Beginning of the Road

Published April 22, 1996

By D.C. Sorensen


            Every home has at least one.  No, I don’t mean a TV or anything else of the Twentieth Century.  I refer to the household junk drawer.  Most of the time it is in the kitchen.  Sometimes it is in the basement.  Some folks have his and her junk drawers.

            Junk drawers are places where  you put stuff that you can either need to use all the time or will never need in a million years.  An example of stuff in constant use is: glue, that old screwdriver, rubber bands, used twist ties and the ever popular duct tape.  These are the things that are your first line of defense to keep the household going.  Most of the toilets would not work in Ely, if it were not for those items I just listed.

            Then there is the stuff you never wanted.  How it got into the household is usually a mystery.  Most of the stuff in this category was smuggled in with the purchase of new furniture or clothes. 

            Confess!  How many of you keep those extra buttons you get with a new suit or coat in your junk drawer?  If you have kidlets, chances are you have buttons going back to outfits that have long since been sold at your garage sales.  If you have a good memory, you can probably recall every outfit those buttons belonged to.  Of course, if you ever lose a button, it will most definitely belong to an outfit that did not come with a little envelope of spare buttons.  It’s odd, but quality clothing usually gives you spare buttons and the cheap clothes with poorly sewn buttons never come with any spares.  You’d think it would be the other way around. 

            I still keep those extra buttons as a very cheap insurance policy.  If I keep the buttons, I will never have to use them.  If I dared to throw out the spare buttons, it would not be long before the other buttons would drop off to go searching for their lost brethren.  Besides, there is always the very long chance that you could use a spare button for another outfit that did not come with any spares.

            The items that I really hate are the extra items you get with those “put it together yourself” Bookcases or TV Entertainment Center.  Kids toys are another Commie plot to fill you junk drawers with junk.  How many of you have extra dowels, screws, plastic clips, washers, leg caps, spacers, special tools and allen wrenches?  If you need any pieces for Barbie’s Playhouse, Castle, Beauty Parlor or Corvette, give me a call.

            Let’s face it, we all dare not toss out any of it.  Not that you could ever pick out the right plastic part when you would need it, anyway.  No, it is usually a plastic gizmo that was not one of the extra parts.  I really think it comes down to a plot by manufacturers of passing on to us their surplus inventory.  It’s like the wieners in ten packs and buns in 12 pack conspiracy.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to include a couple more wieners in case you burn several on the grill?

            Someday, I would like to see the City of Ely declare an amnesty day that would allow all of us the chance to empty our drawers for recycling.  It could be on the same day they take old paint and household chemicals.  Just think of what you could do with an extra drawer!  Why, you could put your unmatched socks in it.


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