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Junk

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Humor and Spoofs' started by James Burke, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    About a month ago, I had an 8-yard roll-off dumpster hauled in so I could do a major purging of the miscellaneous "useful" things I'd been holding on to for way too long. Before it arrived I was determined to be ruthless, and ruthless I was.

    It's amazing how even the slightest bit of clutter can tend to suck the life right out me at times.

    Several years ago, I used to write for a little local newsletter-styled paper that featured various musings about the interesting as well as the mundane.

    While browsing through a couple of my archive files, I ran across an article I titled "Junk". I thought I'd throw it out there just for kicks. Who knows....this could be your story as well.

    Enjoy....


    Junk

    I guess it’s just the nature of boys...and men to be curious about old junk. Somewhere amidst the snarls of wire, rusty fasteners, oily gears and other gizmos lay the endless possibilities of some magnificent find. To some people, junk is...just junk. For the rest of us, junk is the medium by which our world is painted. There are varying degrees of this malady ranging from the “pigeon holer”, who occasionally tucks away small items for future use, to the sophisticated “freecycler” (free + recycler)....connoisseurs of the free boxes at yard sales and roadside giveaways. Then there are the heavy hitters who bring home their day’s catch with a little more effort. You’ll recognize these folks by the tell tale scuff marks on their belly...which usually means they’ve been dumpster diving. Over the years, I’ve fallen into each category at one time or another.


    Usually, the value of junk is directly proportional to the difficulty of retrieving the said article from whence it has been cast. In other words, the best stuff always seems to be at the bottom of the pile. More times than not, the reason why the item was thrown away soon becomes evident, causing the whole process to start over again when another “prospector” hauls it away with a smile on their face and the same grandiose ideas once held by the original rescuer.


    My downfall happens to be mechanical things, and I vividly remember a burned out electric motor I retrieved from the trash barrel at work many years ago. Thinking that the kids would have fun taking it apart to see what made it work, I brought the smelly thing home and proceeded to teach them the finer points of disassembly. Since their ability to use tools was limited, they rightfully fulfilled their role as spectators by asking a gazillion questions, to which I promptly had all the answers...except for one.


    The motor housing had come apart without any trouble, but removing the end cover from the shaft proved to be an unsolvable problem. With bare feet and wide eyes, Ryan and Sara sat cross-legged on the bench near each of my elbows. Hunched over with their chins resting on their hands, they offered more suggestions but none seemed to work. As their boredom became evident, I took the motor from the bench and gave it a firm shake.


    “It’s working daddy....keep doing that...it’s really working!” they shouted.


    Bent over for stability, I situated myself for a better grip. Several shakes later, I began to notice considerable progress, but in my haste, my mechanical reasoning was a little clouded by the kids’ enthusiasm. On the final and nearly fateful shake, the thirty pound motor instantly dropped to the floor, leaving me with the one pound cover still in my hands. With my biceps still tense from the heavy motor, the recoil from the separation hurled the cover directly into my right eyebrow leaving a ½ inch gash. The impact of aluminum versus skull bone sounded like a line drive into centerfield, and the kids’ interest quickly diminished at the sight of blood profusely dripping from my forehead. Refusing stitches, I nursed the wound for weeks.


    Needless to say, the kids have since moved on to more interesting projects of their own, but the scar will forever remind me of our day together. I still smile every time I notice it in the mirror. Yep...I still collect junk, and so do the kids. I guess it’s just something that runs in the blood.


    JB
     
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  2. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Oct 21, 2016
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    Nice story.

    I'm 100% anti-junk and can't wait to throw stuff away. All my kitchen appliances are in cabinets, my desk is nearly 100% clear all the time. There is one room in my house that is not like that....it's my 7 year-olds play room, but I accept it.
     
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  3. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Enjoy it while you can, for all to soon it will give way to bigger things...and then they move away. Seriously, it happens quickly...especially when you're not paying attention.


    JB
     
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  4. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Frisco, TX
    It is going by fast. I've been on Google Photos going down memory lane and all that stuff seems like yesterday.

    Ya know what's strange... they look all grown up during the day doing what they do, but at night when you look at them sleeping they look like they're 3-years old and innocent again.
     
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  5. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    For sure...for sure. My baby girl turns 29 tomorrow. While I was shopping this evening, I saw a young couple getting their groceries and I couldn't resist the chance to impart some wisdom in the frozen food aisle. The young father was holding a relatively new baby...perhaps just a few days old...while mom did the shopping.

    I told the young man that he'd better hold on tightly because they grow up way too soon...and they both agreed. But really, they have no way of knowing just how fast it goes.

    I'm now in the young grand child "season of life", and I can see the pattern repeating itself again...and just as quickly...as the days melt into years


    JB
     
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  6. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Myself and my wife have cleaned out our parents houses after they died years ago. My father in law had kept every Playboy magazine since 1965 to 1999 in his workshop in the basement. Now that was good "junk" and I read all the articles! Had yard sales to sell their junk which probably went to someone's house to become their new junk.
    I tell my four children that when I pass to clear out my work space, to get a big dumpster out front and throw my junk in it like I did with my parent's junk and passing on another ritual.
     

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