August 4th, 2003


Greetings from Methopotamia

My house was occupied by renters before I bought it and moved in. By the time I looked at it, they'd moved out, but some signs remained that said "non-homeowners lived here". Like the dozens of inked phone numbers on the basement wall, right next to the (also written in ink) scores next to the dart board, the graffiti clashing in an ugly symphony of sloth. There were also indications that they belonged to that coveted Coors and NASCAR demographic: in the basement alone, I found stickers on the walls promoting Jagermeister and the "Hard rock Cafe", a "Ford" baseball cap, and several matchbox cars (this in a house with no children, mind you). When Ivan and I work in the garden, we constantly find half-buried bottle caps, suggesting they just threw them in the yard whenever they had bottled beer, and that large quantities were consumed in the year they lived there.

They also left some stuff in the garage, including something that's basically a bulky endtable cabinet, but will work fine for storage. I decided to wipe the dust off it yesterday and store some tools in it, and after clearing out a few loose screws and nails, I found these stuck to the shelf in the very back:


Note the small size of these ziploc bags. In my mind, there are only a few things small (and yet valuable) enough to need protecting in a bag; collectible coins or stamps would be the "benefit of the doubt" assessment. But you know, unless someone was a real bad-ass philatelist, it seems unlikely they'd keep their walking around stamps in bags imprinted with devil heads or spades. The fact that they were stuck on the shelf is also damning- I'd think you'd store your stamps somewhere less prone to damage.

My guess is that they cleaned this cabinet out when they moved out, but didn't feel in the back and notice the bags stuck there. For whatever reason they were saving these (believe me, they looked too used to repackage anything saleable in), they must have forgotten about them when they cleaned up and didn't miss them.

Makes me wonder what other garage treasures await my discovery...
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ironic nomenclature

There are two supermarkets in our neighborhood. The Safeway is a farther away, but has better prices and more "staples". The Thriftway is a more upscale market with all kinds of gourmet foods and fewer specials, but it's at least 20 blocks closer than the Safeway. Ivan summed it up, "The Safeway is thriftier, but the Thriftway is closer".

So Saturday night, we needed some dinner fixins. We decided to go to Safeway since we figured we'd be getting more than 10 items, thus justifying the trip out to the Safeway.

After spending our $50 on groceries for the next several days and returning to the parking lot, Ivan asked me if that dent had always been in my car. It had not, and in fact, had not been there when I last got into my car to drive home from work 3 hours before we went grocery shopping.

If indeed we could have prevented this by choosing to patronize the other grocery, we could then posit that while the Safeway is thriftier, the Thriftway may in fact be safer.
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