The Hoarder’s Starter Kit

Go back and read that title carefully.

There’s no ‘W’ in there anywhere.  If there were, this blog would possess a completely different dynamic which would most likely keep your interest.

Now that we’ve gotten that piece of potential ugliness out of the way, let’s proceed with today’s foray into verbal brilliance.

Dusty smileAllow me to express how difficult it is to live as a neat freak who has no gumption to clean the joint up.  Everyone here at headquarters shares that lack of gumption, however I’m the only one who presents symptoms somewhere between facial ticks and irritable bowels (is that plural or singular?) when it comes to navigating my way through the empty soda fountain cups on the kitchen counter, the debris that missed the trash can, the layer of dust in which someone drew a smiley face, and the assorted piles of clean and/or dirty clothes which have been carefully left on the couch so they may be immediately ignored.

It’s a completely different story at the auxiliary office.  A few years ago, the powers that be at the cube farm chose to perform an unprecedented round of layoffs.  In preparation (and a measured level of hope) that I would be on the way out, I cleared my desk of my Newton’s Cradle, my Galileo Thermometer, assorted framed pictures of the kids, and my Tide Pen.

You’re wondering why I have the Tide Pen.  Sometimes, I get a little aggressive at the nacho bar.  Mix that with the drinking problems portrayed in the movie “Airplane!”, stain protection is sometimes a necessary evil.

Look for this collection on eBay and Craigslist soon.
Look for this collection on eBay and Craigslist soon.

The only things from my personal life which were left in that cubicle were my daily Dilbert calendar, a Dilbert mouse pad, and four years worth of time mismanagement carefully organized into those brown binders offered by the good people at Franklin Covey as a key part of  their “straight to the profit line” marketing strategy.  It should be stated here and now that the particular shade of brown in question is resultant of a combination of bile and bilirubin.  That particular collaboration appears elsewhere in nature *cough* poop *cough*, however I won’t discuss it here.

For whatever reason, I avoided being laid off.  At the same time, I avoided taking any of my stuff back.  There’s a multitude of reasons why I opted never to re-adorn my sensory deprivation chamber with scant signs of life outside of the office.  Whether the real reasons reside in a silent protest against the lay-offs (and their choice not to include me) or just the mere fact that I didn’t want to hassle it, the result of those actions I took have left my cubicle just about thread bare.  The same things I left back then are there today.  At least twice a year, a fund raiser from either of my kids’ schools sit there out in the open demanding the hard earned cash of my fellow cohorts.  Currently I’m selling World’s Finest Chocolate bars to raise much needed funds for glow sticks to be used in my son’s National Honor Society induction this next week.  Won’t you help?

WFC displayBeing a neat freak in the cube works.  I’m the only one that inhabits the joint, and the aesthetic geography of an “L” shaped desk and a couple of file cabinets takes on whatever appearance I damn well please.

It’s a shame the same premise doesn’t apply here at the compound.

I’ve put up with it for years.  I’ve taken on every demeanor I could to get everyone to keep an ongoing practice of picking up after themselves.  I’ve reasoned, begged, pleaded, threatened, demanded, bitched, griped, and moaned about the mess and how it was just about to make me snap.  Suffice to say, I’ve even used profanity.  Even still, the clutter reigns supreme.

And then, it happened a few weeks ago.

I snapped.

I won’t go into specific details here, short of saying that a new element of the clutter was introduced which pretty much put me over the top.  Since then, any discourse around here has been just short of civil.  Mono-syllabic utterances have been about the only thing which have escaped my pie hole since it happened.

This morning, I woke up and generally had nothing to do.  I didn’t have any post ideas.  The rigid rules of the TharpSter PounDown dictated today as an off day where the gym is concerned.  As such, I started working on some of the clutter in the garage.

The contents of that garage have been the bane of my existence for quite some time now.  Every few months or so, I attempt to clean it out.  The results of such a Herculean effort usually involve a reorganization of the crap that’s in there.  It’s kind of like getting a flat tire and rotating your tires to fix the problem.

In the process of rifling through the flotsam and jetsam of the last 18 years, I ran across 4 computers (five if you count the Vic20), a box full of blank cassette tapes and 3.5″ disks for all of my musical and computer storage needs, a storage bin filled with all of the remaining concert shirts collected in my youth which had not previously been pilfered by my daughter, a collection of litterature (spelled that way on purpose) gathered from those painful semesters of college-level English, some medium-density fibreboard (MDF), some drywall, assorted fence planks, and my late Grandfather’s Brag Book which sports pictures of your favorite blogger and the dog that put that scar under said blogger’s eye.


Favorite bloggerGo ahead.  Ask me how much of that crap I managed to throw away.

I dare you.

Favorite booksThe trip through the garage wasn’t a complete example of a poorly planned panty raid though.  In the process, I found two of my favorite books out there which I’ve been wondering about lately.    If you’ve ever wondered about some of the sources of inspiration I get in my writing, look no further than the works of the somewhat twisted individuals who penned the true verbal brilliance pictured to the side.

Aside from finding those books, I accidentally spilled some gas for the lawn mower while moving some stuff around.  The garage smells kind of funny now.

Last week I received delivery of a scented candle I had purchased from a coworker who was selling them for one of her kids’ fundraisers.

I would imagine I could just light the candle and put it out there in the garage to dissipate the odor.

Sure it would cause a bigger problem, but at least it would help to get rid of the clutter.


Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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