Exploring what life could be like if we weren’t buried in clutter, burdened with too many possessions, and surrounded by chaos.

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Packrat motives

December 22nd, 2012 · 6 Comments · Excess of Possessions, Multiple use, The Packrat Mind

Here’s a perfect example of the kind of thing I save. I mean look at this! It snaps apart and back together. It came on a carrot peeler, holding the merchandise tag onto the product. Does it not look like the most useful thing in the world? It could easily be made into a little set of wheels for a mouse that had no back legs.

At this point my mind spins off into a whole story about what if I had such a mouse as a pet. Of course I have to fill in the back story about how the mouse ended up in this condition. Did it have mouse diabetes and have to have its legs amputated? Was he the test animal in some cruel lab experiment? And if so, what’s the dramatic and riveting story on how I rescued him from that lab?

Then there’d be the story on how I ingeniously outfitted him with the set of wheels to take the place of his back legs. He would love those little wheels, and he’d be so grateful. He’d come to me every morning, dragging himself along by his front legs and look up at me beseechingly as I’m typing away, and wait for me to put them on him. Then he’d scamper off at twice the speed of all the other mice…. happier than he’d ever been.

Other mice? Well yes, of course I’d probably have to get him some little playmates. But would friends still like me if I had mice running freely around my house? Or would they relegate me to the hoarder category and begin to pull away?

Whew! There sure is a lot to consider about such a scenario! I’d certainly have to be prepared to deal with the myriad issues that the simple act of saving this plastic bauble could bring up…

This is how my mind works, all day long, and this is why I’ll probably never accomplish anything noteworthy. This is also why I didn’t take drugs in college. My goal has always been to find ways to feel like I’m not already on drugs. And lastly, this is why I have so much junk.

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Toni

    White lab mouse or cute brown field mouse, or one of those singing mice that I just read about? Would they get up a little mouse choir to sing to you? BTW, you’d have to pad his wheels to avoid the clatter as he ran round by the walls. And would he be able to get into his mouse hole? I can see it would take a lot of thought … Is this junk, or inspiration for a good story?

    • Kate Gawf

      hmm, white lab or brown field mouse? Another decision I’d have to make to fill out the story. Mouse choir? No, I think I’d have to have taken LSD for that. And no, I wouldn’t pad the wheels because I’d want to be able to hear where he was. As for the entrance to the mouse hole, I’d have to have it widened to ADA standards. Yes, I too can see this turning into a full-on novel. Don’t encourage me. I have a hard enough time getting rid of anything as it is. Merry Christmas!

      • Toni

        Couldn’t you toss the junk but keep the stories? They would take up an awful lot less room. Or you could give away the stories too if you felt like it. I suspect it might be easier than giving away clutter … stories find their own good homes and have the advantage of going to more than one. I’m certainly happy about the new mouse in my life. Hypoallergenic, dust-free, and charming. By the way, the singing mice are real, not seasonal cheer:

        Merry Christmas.

        • Kate Gawf

          yeah but I can’t toss the junk UNTIL I get their stories down. That’s exactly the problem. I did not know about the new mouse in your life. Is it as cute as the lizard you used to feed out of a bottle cap? I doubt it’s hypoallergenic or dust free, unless you’re talking about a ceramic mouse. I read the article about the singing mice — to which I can only say: “Wow.”

          • Toni

            Oops. No, my “new mouse” is neither real nor ceramic … it’s your imaginary wheeled guy! I was just trying to make the point (badly, it would seem) that stories make great low-maintenance gifts. But I see your problem. Does it have to be a complete and final story before you can toss, or would a picture and a few sentences be enough to keep the inspiration alive for the future?

          • Kate Gawf

            Wow, I gave you the gift of a mouse without even realizing it! My writing is more effective than I dared dream! Your photo idea — I’ve done this, actually. Taken photos of things I gave away, hoping the photo alone would be enough to conjure up the memories that go with it. Although some things, like these wheels, you’d have to have the actual object in your hands to thoroughly explore the possibilities. I think it’s a good strategy though, especially for bigger things — I plan to write about it in this blog at some point. I need to organize my photos better so I’ll be more likely to browse through them once in a while. They’re just like junk — you have to know how to find them.

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