friend and I decide that it’s another “Hoarders” marathon night, I think I’ll just have to make sure to have a 6-pack & the vodka ready. Hmmm…either that, or I’m going to have to come up with new drinks and snacks for a “Hoarders”-themed evening. Gotta make sure that there’s coarse-ground black pepper so that it looks like bugs. Definitely.