Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why "Tetanus Burger"?

Well, why not?

Mainly since Thalia and I were brainstorming like crazy trying to find an appropriate name for this blog, and went through several good ideas that just didn't click. "Tetanus Burger" had us rolling around on the ground in laughter (until we cut ourselves on some rusty piece of rust embedded in the ground and had to stop).

Oh yes, some introductions are in order. I'm Tara, the other sibling of Thalia and Tara. And if there is anything resembling a "pro-hoarding voice", I'm probably as close as you will get to it. You see, growing up - I kind of liked some of the stuff, at least the mechanical things, and having a large collection of toys, bicycles. etc..

Of course, my slightly different opinion might have something to do with the fact that I don't to live there now, amongst all the crap. Or maybe I just have fond memories of my dad. And yeah, I sort of do like air-cooled VW's and interesting old cars in general.

However, there are many very important differences between my dad and myself. Or at least I hope so, since I think in reality many people would say some mild hoarding tendencies (that I hope get honed into a healthy "collecting" hobby, where you display your cool stuff and show it off to your friends).

One big difference is that I see the value in not having all that much stuff, so you can concentrate on the projects that you really want to do. And if these projects make you some extra money, or even get some of the stuff to someone who can have a better use for it, all the better.

Also, I enjoy getting rid of things. I love recycling, and I really love putting trash out on trash day. I get great satisfaction in clearing space, whether that's in the garage, or a new territory to mow in the yard that was previously overgrown with tires, or rusted solid engine blocks. Or whatever (and there really is "whatever" out there. We just unearthed a rotted old 15 foot long rubber life raft that had been a home for worms the last 25 years). "Oh god, why do we even own this thing?" is the mantra said over and over again.

But I digress...

It's almost inconceivable that we've spent about the last decade just getting rid of the stuff that is clearly and unquestionably trash. Things like tires (by my guess, over 300 - most on rusted out rims and totally bald) , 55 gallon drums of god knows what, beyond-restoration condition cars that were junk when our dad got them 20 years ago, lawnmowers, carpenter-ant-infested lumber, random size scraps of sheet rock, etc etc.. You will see them all in this blog, and weep!

Our dad would bring things home from the town dump, and then invent a use for them. And then forget about them. And there's some poetic irony there, somewhere- when you notice that there is stuff smoldering outdoors in the weather, and then deep inside the garage, untouched for 35 years, you uncover a cardboard box full of perfectly preserved baby food jars, with nothing in them. Or a random assortment of mismatched bureau drawers, completely full of nothing but air. Just taking up space. "Oh, that's a strong box that I can put things in" I imagine he would say. Yet he never put those things in them. There was never an organizational system for anything.

If only my dad collected things like Fabregé Eggs, or Civil War memorabilia, or Nazi gold bars, or anything with some actual value (and well, occasionally there's a thing or two that is valuable- we recently sold a broken early 1950's Porsche 356 radio for a couple hundred $, which ain't bad), but most of it is just crap. The guys at the TV show "American Pickers" would probably be very disappointed and go home in shame.

But really , the cool stuff could probably only fill up one room, not the two-story garage, or the two other garages built afterwards. Or the fenced in area years ago that held about 15 rusty VW's. Or all the attics of all the buildings filled with all sorts of stuff.

So yeah, "Tetanus Burger". Well, take two mosquito-breeding tires for the buns, perhaps a rusted out gas tank for the meat, some green carpet scraps that have been sitting outside for 40 years for the lettuce, a piece of garish 60's yellow linoleum for the cheese, and maybe some aluminum trim rings for the onions, and voila! Would you like a side order of termite-infested fence pickets as french fries? How bout a 55 gallon drum of parts cleaner to wash that down with? (or maybe a 55 gallon drum filled with broken glass).

So let the photos begin. Where to start? Perhaps we need to take the way-back machine back about 10 or 15 years to see this place at the height of it's clutter...



flameonglass said...

>Our dad would bring things home from the town dump, and then invent a use for them. And then forget about them.<
Classic, pathetic, justifying behavior. Thanks so much for putting this into clear language.

PandaPrincess said...

"Tetanus Burger" had us rolling around on the ground in laughter (until we cut ourselves on some rusty piece of rust embedded in the ground and had to stop).

I laughed so hard when I read this statement!
My in-laws yard is JUST like that! You'll find pieces of metal, plastic, old rusty nails, bolts, chunks of unidentifiable nonsense coming up OUT OF THE GROUND (from a place you were certain was just grass). I have gotten so many unexpected cuts, scratches, bruises, etc. from working in their backyard ...it plays out like an episode of The Three Stooges just trying accomplished one simple task because there's so much accumulated junk back there. Oh. My. God. It's bad.
I wouldn't be surprised to know they've found Jimmy Hoffa and Elvis back there some day!!