The neglected addiction

Posted on April 19, 2010


Everyone knows that in the charity business, cuteness is key. We’re more than happy to dish out money to save seals, dolphins, and panda bears.

Please. Just let me die.

But how about that little creature pictured on the right? The Madagascar Aye-Aye? He’s on the verge of extinction too, but are you willing to put out a single penny to save him? Or are you, like any sane person, going to think: “It’s probably a mercy”?

Of course you are.

Oddly enough, however, when it comes to anti-addiction campaigns, the reverse is true: the uglier the image, the more zeroes on the cheques.

In other words, if you photographed an Aye-Aye lying in a dirty alley beside a garbage can, you’d have an anti-addiction campaign. (Or a movie poster for a really dark Batman release.)

Unfortunately, this idea that addiction is always ugly and horrifying is essentially a myth. Most addicts are indistinguishable from anyone else. The kind we see on the street and in police line-ups are a minority.

Which means the majority of addicts get ignored.

Such as the “Addicts of Lubrication Neglect.”

“Lubrication Neglect Addiction” was first brought to the public’s attention by Jim Fitch in the Noria publication, Machinery Lubrication (“12-Step Program – For Recovering Addicts of Lubrication Neglect“).

Fitch says that “the practice of neglecting lubrication has become deeply engrained in maintenance culture.”

This “complacency,” he concludes, “is not simply a case of ignorance, but rather follows a pattern strangely similar to addiction.”

To combat this addiction, Fitch has created his own 12-step program, the first of which requires us to admit “we [are] powerless over our addiction to lubrication neglect – that our attempts to stabilize machine reliability [have] become unmanageable.”

The second step is “to believe that there is a greater maintenance intelligence than our own that could guide us in restoring our lubrication sanity.”

But while Fitch’s program may have the potential to help untold thousands of addicts — without suitable promotion, none will know of it, and so addicts will never learn the importance of “educating” themselves “to the richness and rewarding world of modern lubrication.”

The problem, of course, is that Lubrication Neglect Addicts aren’t ugly enough. They don’t hang out on street corners doing tricks for a bag of Neglect (or “‘lect,” as it would likely be called by its users). They don’t abandon their families and friends, they don’t gamble away the household finances, and they don’t act inappropriately in social situations.

Or at least, if they do any of these things, it’s just because they’re jerks.

Now, after reading about Lubrication Neglect Addiction I wanted to do something. “But who am I?” I thought. “I am but ‘one man’.” And then I thought: “If everyone sent me money, then I could be ‘one man with a lot of money!'”

So send me money. I’ll accept cheque, credit card, PayPal or money order. They say you shouldn’t send cash through the mail, but I think it’s okay. In this case, anyhow.

Just send me money.

I may even give a few dollars to that 12-step program for those guys with the weird sex-machine fetish.