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My 10 Favorite Articles of Trash

April 3, 2012

Storage Wars


Pawn Stars

With shows like Storage Wars, Pawn Stars, Trash Pickers and Hoarders, cable television networks have made a lot of money creating a new spectrum of psychosis. On one end of the spectrum sits the “avid collector,” on the other, wallowing in his own filth, is the pitiable “hoarder.” Before the invention of this new A&Eism, “hoarders” were likely lumped in with the collectors, only inside a sub-classification like “eccentric.”   The shows can be immensely addictive, either because of the boastful pride that coincides with learning new and interesting facts, or from the relief that attaches itself to the realization, “Maybe I’m not as screwed up as I thought!”  Watching these shows has actually caused me to reassess my own accumulations from over the decades, analyzing their worth, function, and the severity of the emotion that influences my decisions to keep them.  To that end, my house is now arranged into a 4-classification system that I use to determine an item’s place and necessity in my home.  They are:

Functional – items that may perform a necessary function in the immediate future (i.e. tools, clothes, toys)

Sentimental – items I have attached a reasonable emotional value to that can not be achieved with another item (i.e. personal gifts, photos)

Collectible – things that are intrinsically valuable, whether it be aesthetic or monetary (i.e. figurines, air looms, coins)

Trash – everything else

After mentally rearranging everything into its proper category, it came time to begin the ugly process of ridding myself of everything that was in the “trash.”  After all, the ability to actually get rid of it is the defining skill that “hoarders” seem to lack.  Except for the garage (that’s definitely a real problem in there!), there really wasn’t much left in the “trash” category, just a few things… Well, ten things to be precise.  Ten things I just can’t seem to get rid of!

10) Flourescent Light Bulbs:  I’m not holding on to them because I like them, I just can’t throw them away because of the stupid mercury inside.  I also can’t seem to organize the effort to collect them all together in my car to drive them down to a hazard waste center.

9) Various Cables and Chargers:  This box contains the accessories that came with many past cell phones, computers, cable/stereo hookups and the like.  My retaining them is a bona-fide disorder.  But what if I need one of them one day?
8) Ticket Stubs:  These date back to 1989.  I don’t know how I know that, because I never look at them.  How they keep fitting into this tiny cube I have no idea. In my head, I think I’ve always considered them between “sentimental” and “collectible,” but I know they’re really trash. Fortunately they take up almost no room, so I don’t think I have to deal with them today.

7) VHS/Audio Tapes:  Almost every single one of these VHS tapes is available on DVD. The only one that I should possibly even justify is “The Little Mermaid” because it’s one of the ones with the recalled dirty cover.  Even that’s a tough sell, though, because I can buy it today on Ebay for less than $20.  The audio tapes, I actually am throwing away, only I have to listen to each one all the way through first.  Well, there might be something important somewhere on one of them!  It’s an especially slow process because my only tape player is in my ’98 Tahoe, which I can’t afford to drive with today’s gas prices.

6) Mardi Gras beads:  They’re not even Mardi Gras beads anymore because every local parade throws them off of their floats.  We all bring them home and none of us ever does anything with them. You know how I know that no one is even throwing them away?  Because if they were, we’d be hearing about all the birds and dolphins getting tangled up in them.

5) Crown Royal Bags:  They’ve got themselves a marketing gimmick, boy! Don’t they?  Sure, on the rarest of occasions, I’ve found things to keep in them. At one point I was even using them as golf club covers till I realized how much like a dirt bag drunk I looked.  Still, anytime I buy Crown Royal, I keep the bag, regardless of how many I already have stored.

4) Playboys: I haven’t had a subscription to Playboy since 2003, but still I have all these magazines!  This is another item that has hidden itself inside the “collectible” category since they are issues containing celebrities.  Of course, by celebrities I mean people like Pamela Anderson, Cindy Crawford, and Belinda Carlyle.  I think each issue is valued at half the cover price.

3) Elvira’s Night Brew Beer: I don’t even know how I acquired this “sentiment.”  It’s an arguable collectible.  There is a moron on Ebay who’s trying to sell an empty six-pack of it for $1K, but I don’t think I could get $10 for my bottle.  I’m basically just waiting for someone to bang into the shelf it’s on, at which point I’ll clean it up off the floor and throw it away.

2) Plaza Hotel Football Beer Cup:  This thing is awesome, or at least, it was awesome.  The giant football beer cup is from one of the most filmed casinos in all of Las Vegas, and has not served a purpose for me since that day, almost a decade ago, when I finished the beer.

1) My iPod’s Case: As great as Crown Royal’s marketing is with their little purple bags, Apple is ten times their superior.  I got my iPod over a year ago (I won it in a Sobe “Under the cap” game), and this stupid box now sits on a shelf like some kind of trophy.  I don’t use it to house my iPod.  I don’t use it to house anything. I mean, look at it! It can’t possibly serve another purpose, yet I still have it.  It’s not like I’m some Apple crazed guy, either. I don’t even have an iPhone.  Just amazing.

There they are, the ten things I just can’t seem to get rid of. Well, except for the audio tapes. I’m throwing them away at a pace of about one every three months.  Thanks A&E for pointing out this sickness that’s been manifesting in my head.  Jerks!

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