Rhyme-lapse video: Localised Entropy Decrease, or How to Choose Camera Angles To Make Your Room Look Tidier Than It Is


I’m a messy person, and I admit it. But during the holidays I have time to do a big clean-up. The following is a time-lapse video of my cleaning my bedroom, with rhyming commentary. This was all done on the 22nd and 23rd of December, so some of the commentary reflects that. You can probably hear some changes in the sound in places, since I didn’t record it all in one take, but it would have taken far too much practice to pull that off.

I did tidy the kitchen and the rest of the apartment afterwards. From now on, I plan to hire a cleaner to come in once a week to keep it this way.

The music at the end is from ‘Strong Interaction‘ by Les Horribles Cernettes. LHC: Accelerating Videos.

The whole commentary is a ‘quick’ first draft, but still, it takes an awfully long time to fill up six and a half minutes with cheesy rhymes without repeating anything. The footage was originally ten and a half minutes at double the speed it was filmed at, but I had to speed up some sections for lack of commentary, and because a video that long would have been boring and too long for YouTube.

Here are the words… all 984 of them, in 40 quatrains:


I have a small confession.
I’m something of a nerd.
And when I code, it’s geek-out mode
and housework gets deferred.

Now, I’m cool with thermodynamics,
but not that second law:
that entropy is meant to be
increasing on my floor.

So twice a year I fight it;
I fold, and sort, and clean
with energy, and cups of tea
and everything between.

I sort through bits and pieces,
decide where each should dwell,
I’d put away, but sad to say,
It’s messy there as well.

So first I’ll fill some boxes,
and make a neater pile.
It’s pretty rough, but still some stuff
can stay there for a while.

I take things from the middle
and I move them to the wall,
I’ll make a stack, afraid I lack
a place to put it all.

I put away the bits and bobs,
clear table tops, and clean them.
Their dust is old, and truth be told,
it’s ages since I’ve seen them.

I’ll gather up my keyrings,
my pictures, and my shoes,
prepare my feet to face the heat
that all this work imbues.

It’s quite a feat to finish
I’m not sure if I can,
but where there’s will, there’s ways until
the floor is spick and span.

Now, I may have only tidied
a tiny little nook,
but I can bluff. I’m smart enough
to show you where to look

But oh, now look what I have done.
I’ve moved the mess around.
Now I have to chuck the chaff
from another rubbish mound.

I gather up the dirty clothes
to launder when I’m done.
I truly pant for cleaner pants,
for right now, I have none.

I’ll zig and zag around the house,
and zoom like Supergirl,
and for a laugh, I’ll grab a scarf
and take it for a twirl.

I’ll take my oldest souvenirs
and toss them, if I must,
then clear a chair and sit right there,
to sneeze out all the dust.

Now, dust’ll maybe harm my health,
and maybe even dirt’ll,
a pile of litter’ll make me fitter,
just like a racer’s hurdle.

My sea legs trained in captain’s mess,
I’m sure this seaman’s able
to salvage wrecks and swab the decks
of cards on my night table.

My winter dig unearths remains
of exploits bright and estival.
A setlist and, you understand,
a poster of a festival.

So finding there’s an empty spot,
I put them on my wall and
needn’t wait to reinstate
another, long since fallen.

Enough of decoration,
I think of all the rest
that I could get when in my bed
with bedclothes newly dressed.

For such success at cleaning
is getting to my head.
Well, that and dustmites, but now it’s just right,
I’m getting into bed.

The morning’s here, I can’t deny,
There’s still a lot of mess,
I’ll have to go all out to clean up the fallout
of yesterday’s success.

There’s really too much stuff here,
but I know what I’ll do!
I’ll pack this crap in postal wrap
and send it off to you!

So now you know the honest truth
of every gift I send.
You must be touched to learn how much
I’m glad that you’re my friend.

Now where to start, and what to do?
And where to put this calendar?
Well I’ll be done! It’s not the one
of this year that we’re well into.

The next you know, I’ll find a bill
that isn’t ancient knowledge!
But will I pay? No, not today,
I’ll go put out the garbage.

I won’t put those old lamp shades up;
it’s way too hard, you see.
I’m sure I’ll find another use…
Yippee! Hurrah! Go, me!

Recycle this and throw out that,
and give some stuff away.
Thank God for Jesus, I’ll give these as
gifts on Christmas Day.

To clear some room I have to move
an extra dining chair.
It’s off to waste another space,
but you won’t see it there.

I take my bedroom clutter
and I put it in the kitchen.
A spell to hide is thus applied,
for now’s the time for witchin’

I pick things up, and put things down
and fly around the room.
Though not a Wiccan, I’m quite quick an’
handy with a broom.

I wish that I could banish mess
with sparkly colored vapor.
But destiny’s requestin’ me
to pick up bits of paper.

Well, paper’s not so bad, I guess,
if commemorating shows.
On the door of my loo is Explosion of Poo,
And there’s Sarah, above my photos.

But while I like the neatness
and the ‘decor’ I’ve designed,
I must admit, my favourite bit
Is all the things that I find.

A sand rose from Tunisia
with socks in my top drawer.
And even better — a giant weta!
But wait, there’s even more.

A wind chime and a few toy trucks,
A box of foreign euros
A plectrum, and… some cinnamon?
That’s not normal for bureaus.

There’s no room here, there’s no room there,
there’s no room on the shelf,
so I’ll get reckless, make a necklace,
decorate myself.

But even I have just one head,
and too much headgear, that’s
why all my aides are wearing shades
and shades are wearing hats!

Now all this work is nearly done,
I think I’m getting hot,
and then I sneeze, from some disease,
and think, “Oh, no I’m not.”

I’m rushed, but not swept, off my feet,
alarmed by falling light.
for it annoys to make a noise,
when after ten at night.

One more bag of rubbish,
and one last little sweep.
There’s no more grime, it’s finally time…
to clear a space to sleep.

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