Terribly Important Stuff
Just as I thought I had everything figured out, a major security breach here at Shedster has upended everything. It turns out that people are sensitive to what others say about their junk, and so in retaliation, somebody ratted on my junk. I don’t know who leaked what, but out of the blue, a document arrived here by fake registered mail from the fake EPA, outlining my responsibilities to my friends and relations, regarding the proper dispersal and/or disposal of
my junk. It turns out that I have a near-superfund site on my hands. Not for any specific toxicity, but for its colossal and exponential spread. Like a noxious weed, my junk is multiplying, and mutating. According to this “document”, I cannot legally foist all my crap off on my kids any more than I can take it to the landfill for free. There are people out there with the gall, and they suggest, the power of the courts behind them, to declare my generosity cruel and unusual punishment under the law. My stash of dried up varnish and paint cans, my floor sweepings, my pillow cases full of used underwear and old cotton shirts, my drums of used tractor hydraulic fluid and motor oil, barely used antifreeze, jars of old peanut butter laced with borate to kill carpenter ants, buckets of bent nails, all of it, no more valuable than hazardous waste!
I am suspecting my computer has been hacked by the Russians, or the masked shopping cart retriever at Safeway, whom I suspected enough already that I tipped him a five-spot to keep in
his good graces. Whatever happened, people in high places know that I have been plotting a great divestment of junk, on the level of the Panama Canal excavation, so that I could move around in my shop without being Simone Biles.
I’m not defeated, not by a long shot. I still have ideas. I’m thinking of putting in a toll-booth sort of affair on my dead end road that stipulates if you use the road to drive up to the dirt tracks by my house that go to the forest or BLM land, or just to get to the turnaround in the road, for any purpose at all, you must have a day-use permit. Where most permits come in the form of a slip of paper, and they cost you money, my permits would be free, and would come in the form of a sealed box, or drum, or maybe just a garbage bag. It would be issued upon entry to the lane at my property boundary, and anyone caught using the road without a permit would be issued a double, or triple permit, consisting of a whole pickup load of crap they must haul away to get away. For four wheelers, who are a fair amount of my traffic, I’d just weld some of my scrap iron to their machines in such a manner as to allow more stuff to be thrown on top.
The mailman is going to be the one who really suffers, as he turns around here 6 days a week. But I’m not stupid, he was the one who brought me the fake registered letter. It is going to cost him.
But what I don’t understand is how the hell my crap can be called hazardous. Waste, I get. One man’s treasure is another man’s trash, or however that saying goes, but this stuff has been sitting around for years, and hasn’t hurt a flea, or even a carpenter ant by the looks of things. If anything, it is habitat! I asked for an explanation, and the official-looking official at the fake EPA said, “Well, people hurt their backs every day carrying out the garbage. Normal household garbage. Your junk is heavy, and pointy, and it’s even been reported that you have huge piles of animal feces on your property.”
I about blew up on this last one! “Animal feces??” I shouted. “I don’t cart home animal feces!! Well, okay, on occasion, a six yard dump-truck full of animal feces, but never more than four of five loads in a day. And since when was manure considered animal feces! A man with a pile of manure is a rich man! I can see raccoon feces being feces, and I have some piles of that on my 40 acres, but I didn’t bring that here, the raccoons did. Give them a registered letter!”
I’ve gotten nowhere, and I’m even beginning to think, if anything, I’ve regressed. I just wanted to make the world a better place, or at least my place a better place. If it wasn’t so much work, I’d just haul my junk up to the north fence, and slip it under the wire to the BLM. If they didn’t clean it up, I’d call it a shelter break for protecting my skeleton weeds from the harsh downslope north winds. Heck, some of my junk came from up there in the first place. That’s where I found that old refrigerator body that someone had pitched down the hill that I use to store my dried up sculpting clay and my petrified buckets of road tar.
Nobody ever said that I’d get out of this world alive, but I’d hoped I wouldn’t have to take all of this crap with me. I wanted to travel light. And hazardous waste! Who ever heard of such a concept. Life is hazardous! Get over it! If you want to be safe all the time, get a desk job at the EPA! Sit in the filtered air conditioned room and write threatening letters to people like me, who just want to share their treasures with the rest of the world.
Oh well. It’s Friday, so I better close up here. I’ve got a couple of yard sales I wanted to go to. I need some boxes for my road permits. And I wouldn’t mind finding an old trampoline. The fabric on them makes great weed block, and the pieces of pipe can go in my pieces-of-pipe pile. The springs that keep the fabric tight are usually sprung, but there are a lot of them, and they can go in my sprung spring collection! Now here I am sounding like Neiman Marcus, out with my “spring collection”. But when one of my friends needs a sprung spring, who do you think they are going to go to? You got it! Me! Or at least I believe that is going to be the case, if anybody ever needs a sprung spring.
I learned, in my high school shop class, the motto, “A place for every thing, and every thing in its place.” I’ve been able to come pretty close to that workspace ideal. I have “a place for everything, and something everyplace”. Just no place for me. But, honest, it is not me that is messy, it is art that is messy. That’s the problem.
So anyway, regarding getting rid of my junk, this is plan B. If you are of a mind to, come on by. Bring your pickup. And don’t ignore the permit booth, or it will cost you double. But heck, you can even bring your own container! If you follow all my rules, I am quite flexible. Just not Simone Biles flexible.