Every five years, whether it needs it or not, I clean out the garage. I have found that it has become a necessary evil otherwise there would be a point in time when I would not be able to park the car in the garage. So, over the weekend I decided to park the car in the driveway and tackle the clutter. I want to handle my own problems before a neighbor or family member turns me into the producers of Hoarders. I am not as bad as a professional hoarder, but if they lit the garage right and placed the cameras at certain angles it might appear that I had issues. Well I do have issues, but that is a post for another time.
It felt good to pitch broken furniture like a three-legged card table, two seat less chairs, and a broken mirror (that will undoubtedly bring me seven years of bad luck) into the trash bin, donate clothes that no longer fit my less than svelte frame and to find tools that I had wrongfully thought were stolen by my freaky neighbor, Old Man Burns. I know I should be more tolerant of Old Man Burns but it is hard to like a person who hands out cans of Jolly Green Giant vegetables to kids on Halloween. I also have issues with a guy in his 80’s wearing the same black board shorts, black socks, black sneakers and a black Black Sabbath t-shirt 365 days a year. When you drive down the street you can smell him sitting on his porch a full city block away.
So when I had tools that went missing I didn’t feel bad about jumping to the conclusions that Old Man Burns must have helped himself to my tools one day I accidentally left the garage door open. I never did confront him about the theft because, I didn’t want to raise a stink, so to speak. Confronting Old Man Burns about stealing something from my garage would have meant I would have had to come in close proximity with him, some thing that makes me gag just thinking about it. So, I never ever said anything about it. But I kept an eye on Old Man Burns like a hawk.
On Saturday it was a beautiful day, kinda cool and not so hot – which made it having the garage door up and the iPod blaring, a perfect day for getting stuff done. First thing I did was make a few large signs that said “I am just cleaning my garage! This is not a sale.” Nothing is worse than to turn around and find someone trying to buy your stuff right out from under you, when in fact you are not even having a garage sale. Awkward.
I learned my lesson five years ago. Have you ever tried to reason with hard-core garage sellers at 7:30am? Not fun. All I really remember about that incident was that the police were called and my house has been egged every Halloween since then.
Well on Saturday somewhere between the song “Magic Man” by Heart and “Wildwood Weed” by Jim Stafford I was lifting a box that contained old paint rollers, paint trays and old tarps, when there was something sparkly that caught my eye lying on the ground. Where was Geraldo Rivera when you want to have a big reveal? I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. My heart skipped a beat. There on the garage floor were my long-lost tools. I guess I had accidentally left them on the garage floor after using them on my car. Then I think they got covered up by my own crap and became buried for the last several years.
So I am glad I once again now have a nice clean, organized, clutter-free garage and have my tools back hanging up on the peg board where they belong. But the one thing that makes me sad is that I had been accusing Old Man Burns in my mind of something he didn’t do. I wanted to go over to him and give him an apology him and tell him I am glad he is my neighbor. But then I thought of him and the very real possibility of him having bed bugs were pretty good. Since I didn’t want any of them jumping onto me when I was giving him a man hug, I will just have to leave it at this:
Old Man Burns, if you read my blog I am sorry that for the past four years I thought you stole my tools. I feel bad that I had such a low opinion of my neighbor and that I was thinking the worst of you just because I am not a rabid Black Sabbath fan like you are! – But I am not sorry that I have not had you over for dinner because you smell like a goat. Dude, take a shower. Seriously you stink, for reals.
Have a great day!
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