You might have heard that Elvis is dead, he’s not. He drives the delivery truck for our local thrift store.
We have enough junk to supply all the thrift stores in our area for years. We’re like a giant distribution center. Our house is so full of crap that we are in danger of being trapped in an upstairs bedroom, surrounded by junk.
The house is full; it’s reached flood stage. One day soon the roof will pop off, and our stuff will flow over the sides and into the neighborhood. A yard sale three yards wide, and on the move.
My stuff is mostly books, they’re double parked throughout the house. The problem is 650 feet of books and only 300 feet of shelves. I need a little voice in my head saying, “you don’t really need another book.” I need a little voice to say, “go to the library, don’t buy it.” I probably wouldn’t listen to a voice like that, but I need one. I give books away, and I sell some, but somehow they accumulate faster than I dispose of them.
Gail is a crafter and a painter, a deadly combination. Her half finished projects are stuck in every corner and stacked to the ceiling. Coke stuff, she collects Coke stuff, and not the kind you recycle – it’s the kind you keep forever because it will be valuable.
Then there are the Furbies. She thinks they are cute and collectible, of course. I think they were designed specifically to annoy me. I’d like to rip their little heads right off, but I want to stay married too, so I don’t.
She has half-finished painting projects in every room. They’re affecting my sleep. The boxes cast shadows that look like monsters creeping through our house at night, and there are voices. The Furbie is singing Figaro in the spare room. Who woke him up, a bad guy or maybe it’s a homeless person staying for the night.
I put my foot down, like in, “Sweetie can we talk about our junk problem?” I put my foot down figuratively because there really is nowhere to literally put it down without stubbing a toe.
Gail recently spent three days cleaning out her craft room and barely scratched the surface. She’s like a tornado that comes through periodically. She doesn’t remove anything – she just rearranges stuff leaving it in a different order. “Some of this stuff will be valuable some day,” she says. “Sell it on eBay, or you could have a thrift store pick it up,” I say.
The guys from the thrift store came today. I know they came because I heard the truck and then a ruckus. My wife was yelling. Was she yelling because she was having second thoughts? Her words, muffled at first, were now clear: she was yelling for me to get out there and quick. Had she changed her mind, was she arguing with the thrift store guys, was she trying to unload the truck?
“Look, at this guy,” she said. “He looks just like Elvis. Listen to him talk,” she said. “He sounds just like Elvis. “Say something,” she said to him.
Elvis was ready. “I don’t know nothing about music,” he said. “In my business you don’t have to.”
“Not bad, not bad at all,” I said.
“He’s great,” she said. “I can’t believe it; Elvis is picking up our stuff.”
“Nice meeting you, Elvis,” I said.
He smiled. “Just takin’ care of business,” he said.
There may be hope on the junk front. My wife is talking about getting another load ready for the thrift store. “Do you think Elvis will come again?” she says.