Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Per your request...

I do read the comments here, and the lone comment on the last post requested that I tell you about some of the more amusing gems that have been recovered in the "big dig." Happy to oblige.

First off, let me reiterate that my grandparents were not hoarders. They did save all their letters, a large assortment of junk mail and out-dated large-print editions of Reader's Digest and otherwise, mostly things that had some general use, and loads of stuff where the use was not readily apparent to me, but still, generally speaking, this was relatively useful stuff. You're not going to find me featured on an episode of "hoarders" needing professional help with this particular clean up effort... My nomadic lifestyle has really honed my sensibilities to a fine art of spartan utilitarianism. (I do admit to being girly enough that I do love decorator items, and unique ones at that, so, I am not totally utilitarian in lifestyle, but I know going into my projects exactly what will and won't be useful.) If an item has been bested by a new technology, and that technology can be found elsewhere in the residence, for the most part, the original item goes. The exception to this is predominantly in the tool department. Yes, I admit that we currently have an overabundance of hammers and screwdrivers, but in that regard, I also adhere to the "you never have the one you need when you need it" philosophy. So the tools have remained. This also means we've got a SERIOUSLY old school lawn mower. And by "SERIOUSLY OLD SCHOOL" I mean it's one step up from a goat. It's the old rotary push mower that requires no electricity or gas,running solely on the kinetic energy provided by the person pushing, and is merely a series of rotating blades which are totally open for hands and feet to get caught in. Fortunately, I have no small children, so this open-blade variety, in addition to being very environmentally friendly, and noise pollution free, is totally acceptable to me as a kept item.

In the more amusing, and often somewhat disturbing categories of finds, I also discovered multiple home enema kits, way more glycerin-suppository laxatives than anyone other than a severe bulimic or Hollywood starlet could ever hope to need in a lifetime, and other outdated home remedies for assorted maladies that can be treated by methods with a simple trip for currently approved treatments sold at a Walgreens or CVS rather than shoving something in your back door. Those items were rather rapidly tossed, because I have no intention of using them, perhaps largely because,(call me a prude,) I think of my back door as an exclusive "EXIT ONLY."

I also found a few boxes of at-home perms that, judging by the packaging were not sold anytime after 1978, and were never used in those intervening years... Those also found their way to the dump, along with a rainbow-colored assortment of ugly hair clips, scrunchies, and cloth headbands that no rational person with a choice and capacity to exercise free will would ever sport in public.

Having taken over the master bedroom, it was also my unfortunate duty to sort through... well... master bedroom type things. Having found a tube of KY jelly very early on in the process, I knew I was very likely to encounter at least a few shudder-and-or-nightmare-inducing items. The black crotchless panties were found and discarded shortly thereafter. Admittedly, there was one piece of lingerie that made me chuckle in addition to the obligatory shudder. A pair of white bikini underwear with a lion stitched just above the crotch that was also lovingly stitched with the letters "GRRRRRR!" (Again, chuckle, shudder, trash.)

There was also a... I guess we can call it marital aid, in the form of a handbook, apparently one given to my grandparents by some member of the clergy either shortly before or shortly after they wed. It specifically noted on the first page not to let this book fall into the hands of children, or the "perverted of mind." Falling into both of these categories based solely on the timing of my birth and the social acceptability of certain things relevant at the time this little manual was published, I turned this over to my mother who found it endlessly entertaining and whom I often found in riotous fits of laughter as she proceeded to read the ensuing passages. I assume it was funny by today's standards of what is acceptable in the bedroom, (married or not,) and let it be.

Another helpful guidebook recovered from the dig was a very out-dated manual on "how to help the problem drinker" which was, rather amusingly stored in the liquor cabinet. I read the first couple of pages and laughed uncontrollably at references to drinkers in general as "sad sacks" and the recovering alcoholics as a (and this is a DIRECT QUOTE,) "group of folks sitting around singing 'how dry I am' while holding each other back from gulping down whiskey, and preaching to others about the evils of the 'DEMON RUM.'"

That one was always going to be a tough one to top, and still ranks in the top three finds, but then while clearing out the bathroom cabinets, I ran across an unopened box containing 10 individual packets, marked "LE FUNELLE!" The packets were then further marked, "For when you're out on the town and cannot sit down!" Yes, that's right, it was a funnel for the ladies to use in bathrooms they deemed unsanitary, so they could pee while standing. I laughed heartily at that, and proceeded to wrap it and give it as a gift to my best friend. I think the odds are good that I will get it back for Christmas, and that she will get it back for her birthday in the spring. It's just one of those gifts.

I also ran across a couple of decks of vintage playing cards with naked ladies on them, and seeing as I don't have a pen pal on death row who would get ready use out of those, I simply passed them along to the more appreciative men in the family, who proceeded to jokingly fight about who would get the deck featuring the blonde, and who got the brunette. (They then decided to mix the decks by suit so they both got some of each.)

That's a random sampling of the more worthwhile finds so far. I will let you all know if anything more interesting turns up!

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