Indigestion Sweeps Over the Community!
The first responders of the Human Debris Removal Squad (HDRQ) have finally completed their tedious and exhausting task of preparing for removal the mountain of stuff left behind by one of our community’s recently departed human packrat. This hardy group, consisting mostly of relatives and fellow church members – after cleaning, sorting, and pricing all the deceased’s lifetime collection of junk – has set all this stuff out where the second wave of disposers can now come and do their part by hauling it all away.
This second wave of the Removal Squad arrive in their pickup trucks on the scene, which begins in the driveway of the packrat’s home. They are eager to do their part in this process known variously by the such names as yard, garage, moving, estate, and auction sales. And, unlike the drudgery attaching to the tasks assigned to the Removal Squad’s first responders, this group’s participation offers the happy prospects of making some money and/or the joy of adding to their already engorged collections at a cost of a pennies on the dollar. This is a hopeful delight, very similar to the vulture’s enjoyment of dining on the fleshy parts of a squashed roadkill. The first responders of the HDRQ while hopeful that there is some money to be made, the removal of the stuff is their main prority: they have absolutely no interest in ever having to touch or to see this stuff ever again!
But like most events in life where reality often falls far short of expectations, this disposal process – today’s estate sale – is no exception. The sale starts out with a bang as the canny veterans of these sales swoop in early, picking off most of the good stuff and hauling it back to their re-sale shops and flea markets, leaving a sea of forlorn leftovers for the uninitiated and latecomers to pick over. As the day and the rising temperatures wear on, taking the sap out of the thin band of remaining buyers, it becomes quite obvious that much of the stuff will remain unsold and unwanted. Sensing disaster, the sellers panic by lowering their prices to practically nothing and finally, totally defeated, they offer to give any and all the stuff away for free! “Please, just take it!” they plea.
Now what? As evening draws near and the handwriting is on the wall, an oath made out of desperation arises as the lead first responder cries out, “There is NO way on God’s Green Acre that any of this stuff is going back inside! To the Dump! To Wear and Share! To the Shirley Re-sale shops! To the Goodwill boxes!” With no objecdtion heard, the worn out band of first responders load up their trucks, their cars, and their trailers and head off to the promised lands of Merciful No Return. Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Oh Happy Day!
“But wait! There must be some values here in these piles that you are forfeiting by such an abandonment. Can you not do this again next week?” asks a well-meaning neighbor.
“Dear friend of my packrat father, I didn’t see you buying one measly thing and you now want me to go through this unspeakable torture again! Once is clearly enough!. Life is too short to wade in the swampy muck of another person’s – even my dear father’s – lifetime collection of junk. It is all wood, hay, and stubble in the grand scheme of life. After this past week of preparing for this sale, I now know what Hell must be like: it is running a yard sale of another person’s pile of junk – not for just one day – but day after day for eternity!”
“By the way, neighbor, help yourself to anything you want. There’s an old Hoover vacuum cleaner over there. Look, here is a whole stack of rakes and shovels. You must need some of these Mason jars. How about that spring and mattress, the end tables, the wheel chair, or a set of Franklin Mints plates? What size are you? I bet you would look good in my father’s old polyester jump suit. How about that ……….or this……………….maybe those…………………………..?”
“No thanks, “ said the neighbor. I don’t have any more room in my place either!”