Moving: the horror

Dateline: Sun 31 Aug 2008

Blogging has been scanty due to packing. Imagine that: reading and writing coming in second-best to the god-awful crawl through drawers, closets, cabinets and bookshelves in an effort to corral and control stuff.

But "it must be must"; there's no avoiding it -- the awful packing -- since the house apparently has sold again and a Putnam County exit strategy is in place. (Is it bad luck to utter this? Let alone put it in print? Are there house gods? Why are they always pissed off? Why is so much sacrifice demanded, simply to move from one geographic spot to another?)

Today the prep work involved going thru four or five large plastic boxes of old sometimes crumbly comic books in a hot attic loft. The children who read these comics -- I was one of them -- appeared to have been casually interrupted, or perhaps startled mid-point. Many comics were folded at a crucial juncture, right at a point where one story ended and another began. Was it a call to supper that ended the read? A short attention span? Perhaps an admonition to "quit reading that crap and get cracking!"?

Two generations of comics nest in the attic: mine and Guy's, and then the children's, who are now all three adults. Hence the comics run the gamut -- Donald Duck, Little Lulu, Turok Son of Stone, Lone Ranger, Fox and Crow, Nancy and Sluggo, Fritzi Ritz, Casper, Classics Illustrated, Freak Brothers, love comics -- I could go on -- to those from the 1980s: Flaming Carrot, Batman, Excalibur, Fate, Batman, Justice League, etc. All these comics were melded together, truly democratic: Flaming Carrot on top of Hot Stuff, Katy Keene lying with Fritz the Cat. The trick was to segregate them out: mine, theirs.

Comics are easy. They are thin, even a bit frail in some cases, and thus they can all stay. Books are tougher, and must be judiciously culled.

China is a real culprit. While books multiply, they do so with dignity. China seems to know no boundaries. Thus dishes that are a bargain, or interesting, or pretty, somehow weedle their way into our lives and apparently reproduce like rabbits.

Clothing is equally prolific. A red sweater begats a grey sweatshirt, and so on.

But the real problem, of course, is the American consumer. We are cursed --- some of us, not all -- with large, insatiable, Mad-Avenue fed ravaging kingsize, supersize-me appetites.

No matter how much of a "thing diet" we go on, we are acquisitive. A favorite modern morality tale is about the number of metal storage units/pods that now dominate the landscape, filled with the overflow of peoples' lives. Recently we had an auction in Cloverdale, exclusively devoted to items left unpaid for in the Stardust Hills storage bins.

No doubt hundreds attended, and no doubt there were great bargains: china, books and maybe even comics. I wouldn't know. I've been too busy culling, discarding and packing what is owned, and marveling at why.

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