Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Spare Parts

There are storage facilities everywhere and I’ve always wondered why there’s such a big demand for them.  Are there really that many people with homeless possessions?  Isn’t it just a way to pay rent without actually using your things?  Doesn’t that mean that you don’t really need those things?

Storage facilities were a mystery to me because I’ve never needed one.  But based on the prevalence of them, I assumed I was one of the few people who don’t.

Well, mystery solved.  Almost.  I still don’t know how so many of them end up abandoned and on A&E’s Storage Wars, where odd people come in and bid on the units at auction with only a glimpse and a guess from the outside.  (I’ve never actually watched Storage Wars, but I have friends that watch it and have told me more than I ever cared to know about it, so I’m semi-qualified to mention it in this blog.  Clearly I’m also “semi-qualified” to choose friends.)

But at least now I know why a normal person would need to rent one of those.  My brother, who is arguably the most normal person in my family, invested in not one, but two storage units because he’s moving.  He put his house on the market and it sold in the first week, sooner than expected, too soon to move into his new home.  This stroke of luck (who sells their house after one showing these days?) left him with three months of homelessness that he’s decided to wait out in an apartment.  An apartment that can’t even come close to holding all of their things.

So, The Voice of Reason and I spent two sunny and muscle-testing days helping him move, store, and arrange.  And I got my first experience with self-storage.  It’s a different game than Storage Wars, where someone wants to get everything out of a unit.  Our game was how to fit as much as possible into one.  Well, two.

It reminded me of my true calling as a structural engineer.  Because for a girl who has always loved to pack a trunk like I’m assembling a puzzle, this was like the world championships of that event.  Standing with one foot on the back of a sofa and the other atop a bookcase, I was able to drop rolls of Christmas wrapping paper into a cylindrical slot between workout equipment and a high chair, winning me the gold medal in acrobatics and mental acuity.

But all the while, I was wondering why a guy who has never wrapped a Christmas present in his life had so many rolls of Christmas paper.  I used to earn extra Christmas presents from him by wrapping all of his to other people.  

I had one of those he-doesn’t-need-me-anymore moments because I realized that his wife wraps their Christmas presents now.  But then I figured out how to thread his weed eater between the two kayaks and it reminded both of us that I’m still useful.

And that’s good.  Because if there’s one place you don’t want to find out you’re expendable, it’s a storage facility.  Someone could knock you off and toss your body into one of those units and it probably wouldn’t ever be discovered.  Unless those Storage Wars weirdos show up and bid on the leather recliner and mahogany table they see from outside and then get burned not only by too much wrapping paper, but also a dead person.  Because who needs more of those?

So, storage facilities exist for in-between stages of life and homicides, mystery solved.Photobucket

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