It’s not junk – its usable ‘stuff’

It's not junk – its usable 'stuff' by Bob Karolevitz Those of you who are old enough probably remember Fibber McGee's closet.

Because the show was on the radio (no television then), you had to use your imagination, but most everybody could visualize the stuff coming out of that crammed-full tiny room every time Fibber opened the door.

Well, that closet is a lot like Phyllis's cupboard where she keeps all those empty plastic containers and lids that don't fit anything.

Normally she's not a saver; I'm the pack rat in our family. But there must be something about used Country Crock, Cool Whip and Blue Bunny receptacles that causes Phyllis to do a Jekyl and Hyde act.

And that doesn't count all those tops she collects which come tumbling down each time she reaches for one of them.

Let's face it, though. If it weren't for Phyllis's cupboard, we wouldn't have containers for all those little dabs of potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans and canned corn in the far reaches of our refrigerator.

They are called leftovers, incidentally; and maybe they will eventually be eaten � if we find them.

To change the subject � but not much � Phyllis bedevils me about the gallon plastic milk cartons I use for storing my "stuff."

I cut them appropriately � saving the handles � and label them accordingly for eyebolts, plumbing parts, golf tees, used candles, assorted nails, electric fence insulators, knobs, hitch pins, hooks, etc.

(Some day I'm going to melt all those candles and make something nice � although she says, "Not on my stove, you don't!")

But I digress.

Those handy cartons on the shelf in our garage look so organized, although I've got to admit that they also collect spiders and other creepy-crawly things.

I also have to admit that Phyllis uses the leftovers a lot more than I do the contents of my milk cartons. On the other hand, who knows? I may just need an eyebolt some day, and I always know where to find them.

The same is true for spools, hinges, fence-tighteners, emery wheels, odd-sized bits, springs, sprinkler parts, etc.

I don't need them much, but I've got 'em!

Phyllis laughs about my propensity to hoard "things" like that, but she will never admit that she, too, accumulates all those containers and lids in her cupboard.

"They're like dishes," she argues. "I need them often, so they're not like your collection of junk."

I suppose that's true, but it's not reason enough to pooh-pooh my assortment of usable doohickeys. After all, they are a guy thing, and they just might come in handy on some future occasion.

I guess I shouldn't compare Phyllis's cupboard to Fibber McGee's closet, but then she should lay off picking on me and my treasury of good "stuff," too.

Actually, it's a his-and-hers competition, but I'll relent if she will.

© 2003 Robert F. Karolevitz

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