Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And We Have This in the Basement Why?

This week I've started the monumental task of cleaning up the basement. When we moved into the house in Oct. 2007, it was a challenge to combine two residences worth of stuff, furniture, clothes, knick-knacks, etc. into one house. A lot of the knick-knack stuff and other odds and ends was boxed up and either put aside in the basement or the garage. This resulted in the inability to park in the garage for the longest time, and a mountain of stuff in the basement spread from one end to the other.

So I've been going down into the basement, which is so short that I can't stand fully, for a little while every day to try and clean up. Every day I find a crazy little bauble that belongs to my father-in-law. The other day I came upon a tin recipe box. The box itself is a little dirty on the outside, but otherwise in good condition. From the way it is decorated, I would assume that it is from the 70s. Now, when I found it, I foolishly thought that perhaps there would be recipe cards inside. Of course, there wasn't. Silly Matt, why would one store recipes in a recipe box?

So what did I find? On top there was a stainless steel jigger for mixing drinks. Beneath that and on one side there was a mostly full tin of pellets for a pellet gun. On the very bottom was an empty Sucrets tin. And then, tucked into the side was a shoe horn. WTF? Why would someone store all of these things in a recipe box and then put it away for an unknown purpose?

Of these things, the only two things I would think to keep would be the jigger and the shoe horn. Then last night, my father-in-law came back home from his stay at the grandparents house down the street, and I asked him about it.

I told him I had found an old recipe box in the basement, and, without having seen this box in who knows how long, he knew just what I was talking about and could name about half the things in the box without any prompting. He also thought there was a key in the box, which there probably was at one point, but has long since disappeared. The pellet gun, it turns out, is not even at our house, but at the grand parents house. And the empty Sucrets container? Who the heck knows.

What other treasures might I find in the basement? I have no idea. I wouldn't be too surprised if I come across the Ark of the Covenant, one of the 13 crystal skulls, Pan's Lute, or the Lyre of Orpheus.


Some dude stuck in the Midwest said...

Why would people keep their old stuff in other people's house.

I say Garage Sale, eBay, or dumpster.

When I moved in with my wife, I brought we me a suitcase of clothes and my computer. :)

mattw said...

That's just the thing, my father-in-law and grandfather-in-law don't ever want to throw anything away, because "you never know when you're going to need it" and so we have all this stuff. Then my FIL has funny ideas about what would be cool to have. I found some loose keys in a drawer in the basement and said something about it, and he said he'd like to get a huge ring of keys to carry around, even though there's only one or two keys he uses.

There's so much stuff at our house that belongs to the grandparents and I'm getting to the point where I'm going to stop asking and start tossing. Every once in a while though, I find something interesting, like the mandolin harp I found in September.

Random Michelle K said...

I have a Sucrets tin with a Luke Skywalker sticker on the lid that is filled with plastic ants, somewhere on my computer desk.

Of course, I'm not trying to foist that weirdness off on anyone else.

And I do tend to be ruthless otherwise in throwing things away. And let me tell you, do it now. Don't keep putting it off or the task will become monumental and overwhelming (like when Grandmom was moved out of her house).

mattw said...

Michelle, I find myself becoming ruthless. The problem is that each box has such a variety of junk in it that it'll take a while to go through it all.

Eric said...


GENERAL SMITH: Open up! Open the door, dammit!

MATT: (opening door) Wha-aa? It's three a.m.--hey, why are you barging in like this?

GENERAL SMITH: Sorry, civilian! I'm General Smith of the U.S. Army. Aliens have invaded and defeated all organized resistance in a matter of minutes. I'm the only survivor of the U.S. Armed Forces, but I can still rescue President Obama's daughters--they stumbled across the aliens' Achilles Heel just like a couple of kids in an old '80s-era Chris Columbus movie--and save the whole human race if I only had ammunition for this pellet gun, the only weapon left on Earth.

MATT: Um. Well. Uh, funny thing, uh, last week I was cleaning the basement and through some things out, and--

GENERAL SMITH: Dammit! Well, I might be able to MacGyver a cloaking field to hide from the invaders if I had a length of copper wire and a small metal box, like a Sucrets box, and maybe a stainless steel jigger to convert to an emitter--sir, do you have a bar in your study?

MATT: Uhm. Yeah. Well, that really is a coincidence....

GENERAL SMITH: Dammit, man, you've doomed the human race!

ALIEN OVERLORD: (fires disintegrator ray) i pwn h00m0nz lol!

EARTH: (dies)

mattw said...

i pwn h00m0nz lol!

Eric that's dangerous. I nearly choked on my drink.

Random Michelle K said...


I hate that you make me snort in public.

MWT said...

Heh, I've just started excavating my own storeroom (technically a second bedroom, which is occupied almost entirely by boxes).

Yay throwing stuff out! :)

Random Michelle K said...

(suspicious look)

MWT, are you secretly my friend Susan?

MWT said...




Yay secret twins of packratness? :)