There are many lessons to be from Sandy. The most obvious one: we all have too much crap. Or at least we did. If your basement or first floor got flooded you had to haul stuff to the curb that should’ve been put there years earlier. Ice skates that nobody ever wore. Kid’s school books you didn’t throw out and kept for absolutely no reason. Were we supposed to feel nostalgic about a third grade language arts workbook? All those clothes you hoped to fit back into. The trouble is even if you dropped the necessary weight you’d be putting on outfits that were going of style in 1989. We found joysticks and cables from, I don’t know, Space Invaders or Atari Pong. Floppy discs, I mean the really floppy ones that looked like square 45 records floated past me on my way to salvage a Summer Classic long sleeved tshirt with a stubble torn collar and historic underarm stains. That, I had to save.
I threw out boxes that I kept just to keep “stuff” in. Ticket stubs from a meaningless Yankee game, a broken kid’s basketball trophy with the descriptive plate missing. A Halloween wig, a catcher’s mask, part of a science project, a Trivial Pursuit box with half the cards missing. Crap. Mold wasn’t the problem, crap was.
A lot of us lost important files and papers. Passports and licenses have to be replaced. Diplomas, wills, insurance (don’t get me started) policies. But what about those other files? You know, those owner manuals and warranty booklets of stuff you no longer own? Take a look. You really don’t need an owner’s manual for a Whirpool fridge if you’ve now got a GE model in your kitchen.
You will hear a lot about resiliency in the coming months. How we have to make our community more resilient. How we can bounce back faster from disaster. Well, here’s resilience tip number one: Stop what you’re doing. Just stop. Stop collecting crap. And for starters, throw out this column as soon as possible.
Heard On The Boardwalk (at least that’s what I used to call this section): You know things are different in Breezy when last call is at 6 o’clock at the Blarney.