It's now time to get to that big, dusty box that's been hiding in the darkest corner underneath my kitchen table since the Mesozoic era.
I always assumed that this was the big box of miscellaneous newspaper-wrapped plates and dishes that a friend gave me a while back. I was wrong. I guess I got rid of that box a while back. No, this was a whole different box of oddities all together.
Included in this box:
- A small box that was packaged with blank CD-Rs, now stuffed with bubble wrap and a plastic bag. See photo, top right. Wow. I don't even want to THINK of why I might have been holding on to this.
- 1978 Porsche Matchbox car. Might bring a buck from eBay, we'll see.
- Wireless headphones. Hey, not bad!
- Two promotional posters for the Black Crowes (2000) in a mailing tube. Unfortunately the treasures ended there.
- A receipt from the long defunct CDNow.
- A plastic wallet-kinda-thingy from "BOK - innovators in information packaging." Who were they? Why did they make this T-shaped plastic wallet that consisted of nothing but a flap that folded over the center, and the two flaps to go over the sides? Who cares?
- Frito-Lay's apology letter, sent to me after complaining about a bag of Smartfood I got from a vending machine, only to find the bag open and the contents stale. Also, some coupons they sent, but have now been expired for over 7 years.
- A classy, executive-looking ballpoint pen with my father's old business address on it. See photo, top center. Now here we come to a true test of combating packrat compulsion. This was indeed a nice pen. Not a $4000 Mont Blanc number, but certainly not a cheap "three-for-99-cents" writer either. But could it write? Nope. Could the ink be replaced? Well after finally prying it open, I managed to extract the central piece: the tube of ink with the metal writing tip attached to the end. My next thought was to find a cheap pen in my house, and use that same piece for replacement. But after going through a few different other pens, it was clear that I didn't have the exact size and shape I need to replace this. So the final solution was to fight off those rationalizations of "But it's too NICE to throw away", and to throw it away, letting it die with dignity.
- Not one, but two print-outs of about 8 sheets each, describing what was on the Fishbone bootleg CDs I had traded and mailed to the people whose envelopes and letters I found the day before. This was many years ago. And I've long since printed out my own CD covers of these recordings, and tagged the mp3 files I ripped to my computer. Into the recycle bin you go.
- January 1990 calendar sheet. I remember taking this from school. And no, it wasn't vandalism! Most classrooms had one of those big calendars in every room, with a tear-off paper sheet for each month. Red and black writing on a white background. Donated by some insurance company, I guess. (I looked up the name, "P.J. Woods & Co." and couldn't really find anything). Why did I take this? Well at the time I thought it was neat to have a piece of the new decade. I always remember that the decade started on a Monday, which I jokingly considered an omen. Well, this folded piece of paper doesn't really have any nostalgic value now, and I don't want to hold on to it for another 20 years until it does. Besides, we have the technology to print things like this from our home computers if we wanted to.
- Sex Party Memorabilia. These included:
- A flier from Theta Delta Chi's 1999 annual bondage party. Nifty. I've got a photo from this event on my fridge. I'm saving this one.
- Brochure on safe sex from fenwayhealth.org
- A list of "Boston Area HIV/STD Testing Clinics" (Interesting trivia I noted before throwing this away: an "anyonymous" clinic means they don't ask for your name, whereas a "confidential" clinic means they ask for your name but they don't let anybody else access their records.)
- Not one, not two, but three individually ziplock bagged and labeled "Latex Dollies". Otherwise known as dental shields. I pulled one out, and stretched it. Yep, still intact. But I sure as hell ain't gonna use 10 year-old oral contraception on somebody. I'll pay the extra money for something new.
- "Little boy" champagne bottle topper. Think of the statue from the movie The Money Pit. It's the same idea.
- Set of 4 pop-out caster wheels for Peavey amplifiers. I bought these many years ago but never really used them.
- Kazoo. OK, this is kinda nasty. Even though there's really no reason why I should think it nasty, or nothing that soap can't solve, it still seems weird.
- Two sets of keys. One of these probably went to my parents' old house. All but one of the others remain a mystery. The non-mysterious one was immediately recognized as being the key for the lock on my trunk. I remember wanting to have a packing trunk as a teenager, after seeing how convenient they were in summer camp for packing up lots of stuff and locking it up when you were gone. I got one for Xmas one year. The trunk itself is still in my living room, underneath my air conditioner. I'll no doubt write a blog about cleaning THAT out too someday.
Another amusing story that comes to mind is taking this trunk to camp. The lock was one of these types where once you closed the latch, it was locked. Since I had lost the keys to the lock at the time, I had purposely kept the latch open while I was moving this into my freshman year dorm. At some point late in the day while moving everything, my father, being one of those typical parents with the typical attitude of "I'll touch stuff because it will be helpful", decided to close the latch. I'm pretty sure I had to pick the lock that day with a screwdriver or similarly force it to open. Which makes me wonder if the key is still of any use.
- Receipt from MassMoCA store, dated 8/6/01. That's when I bought that book for Megan (who my friend Matt met at the aforementioned 1999 sex party), for her birthday. My friend who went to the museum with me that day was jealous that I didn't get it for herself. Oddly enough, HER birthday was just 2 days ago.
- A novelty Post-it notepad. This one had a red spiral on the top and the words "The Hypnosis Center 1-ZZZ-GO-SLEEP" at the bottom. Couldn't they have thought of something more witty?
So another box is gone from the kitchen. By the end of this week I hope to post some astonishing before-and-after photos. Stay tuned.