I read an interesting article in the New York Times this week, in which the writer, Mr. Jonathon Ames, author and creator of the recent HBO comedy “Bored to Death”, introduced me to a fascinating new term: kipple.  Coined by another author, Mr. Phillip Dick, in his novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep”, kipple can be defined as: the sinister type of rubbish which simply builds up without any human intervention (courtesy of  As quoted in Mr. Ames’ article, the main character of this novel further clarifies kipple as: useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers. … When nobody’s around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there’s twice as much of it. It always gets more and more. …The entire universe is moving toward a final state of total, absolute kippleization.

When I first read this article I laughed and thought about how much I loved this new term, ‘kipple’; it is the best new word I’ve learned in a long time.  But I also realized that I loathed it.  The nature of this whole kippleization thing that inherently happens to all of us defines one of my very worst nightmares!  If Facebook were to ask me how I felt about kipple, I’d have to respond, “it’s complicated.” On the one hand, I think that each person’s own kipple helps to define who they are – it makes us, our appearances, and our personal spaces unique.  But on the other hand, too much kipple in your life is a nuisance, and can put you in a state of complete disorder and chaos.  So I resolved to try and think of kipple in a different way: as good kipple vs. bad kipple.  Kind of like that whole good fat/bad fat thing, which I still don’t really understand, but I do enjoy eating copious amounts of avocado without feeling guilty so I roll with it.  Each of us has to find our good/bad kipple equilibrium, and find a system that works to maintain it.

As the New Year approaches, this will be at the top of my list of goals.  I will post some common bad kipple remedies next week to help you combat the bad and be able to celebrate the good.  And in case you were wondering, a transfer of bad kipple, like what M does when she comes to visit us (“Surprise!  I brought you guys a pizza stone!”; “Surprise!  I had 3 extra bottles of this weird random liquor from a party and thought you guys might want it!”), does not really count, and will not be on my list of tips…

Happy Holidays & Stay Tuned!


2 thoughts on “Kipple.

  1. Pingback: Snow Day Stow Day. | keep it neat

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