Whorege Stores

Storage Unit (227/365)Unit Dreams

I think I wanna die
And come back as four-digit code
My life would have purpose
Gatekeeper to the mother lode

So there I was trying to explain a few simple concepts to my friend who lived in the dirt and owned* only a bush. (By owned I mean that his family had lived there for generations longer than anyone could remember, but any day now the government would show up and confiscate the land for sale to a multinational corporation of which my friend would see zero compensation.)

I was telling him about what was new in my life. “After dinner I’m going to have to swing by the storage unit to drop off some more of my stuff.”

He looked confused. “What is this dinner of which you speak? That is a strange word to me.”

I was a bit incredulous. “What do you mean? You don’t know what dinner is? How can that be? It’s the evening meal. You know, breakfast comes first, then lunch, then dinner.”

He seemed to understand. “Ah, I see,” he said. “I just call it eating. You like to eat three times a day and call it three different things. Why would you do something like that?”

“Isn’t that obvious?” I asked. “It easier than saying stuff like bacon meal, sandwich meal, meat and potatoes meal, etc.”

“Ah,” he said. “There’s the problem. I only get a bit of rice three times a day. My normal diet is 21 meals of rice every week. See? There’s no need to bother with other names for meals. It’s just food.”

As I pondered that, he continued. “And what is this other thing? You called it a storage unit?”

I attempted to explain the concept. “You see, I own a lot of things. So many things, in fact, that they won’t all fit in my house. Even though my house is three-times as large as the average American home of the 1950s and I have a three-car garage. I’m forced to rent additional space across town to keep the rest of my things. It’s a 10′ x 10′ space that I rent. It’s called a storage unit.”

We tried for the next half hour but my friend, who owned two rocks and a stick, never did get the concept.

In other words, this is all just my way of saying that we’re having a bit of a bother with our storage unit.

How does the one-way concept apply in the case of a storage unit? Let’s just see if I can find a little inspiration and draw from my own painful, recent and personal experience. (Somehow I think we’re about to get lucky. I just might find a way!)

What happens if I fail to pay my storage unit bill? A myriad of things, methinks, including a black mark on my credit report sent at the speed of light. More interesting, though, is that the storage unit reserves the right to put a lock on my own stuff and, if I stay in arrears long enough, rip that sucker open and auction my belongings to the highest bidder.

This actually happened to a friend of mine. (Not the same friend as above.) I was like, “WTF yo??? Why didn’t you tell me? I’d have helped you pay the tiny amount and we could have saved your shit.” You know, the shit that was so valuable it apparently needed a storage unit?

For whatever reason, she didn’t think it was worth taking action and now her stuff is gone. Wow. CCFCP!

OK, so the lockout and auction scenario explains half of that one way street. What could the other half possibly be?

Let’s say that you are a storage unit customer and you decide, like me, that throwing $50 down a rat hole every month is an utter waste of money. You decide to clear out your storage unit, cancel the contract, and save those after-tax dollars in your monthly budget. You make sure that you have all your ducks in a row. You call the storage unit more than 30 days out to find out their cancellation procedures. You arrange a termination date.

Over the next month you spend every weekend hauling your excess shit in a car and dumping it in your garage. Finally, the unit is empty and you lovingly sweep it out to make sure that you will not be accessed a clean-up charge.

You notify storage unit management that your unit is empty, cleaned, and you turn in your lock and key.

I’m here to tell you that moment feels good. Real good!

But then something weird happens. The first of the month rolls around and you haven’t gotten your deposit money back as promised. Worse, the elderly couple who lives on-site charges your credit card for your regular monthly payment.

I’m here to that you that moment feels like fucking bullshit!

That’s when the one-way aspect of the situation hit me. Am I able to go put a lock on their stuff? And, if it takes me more than X number of days to get my money back, can I show up with a lock cutter and TV crew? Can I then fling open the doors to their stuff and say, “Who wants to start the bidding???”

Why in the name of Zeus’ butthole do we consumers continue to enter into such one-sided and lopsided situations? Why do we give up everything in exchange for the privilege of being customers? Credit cards, debit cards, checking accounts, car loans, mortgages, rental agreements, service contracts, insurance, phone contracts, cable television, you name it. One-way street, baby. You can’t, of course, turn the tables, but you always maintain the right to do nothing. You can always live without.

Why does everything in life have to be so one-way?

The auction of storage units has exploded recently to become an entertainment phenomenon. There are what now? 42 different shows in this fascinating and compelling genre? We Americans sure like to revel in the misery of other Americans, eh? That must be the core ingredient of our capitalist system.

Take-Away Payoff

This is the part of the post where you, my loyal reader, gets the good part. Everything that preceded was just bitching and moaning and oh-so-much blather. What comes next is what my boss likes to call the “take away.” Every conversation has to have a “take away” or it isn’t worth having. What’s the key point here?

You’ve waded through all of my bullshit so I’m going to share my plan with you. Shhhhhhhhhh! This is secret. Don’t tell anyone. That’s why I’m only posting it here, on the internet.

The plan is simple. I’m going to rent a storage unit under a fake name. There will be some investment required. I’ll have to pay a deposit and a month in advance, and that’s money I’m never going to get back. Don’t worry, it will be worth it. That’s the only money they’ll ever get from me.

Phase Two is to deck out the storage unit with a lot of shit that looks expensive but is absolutely worthless. This is the “art form” part of the plan. If executed well, the next phase will have a big payoff. What is needed is stuff that looks so tantalizing it will really drive up the bidding.

Thanks to those 42 auction wars I know how those fuckers like to look into storage units with their little flashlights and guess what riches may lie in wait.

Perhaps a lot of paintings facing away from the entrance. (Which will turn out to be pictures of my ass.) Perhaps a bunch of boxes labeled “FORT KNOX – GOLD BARS.” Maybe a few items that look vintage from the local dump. Mwuahahaha! Like I said, creativity and execution will be key. But, keep it subtle. What you want is a delicately crafted snare. You are making asshole bait. Oh yeah, for bonus points, make the bait as heavy and disgusting as possible.

You can see where this is going, right?

Then, on the big day, I show up to participate in the auction on my own fake unit. Perhaps I’ll even bring a video crew pretending to be filming an episode of a new TV show about auction wars, perhaps called “Whorage Stores.” That way I’ll get to be there when the winning bidder gets to fling open the door and figure out the load of crap they just bought.

I’m sure the look on their face will be priceless.

As the proud owners of the shit, they’ll have to haul it away, too.

Perhaps I’ll start a national group of people pulling stunts like this. We should really be able to drive down the auction values of storage units and teach those poaching vultures a valuable lesson. Mwuhahaha!

6 responses

  1. You’ve outdone yourself, Tom, and it’s only Tuesday!


    1. Thanks. It’s not like I’m not qualified. I used to live in a storage unit.


  2. You took a double dose of your medication today, didn’t you. I thought we talked about that.


    1. Yep. Three beers. That’s my normal 1.5 beer quota times two. Double dose!


      1. And double the time spent in the bathroom. 😉


  3. Woot. I call that a win-win.


Bringeth forth thy pith and vinegar

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