An Uncapped Pen

February 26, 2009

Woman Suffocates Under Pile of Stuff

Filed under: About Me — cindylv @ 12:58 am
Tags: , ,

Click here to see here it all started.

Sunday morning I woke up in a cold sweat, gasping for breath.  It could have been due to forgetting to use my asmtha puffers before bed.  It could have been due to the boxes and piles of dusty stuff that moved into our house on Saturday. It could have been the reaction to the dream I had where I was suffocating, pinned to the floor of my garage, and people kept stacking stuff on me.  It could have been some combination of the above.  After recovering my breath, I did what I usually do when I’m feeling overwhelmed.  I called Susan.  

Susan arrived a half hour later and relieved us of a campstove, a cookstand, a lantern and a plastic margarita serving set.  For some reason, she didn’t want a sixteen foot canoe or its accompanying toboggon.

I called the Boy Scouts of America and left another message for the local troop leader.  No response.

I called my boss about the electric mower (since he’d mentioned a need for one recently).  “No, thanks.” he said.

I asked two neighbors walking their dog if they needed a mower or other garden implements, or a hose or camping gear.  Blank looks and polite denials.  I didn’t have the strength to petition for the canoe.

I called the BSA leader again and left another message.

The pack of  roving Jehovah’s Witnesses declined any spontaneous donations, as did the representative from our homeowner’s association.  Although, she did remind us to have all the crap cleaned up by Monday morning.

I caught a glimpse of Cranky Frankie, my neighbor across the street, as he snuck out to retrieve the Sunday paper.  He declined any junk, and disavowed any knowledge of the HOA inspector’s visit.  Hmmm…. Not sure I believed him.

I ran inside to answer the phone, hoping it was the scouts with an enthusiastic acceptance of our donation.  It was my friend Tom, wanting to know if he could come by and see my neighbor’s “new” classic car, a ’54 Chevy Bel-Aire Coupe.  “Sure, come on over,” I told him.  “Would you happen to know anyone looking for an electric mower?” I asked, since I had him on the phone.  He replied that he’d think about it and let me know when he came by after he took his wife out to lunch.

I gave him about 30 minutes to get to a restaurant before I strapped the mower in the back of my truck and drove over to his house.  I called his house from a few blocks away to make sure no one was home.  Since he didn’t answer, I snuck into his gated community, tailgating behind an authorized visitor, and unloaded in his driveway.  And since he wasn’t there to protest, I gave him a posthole digger, a hoe, a manure fork, a seed-spreader, and 15 feet of lightweight garden hose.  It’s his problem to deal with now!

Tom and his wife had finished lunch and were in my garage checking out the remaining camping gear when I returned.  I walked them around the block to visit the neighbor’s Chevy as my husband filled the back of their unlocked Jeep Cherokee with a box of survival gear, a set of cheap wrenches, a Coleman lantern, and a 10′ by 10′ nylon tarp.  It’s their own fault for leaving their vehicle unlocked!  

The people kitty-corner from us picked through the pile and scored a old footlocker.  He offered us $20, but I didn’t feel right about taking it.  I also didn’t tell him it was filled to the brim with packing peanuts!  His wife requested an old glass vase (a cheapie florist jar).  I saw her dump the dessicated pot-pouri in our trash can as she left, though.

A little while later, Tom and his wife returned from visiting the Chevy.  He asked to see the mower,  but I told him it had already been given away (I didn’t mention it was waiting for him out front of his own garage.)  He peeked over the gate at the canoe and mumbled something about family outings, his grandson and the great outdoors (we live in Las Vegas).   As they drove off,  I overheard him talking to one of his sons on the phone.  “I think it’s about six feet long, or so.  Yeah, and they’ve got life jackets and five paddles.”  

Six feet–sixteen feet.  What’s ten feet between friends?  I didn’t correct him.  It would have been rude to interrupt.  And maybe I forgot to mention that the canoe comes with a motor mounting kit, a carrier package, two fire extinguishers, a nine-foot toboggon, and whatever else we can pack inside it before they come back.



  1. Funny!

    Comment by Lisa Kenney — February 26, 2009 @ 3:38 am | Reply

  2. Funny? FUNNY? My life is a pile of piles of someone else’s stuff and you think it’s funny? I’m too stressed out with the mess to laugh. I’m watching TV and looking out the front room window at my truck in the driveway. I’m freaked out because it’s not in the nice, warm, safe, protected garage. I think our priorities are mixed up. The stuff pile should be out in the driveway, and my beautiful baby should be inside the garage!

    Comment by cindylv — February 26, 2009 @ 5:26 am | Reply

  3. I had never thought of the simple expedient of taking something to someone’s house while they’re away and leaving it there. How very clever!! Hmmm… there are nine slate classroom-sized chalkboards in our basement… and a large, hundred-year-old platen printing press (complete with full type case and a typesetting table)… and a 16′ aluminum canoe in the vegetable garden…

    I fully understand the pile of piles of someone else’s stuff. I’m an only child. My parents, now dead, were both only children. Guess who ended up with all the stuff… including all the grandparents’ stuff… and the 3 unmarried great-aunties who lived with one of the grandmas… and the one great-auntie who didn’t live there but might as well have… and the grand-uncle who lived with the other grandma… I’m rapidly getting much less sentimental about all of it, and am ready to pitch it. But that would mean bestirring myself to rent a dumpster-in-a-bag, and to going through all of it to rescue what someone else might be able to use. Yeah, right. I think that’s the thing I have grown to hate the most about Stuff: all the time it uses up.

    Good luck, Cindy — I hope the piles are smaller these days!

    Comment by Piglet — March 30, 2009 @ 9:04 pm | Reply

    • OMG! Maybe when it’s time to move, you should nail the basement door shut, or just drywall over the doorway! I’ve been using the energy I gain from divesting myself of junk to attack the linen closet, silverware and gadget drawers, etc. I even bought myself some new knives (real ones, sharp and everything) and got rid of the mishmosh I’ve accumulated over the years. And my drinking glasses! No more Wilma Flintsone, or Arby’s give-aways. I bought a set of 12 large and 12 small drinking glasses (just like a big girl!). They match and everything!

      Comment by cindylv — March 31, 2009 @ 4:25 am | Reply

  4. Real matching drinking glasses???? How cool is that?????? Good for you. I tried to clean out the gadget drawer once. I mistakenly did it when the SU was present. I think I got rid of 2 plastic measuring spoons. Grrrr…. I’m gonna try again when he isn’t home, put all the stuff *I* don’t want in a box, and put it in his Man Cave for him to deal with as he pleases.

    Comment by Piglet — March 31, 2009 @ 10:03 pm | Reply

    • The plastic spoons are funny. Bob is attached to the junky plastic spoons he gets at Fast Food restaurants. He gets furious when I throw them away!

      Comment by cindylv — March 31, 2009 @ 10:21 pm | Reply

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