So I finally did it. I took a deep breath and got to cleaning. No not the refrigerator (I simply shoved another sacrificial stray dog into it to appease whatever that thing is that growls at me from the vegetable bin) I am talking about my wallet. My wallet gets used for everything: filing system, phone directory, scheduler, and door stop basically everything but money. The impetus for this domestic undertaking was that I walked up to the CVS close to my house to get a drink. You guessed it a root beer.
I am not saying that my journey was undertaken in adverse weather conditions, but my shoes melted and the soles of my feet are now fused to my knees. In these conditions it is best to travel light. Recently my wallet has grown so heavy that it has begun to pull the left rear pocket out of my pants. It is so heavy that it forces my spine out of alignment. I have taken to carrying the engine block from the neighbor’s dump truck in my right rear pocket just to even things out. (Let me tell you he was mad when I decided to stop at the hospital to see a friend of mine who had just had surgery – who would have known that a construction contractor would need his dump truck on a Tuesday morning. I mean what ever happened to a wheelbarrow?)
At the counter I was asked for the thing every cashier wants these days – my (insert cute store name here) card. The little card that says you are allowed to have 3 cents off a can of Geisha mushrooms (yes an actual brand of mushrooms I found at CVS I was tempted to open one and see if a scantily clad mushroom woman popped out). The ensuing avalanche of bonus/discount/loyalty/makeyouthinkyouaregettingadeal cards (spell check just had an aneurysm), receipts, coupons, illegible phone numbers, decomposed business cards, forgotten appointment reminders, old prescriptions, and a half-eaten bologna sandwich nearly wiped out the camera display. So after stuffing it all back in and ferreting (yes I keep an actual ferret in my wallet) out the appropriate card (yes, it probably would have made more sense to look for it when it was all dumped out in the floor, but a little old lady had stopped screaming for help). (Now grammar check just stroked out.) I handed the card to the woman.
At my apartment I dumped the whole mess into the floor (and man is my neighbor mad about the wall) and began to sort through it. First came the receipts, notes, and business cards. I think I had a receipt for everything I have purchased in the last 75 years (and I am only 35) stuffed between the chunks of cow flesh that I have been lugging around. I found receipts for things that I have no idea what they are – like the receipt from Big-Lots for chemicals. (I am going to have to check around and see if I have a laboratory stashed in a drawer somewhere. Who knows, I may have discovered the cure for forgetfulness and… umm…what was I saying? Why hello pretty lady what a lovely shirt you are wearing today.) I found a receipt for all three of my kids. (If I could have found one for my ex-wife I would have tried to return her for a refund. I am sure that they wouldn’t have wanted her back either.) I found business cards for businesses that no longer exist. (Or possibly don’t exist yet. I think my wallet has an ability to influence space and time. I put money into the empty space and when it comes time to get it out it is gone.) Nearly all of the phone number have no name associated with them so I am either going to have to call the entire eastern seaboard to figure out who they belong to, or trash them all. The appointments have all been missed or rescheduled anyway so they got trashed. And I can’t remember what all the reminders were for so I stuffed them into a drawer. (Quite possibly the one containing the laboratory.) The coupons are all expires because when a cashier asks if I have one my Pavlovian response is, “no”. (That is until I get home and the wad of coupons falls on my foot causing me to have to hobble across the road to the hospital. (Which prompts more paperwork to stuff into my wallet. (I wonder how many parenthisis I can use in this one sentence. (My computer is liable to suck me in (like Tron) and give me a good thrashing for this (which would be funny (and I might find that part of my book that got lost (because I save things under titles and then forget what I called them and where I saved them (which is irritating (and causes me to think bad words (OK that last one was superfluous (how often do you get to use a word like that (I like big words (they sound neat))))))))))))). (13) (Grammar and spell check just cried out from their graves.) I unearthed enough paper products to recreate a Sequoia tree (leaves and all), any two works by Russian authors (they all weigh about 85 pounds don’t they?), a fully detailed 1/20 scale model aircraft carrier complete with a squadron of tiny paper airplanes (highly detailed paper airplanes), and three rolls of Charman Ultra.
Next I moved on to the makeyouthinkyouaregettingadeal cards. (At first I was going to build a house out of them but then I would have had to have zoning hearings and get building permits – plus I don’t have a coupon for glue.) ( I used to have bank cards and credit cards but the ex got those in the divorce – I just got the bills.) I have cards for stores that went out of business with the dinosaurs. I think I am going to invite all my friends over and have a makeyouthinkyouaregettingadeal card poker game. (I’ll see your Bi-Lo and raise you a Books-a-Million (BAM is consequently the only card I have which I had to pay for and which is currently expired (OK I suppose those cards for the out of business stores are technically expired too (let’s not get into the whole parenthesis marathon again.)))) I wonder how many forests of plastics they had to chop down to make all these cards. Somewhere a whole plastic ecosystem has been destroyed so we can save a penny on artichoke hearts. (Which will just get fed to the vegetable bin monster let’s face it no real human ever ate those things and lived to tell about it.) I even found a PetSmart card (which I got three days before my cat decided to take up residence in Kookamunga (either that or I left the refrigerator door open the monster got her.)
Once the paper and plastics were cleaned up and organized all that was left was lint. I am using that to knit a sweater – for the neighbor’s dump truck.