Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ax Man... for the "Connoisseur of Crap"

One of the hallmarks of cat ladies is their propensity to have rather cluttered homes. Most people wonder how one person can amass so much crap. I always use the excuse that it's because my parents grew up during The Depression, when people saved everything. Nothing went to waste, whether it be food, clothing, string, tin foil or other weird shit. As a child, I was constantly admonished to "clean up my plate" because of the poor, starving children in other obscure parts of the world and because I didn't appreciate what it was like to grow up in The Depression when food was scarce. Like all self respecting children, I offered to box up the lima beans and liver and send them off to those poor, starving children (because I'm generous like that.) And like all children who offer that suggestion, I sat at the table until the lima beans and liver were finally choked down. (To this day, food that enters my home is not discarded until long after it's utility as a science experiment has been thoroughly exhausted.)

Little, if anything, was ever thrown out around our house... for example, clothes that were too small were handed down to the younger siblings, regardless of gender. (I think my brother looked very fetching in the dresses we gave him.) So I learned to save everything. My house is packed to the rafters with clothes I will never wear again and furniture I might need "someday". Vlad's baby clothes will certainly still be in style when (and if) he ever has children and he'll need the old towels and linens for his first apartment.

And then I became a teacher... where there are always dioramas to be made, submarines and spaceships to fashion out of cardboard and holiday gifts to make for parents. Plus, there's the equipment for assorted science experiments as well as costumes and props for plays. Which, of course, necessitate a variety of weird "stuff".

Now, anyone can accumulate a variety of weird "stuff" through daily living. But if you want to become a "connoisseur of crap" like me, you must go to Ax Man.


My sister introduced us to Ax Man when we visited her in Minneapolis. Talk about a place to "discover the useful and unique!" This is it! It's chock full of all sorts of "stuff". Need a gas mask? A weather balloon? An iron lung? A haz-mat suit? They've got it. (Although, they say the iron lung is not actually for sale, which is very disappointing as it would have made a great "time out" space for recalcitrant children.) They even have stylish displays of creative ways to use the "stuff". But you have to look in all the nooks and crannies to find the real treasures...

(Actual picture of the interior of Ax Man.)

Trips to Ax Man became a requirement of all future visits to the Twin Cities. Half of my dinnerware came from Ax Man... leftover plastic dishes and trays from the days when airlines still served food. (I know... ancient history.)


And how about this gem...

It's not everyone who can pull the glass from stop lights out of her attic. As they say... you never know when a stop light might come in handy... like in pretend space ships.

Then there are the kazillion film canisters... great for alka-seltzer rockets.

Terrarium globes... perfect for the portholes in cardboard submarines.

Assorted colored wires, casters, the balls from inside a computer mouse, bright yellow haz-mat-banana-hats, caution tape, body parts from mannequins, wooden bowling pins, disembodied doll heads, wooden shoe lasts.... the list goes on and on.

You can see where I'm going with this, can't you? I have to keep all this stuff. It's just far too cool to throw out. Although, I confess, with all the crap in my attic and basement it does become a bit tricky to locate a particular item at any given moment. But that's beside the point. The important thing is to keep everything! Because....

"You never know when you might need it."

And hence, a cat lady is born.

11 comments:

Scott Free said...

I can see you in your trash can now, Cat Lady, looking like Oscar the Grouch. But obviously I've been sitting and watching too many Sesame street episodes with my little sister lately. :S
This was a hilarious post. Keep up the good work.

Scott

Lisa/Jedi and Brendan! said...

And when you can't get to the Twin Cities, you can always do the virtual thing at American Science & Surplus (or peruse their amusing little catalogues...). I do wish I could visit AxMan, though... hmmm... we may be out that way next summer... hmmmmmmm.....!

Anya said...

A Catlady
and no Cats
sounds very funny =^.^=
bdw Nice to meet you...

Quirkyloon said...

So what do you call a man who hoards?

I am the catman!
I am the walrus!
Koo koo ka choo!

hee hee

CatLadyLarew said...

Scotty... I confess I'm a dumpster diver from way back! I found some of my best furniture on garbage days.

Lisa/Jedi and Brendan... American Science & Surplus? I bet they have some things I don't have yet! Perfect for the Connoisseur of Crap!

Anya... thanks for stopping by! Come again anytime... there's still plenty of room for everyone!

Quirky: Koo koo ka choo! hee hee!

Nanodance said...

Hey! Those stoplight covers did come in handy in that space ship that I made!

IndigoWrath said...

Got any use for this musical barometer?

Meow! said...

Maybe you could open up an Ax-Man east coast franchise? Or Ax-Cat has a nice ring to it. Imagine the logo possibilities!

CatLadyLarew said...

Nanodance... Maybe I should send my resume to NASA.

Indigo... Musical barometer! I could use one of those!

Meow... Ax Cat! How brilliant! How inspired! I love it!

Kim said...

I'm a packrat myself, which is why my house is always cluttered no matter how much I clean (which, okay, is not all that much). Ever watched one of those shows about hoarders? At least I'm not THAT bad.

CatLadyLarew said...

Kim... They have shows about hoarders? (I thought they were saying whores.) Oh, goody, goody! I can make my relatives watch one of those shows to prove to them I'm not nearly as pathetic as they think I am.

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