Tag Archives: possessions

Dear Guru: Burning Down The House

dearguru

Q.
Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

Signed,
–Peeping Pyromaniac

elvis-velvetA.
You’re sick, you know that? Seriously. Get some help. I mean, I like a tasty thought experiment as much as the next guy, but come on! My home is on fire? Tell me how you really feel.

OK. I’ll do my best. I’m a professional and I still have a job to do. I have taken the Advice Columnist’s Oath and that means, basically, I have to take it. Each and every time. Very well. Out of respect for the craft I will give this question a serious response.

What do I grab?

First Item: “Screen.”

I grab the screen. Get it? Screen grab? Woo hoo! I crack myself up. I’m a real hoot. My house is on fire and I’m cracking some of my best improv material ever. It’s a win win.

Professionalism be damned.

Uh, what was the question again?

Seriously, though. I’m not kidding. The 42″ flat screen LCD TV is obviously the first thing. I’m not insane. An American is nothing without his TV. And I can carry that puppy under my arm, all by myself. I’m sure it won’t be too heavy because I’ll be all hopped up on adrenaline from the flames.
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IKEA wouldn’t want to BEYA

ikiea-st-helensOn Saturday, November 9, 2013, I visited an IKEA.

I have dubbed the trip Grouchy With A Chance Of Meatballs.

Per standard operating procedure I was lured into the midst via deception. “Let’s do brunch,” said my wife. Then, after my tummy was slaked and my attention wandered, suddenly our car was pulling into the gaping maw of Hell.

“What the Hell?” I stammered redundantly.

Yes, it was the IKEA super mega store on steroids. (I think they call them STOROIDS.) Lest there be any doubt: The “holiday season” is upon us.

Cars were flying in every direction. People were running and screaming. Their hair was on fire. Vendors were pumping out hot dogs. A dog barked. A garish clown on stilts juggled live babies. It was the peak hour of the peak day of the week and the peaking holiday season was upon us. And we were now in the epicenter where Swedish style and design meet in the supercollider of Want.

GRUNDTAL! You’re welcome.

Step one of shopping at IKEA is not navigating the labyrinth or even following your nose to the nearest deceptively aromatic meatball. No, before those phases may begin one must find a temporary storage location for one’s Volvo. I’m talking about, of course, the PARKERINGSPLATS.

But then, something unexpected happened. Call it a Hobbit’s journey, if you wish. I call it a Very Guru Christmas. It was time for a new Festivus tradition henceforth to be called the Random Act Of Kindness (To An Asshole).

For some it would be a confusing time.
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Storage Whores

storage-whores

You can find the profit in human misery if you look for it.

We watched a few episodes of a so-called reality show about people who turn over storage units for a living, like it’s a career or something. It’s like the modern version of treasure hunting. Except it’s not.

One time a friend told me how she had lost a bunch of her possessions. It was mostly junk like furniture and knickknacks that wouldn’t fit at her house but it also included irreplaceable family heirlooms and stuff like family photos.

She stopped paying for the thing and – poof – her stuff was gone. “Why didn’t you tell me,” I cried. “I’d have paid your account so at least you could get the important shit.”

It was too late. The shit was gone. As in forever gone. There had been an auction. They sure didn’t waste any time.

Oh well. Easy come and super easy go.

I decided right then and there that I had to get me one of those shiny storage unit things. But I also had to remain true to myself and my core values. I was going to do this the Tom B. Taker way.
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Lard Fail

yard-saleOut in the street in front of our drive was a sawhorse festooned with a garish sign and, get this, a festive baby blue helium balloon dancing playfully in the air.

My wife knows how to throw a party.

“A balloon,” I said. “Where the hell did you get a helium balloon?”

“At the dollar store.”

“Huh. How much did it cost?”

Dripping with more sweat than Mike Rowe driving a Ford Truck, I had just muscled tons of our most useless crap out on the front lawn. My normally well-oiled brain wasn’t exactly firing on all cylinders.

Weird how it was that moment the heavens decided to deluge our asses and stuff. I welled up with despair as I watched the rain beating down against that little helium balloon. I’m proud to say it didn’t fight back much. Soon it lay there, on the ground, like a fresh chunk of roadkill.

It wasn’t a winner, but I knew how to handle that. I dashed out in the rain and pinned it with a “participant” ribbon taken from my trophy collection. It popped and was gone for good.

Our “yard sale” was officially underway.
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My iPad Prayer (3rd generation)

Click to enlarge and view on original source.

As a former altar boy (reformed) I know how to pray. And I’m not above resorting to such tactics when the need is great. Like when I want revenge on my boss. You know what they say: “There are no atheists in shitholes.”

On my blog I claim to be many things, it’s true. But I’ve never claimed to be mature. E-v-a-r. I dare you to go back and painstakingly re-read every word I’ve ever written. I think you’ll find this claim to be born out. There will be nary a word about the mythical beast known as my maturity. Neener, neener and in yo face!

Ahem.

Where was I? Oh yeah. What could it possibly be that would motivate me to pray? Read on!
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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.”
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Testing my resolve

For 2011 I'd like my right foot to weigh less than 40. Also, I want to paint my toenails red.

“They” say that 80% of us will fail on our New Year’s resolutions. I like those odds so count me in!

Of course, one of mine was to get a post about resolutions up by Jan. 1. Oops. Missed it!

Personally I think waiting for a date on a calendar to try to make a change is a bit silly. If you want to improve something, go ahead and do it now. Why wait?

On the other hand, the first day of the year is a very easy day to remember. It will help you with one of the principles of Kaizen – namely, if you measure something it will improve. “How long has it been since I bit someone’s throat? Oh yeah, New Year’s Day. Now I remember!”

Before I pontificate further let’s do a little exercise together, shall we?

Grab a sheet of paper and write down your list of this year’s resolutions. No fair peeking ahead to find out what comes next! In fact, I’m going to do the jump thingy to enforce compliance. Fill out your sheet then click to continue reading.

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