One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

I am a minimalist at heart. A happy minimalist. If I were to live alone, I would have ten possessions. Those ten possessions would be… no particular order……

  1. TV
  2. Bed
  3. Shower
  4. Laptop
  5. Whisky glass
  6. Whisky
  7. Pyjamas
  8. Bicycle
  9. Meditation cushion
  10. Spectacles

I think I could function perfectly happily with no more than the above ten carefully selected items. Other people may take issue with items missing, or indeed selected, however, it’s MY minimalist and I’m alright Jack.

Problem is, I do not live alone.
No I do not. I live with three other human beings and a cat. My problem is that the sum of our combined possessions is exactly equal to the sum of the content of six houses, each inhabited by a family of four, hoarders. I say my problem because my wife is perfectly content with the amount that we possess and gets visibly aggrieved when I raise the issue. Ergo tonight, unless I quickly change tack, I sleep alone.

My Stepfather (who shall hereby be referred to as S.P) has developed a curious habit (for curious read annoying, for habit read he won’t stop ********* doing it). It’s a predilection of a gentleman of his generation and is borne from the desire to be equal parts: thrifty, inventive and thoughtful. Add to the afore mentioned trio of admirable qualities, the fact that he is a retired professional and therefore is simultaneously  bored to tears and infuriating in his ability to get under my mother’s feet and the scene is set. The dye is cast and the wheels are well and truly in motion to bring S.P’s infuriating hobby to life. (If you are over 60 years of age please do not read on.  I do not wish to induct you into such annoyances. I wish to spare your families).

S.P has taken to removing discarded rubbish from my house, taking it to his house, ‘fashioning it’ into something else……AND THEN BRINGING IT BACK TO MY HOUSE.

Exposition – Two years ago I dismantled an old futon and stacked the wooden slats to take to the rubbish tip. After being chastised for ‘wasting good wood’, I helped S.P load it into the back of his car, and thought nothing else of it. Indeed as I waved him goodbye and watched him drive off into the sunset, I had no idea of the hell I had just unleashed upon myself and my already packed to the rafters abode.Since that fateful day two years ago I have, in dribs and drabs over many visits, taken receipt of a fleet of: battle ships, tug boats, ocean liners and speed boats. All made out of  ex-futon. All on behalf of my son. But I can not give them to my son because, and I quote (ish)

“There are too many small parts that could blind or choke him to death. Best not give them to him until he’s 10”.

SO for the next SEVEN AND A HALF YEARS, I have to store all the flaming wood I wanted to throw away two years ago to make space in my house, IN MY HOUSE. The only difference is, the wood is now ******* lethal and could wipe out my entire off-spring with one single maiden voyage. Result – my attic is now full of futon wood shaped like ships of all varieties.

Don’t misunderstand, SP is a good man. An honourable man, and if he were still with us today, he would smile at this post.  He’s not dead, he’s just left after a two day visit. Left with our last used toilet seat under his arm which would apparently, and I quote:

‘make a good skateboard this – I’ve got some old sofa castors knocking about’.


©2012 Man in his pyjamas. All rights reserved.


  1. Anonymous

    No, I think Joey could be put in place at No5, Who needs a whiskey glass before a bottle of whiskey? :)

  2. S.P

    I AM NOT OFFENDED BY THAT RUDE AND UNGRATEFUL DIATRIBE ABOUT ALL THE EFFORT I PUT IN TO CREATING TOYS FOR YOUR FIRSTBORN…. the fact that I sometimes like to hide in the garage to get some time away from your mother is hardly relevant. In fact, following our conversation to-day I have made the decision to have a portrait made of your mother and I, and shall have it framed in the toilet seat so that you can hang it in your bathroom to either entertain or frighten any guests who may wish to make use of your facilities in the future. And not only that, it will be my Christmas present to you all.

    My niece gave me a tin for my birthday. The tin is adorned with the legend 'MAN TIN' for all the useless stuff that men regard as worth keeping. It's full of bits of rubbish, items plucked from the gutter,skips etc and bits of other things that have been dismantled prior to being thrown away. Eventually this will be transformed into a harbour for all the ships I've already created and,when I've collected enough scrap timber, a miniature cricket pavillion. I have in mind a wooden dolls house as well but I think I could actually manage a kind of American style sky scraper. The trouble is making all the furniture out of match sticks.

    ANYWAY, I have now got it off my chest and feel better for it now.


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