Junk Pathology

I’m a junkie. Dunno what makes me this way, but I accumulate junk.

I spent the better part of Memorial Day working on my junk. Specifically, I have a collection of old toilets and parts thereof in my back yard. I call it Old Time Pottery. My wife calls it grounds for divorce. I spent a few hours cleaning the pots up, making a detailed inventory, and finding a place in our storage building to house them in an organized fashion. When I need a certain item that is otherwise extinct, I draw from my stockpile. I sell it for a good profit and the customer benefits because he avoids the cost of a new item and, often, the associated labor. For instance, replacing a tank lid requires much less labor than pulling an entire toilet and replacing it. That’s the beauty of junk.

Of course, it’s not all that beautiful sitting in the back yard with weeds growing around it. Hence my Memorial Day Inventory. Now that the pottery is ensconced in its fortifications, the yard looks much better. My wife is only mildly palliated, but that’s still progress.

Yesterday, having worked on plumbing jobs until past suppertime and having then mowed the grass, I drew out an old faucet I’d pulled from a remodeling job last year. It was a good old faucet that the customer wanted to replace, so I had saved it in my faucet collection. (I have about ten or fifteen.) I cleaned it up last night, replaced nearly everything in it, and bagged it nicely for this morning’s 9:00 customer. I got to bed at about 11:00 last night, but I was proud of myself because I had reclaimed a fine old faucet, I’d sell it for a profit of about $35, the customer would save about $40

After an hour or two of struggle this morning, I had the new/old faucet installed. As I was putting it through its paces before leaving, I found that it was leaking internally. It was, in other words, no good. I pulled it and installed another rebuilt faucet in its place. Total time on the job: three hours.

What does a rational person do after a faucet disappoints him like that? He throws it away and says, “Bad faucet: I spent a lot of time preparing you and a lot of time installing you and and it was all a waste because you have a flaw internally. I never want to see you again and I’m not going to invest my time in junk any more!”

But we’re not dealing with a rational person here; we’re dealing with a junkie. As soon as I can get around to it, I will take that faucet apart so far as is possible and I will take a torch and repair that internal flaw.

No, I can’t get rich this way. But I can be happier than any rich person I know. In fact, I am!

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