Clue-by-Four: Ramblings of a Jock Dork

The Clutter Singularity (part 2): Baggage, Trash Cans, and Other Junkmeres

Posted in Clue x Fours and Other Tools of Sanity by Wingnut on April 1, 2010

“He brings stuff out, so he can have room to organize things. Then he throws the junk out, and moves the other stuff back in.”

–Dan May

For those of you who have been waiting, here are the first three levels of junk:

Carry-on Baggage of Junk – We all have some level of junk that clutters how we communicate, think and interact with the world around us. So, there has to be a designation for the amount of junk which seems normal for a person to have. This level of junk is “tolerable”. It’s the kind of junk you can overlook because the other person has so many other amazing qualities and the junk does little to interfere.

For example, if I believe the hypothesis that all women are crazy [Trust me, they are], then this is what we call “Cute Crazy.” My best friend NE’s wife clearly falls into this category of junk. She’s the first to admit that she has AWS [Attention Whore Syndrome] and that her gender is plum loco. But she’s a very sweet crazy that my best friend finds endearing. Part of it must be that she has a good awareness of what her junk is and has been busy sloughing off excess junk (It’s amazing how you can get rid of junk, when you work on it. Part 4 will highlight how people can do this).

Awareness is the key to reducing and maintaining the amount of junk to this desirable level. But, that requires personal responsibility, which, we already know is in short supply. [Responsibility + Modern Interpretation = Someone else’s job]. Thus, the population at this level of junk is relatively small and, I think, dwindling by the hour.1

Out of sight, out of mind. RIGHT?!?!

To my knowledge, I have never dated a woman who has only had this amount of junk. Sigh…A man can dream. [This may say a lot more about me than I would like to admit]2. I would thank God every day if I could marry a woman who had so little junk. [Apparently, 99% of men would be happy with this. Of the women surveyed, they overwhelmingly agreed that this was still too much junk].3

Single, City Junk Can – When the junk gets to abundant that a carry-on bag is insufficient to carry it, it must end up in being stored someplace where it is, usually, out of sight, out of mind. However, for this to still be a functional level of junk, there has to be a regular emptying of the can. Ideally, a person seeks a proper outlet to get help in cleaning out their junk.

A therapist, for example, is a good resource to help a person debrief and dispose of junk in the proper receptacles. A friend or family member can also be a useful resource [That is, if they understand the definition of those terms (See upcoming blog called: Eew, You Dripped a Little Sadness and Disappointment on Me)]

This is what most often happens with “new” junk or “temporary” junk. The other night, for example, I was dealing with some relatively new junk involving my father’s overall health and my status as an employee next September [Also in ailing health]. As such, my junk can was overflowing and I knew I needed a few people to help me identify, let go, and remove the junk [again, refer to part 4 for further details]. That night, I had a few acquaintances4 ask about me and took a genuine interest in providing a little comfort, which can go a long way to help someone deal with temporary junk. After talking to a few friends the next morning and hitting a few softballs, my junk had been disposed of properly [In fact, talking to JK exposed some junk that was “hidden” behind the trashcan from a couple of years ago. I recognized it and also disposed of it as well].

Notice the key point here is AWARENESS that the junk exists, embracing it, and taking proactive steps to dispose of it. I could affect the junk level in my life because I took responsibility for its cleanup. More and more people in our society have a different set of expectations for their junk “pick up.”

Because we have embraced a culture of entitlement, victimization of ourselves, and blaming others, many of us expect other people to clean up the junk for us. “It’s a City Junk Can right? It’s the city’s job to pick up my junk.” While, this may work for curbside trash pickup, I can assure you that they don’t pick up your junk, unless you call them and ask for their help. [Imagine that, you have to admit to your junk and ask for help…and there’s nothing wrong with calling College Hunks Hauling Junk (Yes, this is an actual company)]56

As a result, people often are “waiting” for someone to pick up their junk long after the can is full. Eventually, this junk will begin to rot and smell, which makes the clean up a longer process. While this will not arbitrarily guarantee a trip on the “Crazy Train” (Click link for details), an unchecked pileup of junk may hasten the departure to the higher levels of junk to a lead time of about four hours…or, in some cases, four months.

When he shows up at your yard sale, you know you have some SERIOUS JUNK!

Personal Junk Storage Unit (The Clean House Event Horizon)—There comes a point where the junk gains enough mass that it begins to collapse on itself, tugging gently on all of those people in an immediate radius. This occurs when the junk build up is the result of clutter a person has been continually storing and hanging onto to for months, years, decades. Often times, some of this clutter ends up in the back of closets, basements, and personal storage units. Out of sight, out of mind right [and the further you’ve repressed it, the better]

This occurs because a person has not cleaned out their City Junk Can regularly and are still waiting for someone else to do it. While there is hope for clean up, it can only be obtained via therapy, friends, family, and the key…AWARENESS. There is still time, but it is limited because, as it passes, a person runs the risk of dropping past the event horizon and into the black hole where they spiral rapidly toward the higher levels of junk. At this point, even the Clean House team may not be able to effectively remove all of the clutter [I would be very frightened to see what is available at some psychological “yard sales”].

PJSU Example: Imagine a person who recently exited an unhealthy relationship, moved to a new place, started a new job, gave much of her social support network, and lost her father, all in the period of the last year. Yeah, that’s some serious junk that has compounded over a period of time, if one doesn’t handle it appropriately, that is.

Junk Awareness is what can motivate our example to dial 1-800-JUNKHUNK [not the actual number]. People who are unaware or in denial will not, and may never, dial. They are constantly telling themselves, “Everyone else has the problem. I don’t have one. I know full well who I am.” This person may even seem functional in most areas of their lives; but, inside, they are always stumbling over the junk they have acquired. As an outside observer, this can be an amusing comedy of errors. [Most standup comedians make a career out of selling this junk]7. To those within the inner circle, however, it can be a periodic junkmare that lashes out with fangs and claws. While not lethal, this junk attack is often draining and scarring on those who fall victim to these outbursts.

Nothing is more awkward than when one of these junkmares shows up at the worst possible moment, like the middle of having sex…

Girl, who is now crying: “I’m sorry. I need to stop. I was fine until I got on top of you. It reminded me of my ex-boyfriend [with whom she had been broken up with for months]. I miss him so much. WAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!

Half-naked me, moving back to my side of the car: ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Car stereo: GOING OFF THE RAILS ON A CRAZY TRAIN!8

These junkmere’s aren’t just limited to intimate encounters, however. In fact, often times, we have friendships that can be a walking junkmere. These people are sometimes the Eeyore in our lives, always draining their friends with their “junk.” They will ask, “How was your day?,” then proceed to interrupt and spend the rest of the conversation talking about their “junk.” The problem is, they never have a “good” day or there is always “drama” in their lives.

I had a friend, who we called Eeyore, who was going through a rough time. With a little help, he could have sorted through the junk in his life and made it through, a little stronger for the experience. Sadly, he opted for alcohol and bar fights…He was on the fast track to owning his own Municpal Junk Truck (MJT and the other two levels of junk will be featured in the next installment).

Uh oh...He spotted us. Drop his junk and RUN!!!

Footnotes:

  1. Some say by the minute. Others argue, it’s already gone.
  2. This is a troubling idiom. I claim to not like admitting to it, then freely admit to it there. So, maybe I like admitting it?!?!
  3. No such survey was conducted, however, we all know it’s based on actual truth.
  4. For me, defined as people I only see at IC, at the gym, or on Facebook. It was nice of you to ask if I was doing OK. Thanks for asking.
  5. Sadly, there is no Hot Babe Junk Hauling. However, I’m a little scared of the women that might be on the truck.
  6. Therapists are not “automatic” junk haulers, as most people believe. If they were, they would be worshiped like Rockstars…Oh to dream.
  7. And, for that matter, this blog. Are you listening Maxim magazine? I have plenty of junk to share!!!
  8. I so wish I was making this up.
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2 Responses

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  1. Joan said, on April 1, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    We SHOULD be worshiped like Rockstars! We absorb so much junk, recycle it instantaneously and send it right back onto the client to wrestle with during the week, AND ASK FOR MORE THE NEXT WEEK. It takes “thank you sir may I have another” to a whole different level. And yes, we’re getting paid…but it’s never enough for the junk we juggle.

    And, great comics, btw. 🙂

  2. […] on April 21, 2010 First, to review: * We took a look at what “Junk” is *Looked at Baggage, Trashcans and Other Junkmeres (First 3 levels of junk) *Purchased our very own Municipal Junk Truck * And visited the Junk Recycling Center […]


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