I hate being a bastard.
I really do, and yet I’m all too often exactly that. I seem to be really good at it.
I try not to be.
The latest incident was when I was no longer able to ignore that the other person in this household is a freakin packrat.
I found myself in the garage wondering why I couldn’t get to my workout bench anymore. Then I was wondering why I couldn’t get to my Bike anymore.
Then I was wondeing why the garage floor was so filthy only to realize the the overriding answer to all these questions was that there were piles of useless crap all over the garage.
Then I started investigating the Piles O’ Shit.
I know better than this. I know that if I poke through my happy gossamer illusion that I’ll come face to face with the truth…
Which in this case is that the other half is and has been stacking shit up in the garage, the basement, the guestroom closet and in, of course my workout area.
I go off.
I mean I really shouldn’t have to move shit to get to or use other shit. I feel if I’m having to move shit to get to other shit, we have too much shit!
That’s when I notice that e-waste that should have been tossed 4.5 years ago is actually stuffed in a box on the far side of the garage where I really hadn’t noticed it.
My failure to notice it is in part due to my happy gossamer illusion and in part because of the other car that’s usually parked blocking the view of the stack of boxes.
OH HELL!!!! WTF???
“Why is this stuff still sitting here after 5 years?” I demand to know.
“Uhh I was going to take it to the rummage sale“
“There have been 5 rummage sales since we… You & I… decided that this stuff needed to go.“
“What’s in that box over there?“, I walk to another box and flip it open.
“OHHHH Look, it’s cassette tapes that got all wet when the house burned, and OH by the way, YOU DO Realize that we don’t have a cassette player… AT ALL.”
I walk over to flip open another box, at this point I think my German, Viking genes kicked in. I don’t know if I was more Viking or just Nazi in my interrogation.
“How nice… Video Tapes! Which we also no longer have the capacity to play. Were you planning on buying a VCR? I doubt that Walmart would agree to transfer this porn collection to DVD for you. And they don’t have to! We’ve replaced the best of this collection WITH BLU-RAY.“
The other half is now speechless, making unintelligible gurgling sounds.
I don’t stop… I can’t.
“Why is there a parallel printer sitting over there? You realize that we don’t own a single computer that could even drive that machine don’t you?“
The Other half responds, “Well… well, it’s our printer it was at the religious place I work, when we moved offices I brought it home.”
I accept this explanation.
“What computer was it connected to where you work?“
I know the answer to this question now I’m just being a bastard… With a capital “B”
“Uh, well, uh it was connected to my my old 286 when I was using that at the religious edifice.“
“I see, so this printer has been sitting disused with it’s ink cartridges dried in place for 10 years? And NOW you decide we need to have it sitting in our garage?“
Yes, I’m a real evil bastard when I have my illusion shattered.
“Well I thought you’d want it back.“
“Why? The only computer equipment that I owned which could have driven this machine was destroyed in the fire.
When was the last time you saw anything like that connector? A Better question is where is the cable? An even better question is where is that 286 computer?
Why on earth would you bring this home, it’s unusable because the ink has obviously leaked all over the inside of the device and without a cable to connect it or a computer to drive it you’ve essentially brought home a filthy, sticky, paperweight!“
You see I’m a Bastard but I tend to get really nasty when someone throws common sense out the window.
I notice glass bottles destined for the California redemption facility. These bottles have been sitting there covered with a moving pad for over a year.
[When I was a kid it was simple, you took the empty bottle to the 7-11 and they gave you 5 cents. Done deal! I don’t know why it’s so complex now days.]
“Why are these still here? Should I grind them into sand and recast them into windows or perhaps learn glass blowing? How about we simply wait for them to decay to sand in situ.“
It was unkind, I admit that.
In my defense, the most annoying part of all this is that I’d happily take this stuff to the redemption place or the disposal place.
But if it’s hidden from me I don’t even know that I should. I thought the moving pad was covering a cart used to move instruments and never thought to look under it.
Instead the other half would prefer to be a martyr, a victim, a slave, eternally put upon and sad because I’m being mean.
Oh but we’re not done yet…
You see the primary reason we’re down here is because the other half disconnected without telling me, my Bike from the battery tender. The other half instead connected their Bike rather than buying another battery tender (AS I had directed).
This in and of itself isn’t a big deal except that in the process they made 2 additional and critical mistakes.
1) They shorted the connection on my Bike in all likely-hood dropping my Bikes battery to 1/2 charge or less, and shortening my battery’s lifespan.
2) They didn’t switch the connection back to my Bike when the other Bike had reached full charge.
This resulted in my battery being dead… I mean replacement time dead. So now that it’s a nice time of year to ride in the mountains, after I’ve moved the Pile O’ Shit to get to my Bike I can’t start it.
The upshot is that NOW I have to have a trailer come to get my Bike and take it somewhere to get a new battery, replace the charred connector, and OH what the hell might as well have an oil change while It’s there anyway.
BUT We’re not done… Oh Noooooo!
Since I’ve now uncovered the source of the garage problems…. I feel the need to fix them.
I’m mostly German what do you expect?
First, I once again say, “I’ll happily take the e-waste and recyclables to the appropriate disposal site. All you have to do is make sure that your e-waste is in a designated spot… HERE!”
I designate the spot. I reinforce the designation by moving the obvious e-waste to the spot.
“No, I’ll take it. I drive right by there all the time.“
Clearly the other half isn’t anticipating how that statement is going to go over with me.
“If you drive by there all the time… Why is this stuff still sitting in the garage?“
The other half stomps off.
What did I say?
In the pleasant silence, punctuated by slamming doors and stomping up stairs. I begin contemplating phase two of the garage beautification plan.
Temporarily around here is approximately a five year time interval. The progression is however non-linear. Two “Temporarily” units do not equal 10 years.
It’s more like 15 years. Adding a third “temporarily” is something on the order of a glacial epoch.
Originally, I had planned to put shelves up in the basement and also in the garage. My cleverly laid and throughly explained, plan was thwarted by the other half filling those spaces… “Temporarily” with crap, the large majority of which I think should have been heaved unceremoniously in the closest dumpster.
However, I have an opportunity right now, in that I can get to the walls of the garage.
A slamming door followed by tromping footsteps herald the arrival of the other half for “Round Two”. Ding Ding!
“I want to put up shelves to help clean the clutter up in the garage. I was thinking of perhaps 7 foot lengths and two or three shelves along this wall.“, I indicate the wall.
“Grunt“, is the response.
“I was thinking that we could hang the bicycles from the ceiling, here. This would allow the motorcycles to be parked there, and my workout bench to be relocated over here. This arrangement would make the area under the stairs available for infrequently used items such as the mailbu light supplies.”
“Grunt“, is the response.
“I take it that you are not opposed to this?”
“Well, do you really want to put 7 foot long shelves up there, why not the full length of the wall? How wide would these shelves be? How many shelves?”
Ahhh, the wonder of engagement!
“Well I was thinking about breaking the shelves so that the bicycles could fit nicely in the middle with their tires against the wall. Then the snowblower could be parked neatly under them.”
“But where would you get the shelves, and do you know that they’re available in that length? are you going to the local hardware store or to the one in Phelan? Or will you be going to the Lowes or Home Depot? Do they cut shelving material? Are you planning to use plywood or maybe some nicer hardwood? Will they be painted?“
(This is how the game is always played. “Where do you want to go to dinner?” Invariably results in a discussion that is longer than the damn dinner itself. The same is true of any issue that comes up where there might be a difference of opinion.
The statement “I’d like to move out of California….” Results in comments like “What would we do with the house? Where? I have a job here! What would you hope to accomplish in another state? Why do you want to leave so bad? State X is not a state I’m politically comfortable in.” [in other words a predominantly pro business Republican state. But it’s perfectly OK that I have to suffer an essentially anti business predominantly Democratic state. Hell I’d be really happy in a state that was about 1/2 & 1/2]
I’ve come to understand this is a tactic that is really about shutting down the conversation, without saying something as direct and honest as “NO… I don’t want to go out to dinner.” Or “NO… I don’t want to move out of California and here’s why.“
And the beat goes on…)
Now is when I become an absolute double, dirty dog BASTARD!
“They can be any way you like them. I’m not married to the style, only that we have the shelves.“
At which point more grumbling and the need to make phone calls and search the internet arises, but I don’t have to do it. I can settle back and relax while the other half contributes the comparison shopping and even the pick-up.
In the end, this little project is going to cost about $250 The brackets cost more than the shelving material.
The shelving will be precut 6 foot lengths about 12 inches wide. The material will be a nice white plastic finish over 5/8″ plywood.
The items that need to be up off the floor, will be off the floor, providing us with more room to actually move around the cars while they’re in the garage.
More importantly, the crap that’s been sitting in the garage waiting to be tossed out, will be.
A load was put in the other halfs car tonight.
I’ll get my shelves. The order should be ready for pickup tomorrow.
But the absolute best part of all of this is
I hope that your day is as rewarding.