Tuesday, August 01, 2006


This morning Mom had the rummage bug. Being that it's 100+ degrees outside with 200% humidity, there's not much else to do except wander around the centrally air-conditioned house. She's looking to get a new wall of sliding glass doors and fancy windows installed in the dining room. In order for this to happen however, the mountains of boxes and crap must be removed from the existing wall.

Most of the stuff was my aunt's. We cleaned out her apartment after she died (the apartment which I now occupy) and threw out lots of stuff. And saved even more than we threw out. Among the saved stuff were five boxes of vinyls that we didn't know where to put, but also couldn't bring ourselves to throw out. I suggested the basement. It's a veritable graveyard of stuff we don't know what to do with.

I decided to brave the heat for a little while and do some errands. After the dry cleaners and the bank, I headed to the post office to buy stamps. Apparently the rest of New Jersey decided to go to the same post office at the same time. I thought, "Screw this - I'm not waiting behind 50 people to buy stamps. I've got better things to do."

Sadly, I realized I had absolutely nothing better to do, so I may as well just stand there. Besides, it's air-conditioned in the post office, and you can do some top-notch people-watching. I like to imagine what these random people's lives are like - careers, family lives.

The guy ahead of me, for instance, was totally an eBay dealer. He had three crates of records and CDs, wrapped in brown paper, waiting to be mailed. Judging by his Skynyrd t-shirt and scruffy appearance, it was probably his one source of income, which afforded him a comfortable residency in his parents' basement. (Yeah yeah - glass houses...)

Behind me was an ancient little man who kept asking everyone who came in if it was "Hot enough for ya?" He told me he was finally getting around to mailing in his tax forms. "But don't worry, I got an extension." Whew!

Then there was a woman a few people ahead of me who had one of those Oozinator water guns - the package of which she was voraciously tearing apart. She looked like a five year-old on Christmas morning, ripping the cardboard off in pieces, and feverishly yanking at the plastic ties which held it in place. I looked around and noticed that most of the people in line were watching her, trying to figure out what the hell she was doing.

"You know, those things kind of twist off," eBay Guy offered.
"Yeah. I'm trying to get this open so I can mail it," Oozinator replied.
"She's gonna mail it like that?" asked Ancient Taxes.
"No idea," I replied.
"Ya know, if you're mailing that you should probably leave it in the box," eBay Guy suggested.
"Hey - do you happen to collect records too?" I asked eBay Guy. What the hell - as long as we were all friends now.
"Yeah. Is this lady retarded or what?"
"Clearly. So I have like five boxes of records to get rid of. Do you want them?"
"Yeah sure."

So I gave him the address while Oozinator bought a new box so she could overnight the gun to her 14 year-old daughter at camp.

And an hour later, eBay Guy and his wife showed up in their SUV to pick up my aunt's records. The wife was a booking agent for bands, the husband made profits off of the albums and stuff from the groups. Eh, so I was a little off. They live about half a mile from me, and the wife actually knew a lot of the people on my street. She chatted with Mom while we carted out the records, and we all lived happily ever after.


1 comment:

normiekins said...

running through blogs...fell upon yours....reading some of your archives now....really nice.

airports and post offices are the best places for people watching, story telling !!!!