Saturday, November 28, 2009

Theory of Junk

I began developing my Junk Theory as a teenager, when I accompanied my Dad and younger brother up to the Kilgore area so Dad could find some rocks. He wanted rocks. Lots of rocks. Lots of big rocks. We had a new house and we had some landscaping to do. So we drove the old '48 Ford up to Kilgore where rocks, big rocks, abound. We loaded up at least a ton of rocks, fifty to seventy-five pounds at a time.

As we arranged them around the property, my Junk Theory came to mind:

The value of one's property increases not with the monetary, sentimental or functional value of the items therein, but by the sheer weight of the items thereon.

It certainly held true in Dad's case. In addition to the rocks, we had at least a hundred pounds of random nails, screws and bolts in various buckets and boxes in the garage, a bevy of articles ranging from skis to beds stored in the attic above the garage and behind it, a defunct mortar mixer, a large stack of cinder blocks and other sundry items ranging from a pile of brushwood to a stack of bricks and a pile of dirt with which Dad intended on building an adobe oven.

He was never happier than when he was actively increasing our property's weight, whether it was with a green Cadillac we called the Possum Squasher or any number of trees -- at last count, he had planted about 80 on the property, which covers only a third of an acre.

I realize there is a lot of utility in some of the weight the property bore. He never had to go to the store for a nut, bolt, or screw, for instance.

I've picked up some of his proclivities. I have my own nut, screw and bolt collection, although I have to confess it is much smaller than his. I also have a rather impressive collection of plumbing and electrical parts left over from past projects. Each year we haul in about a ton of firewood, one trailer load at a time. We have about a thousand books on the property. I don't have anything that rivals Dad's collection of rocks, but I've started one. I have scoffed at the lightweight sandstone landscaping rocks the previous family brought in and have been slowly replacing them with much heavier chunks of lava and rounded river rocks. I have also planted five trees which are growing nicely and have the advantage of adding weight to the property both above ground and below. If I could hire dwarves to mine under the house and bring in their collections of lead, I'd do it.

So it is as Sanford and Son said: Blood is Thicker than Junk:

(Note: Fred also cooks like I did as a bachelor. Maybe that's where I got the inspiration.) Yes, I'm sure both Dad and I would put the crusty piece of toast in our pockets. To do otherwise would lessen our property's weight.

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