Ah, hoarding. The excessive acquisition of items, and the inability to discard them. I’ve seen that “reality show” on A&E and while some of you may find entertainment value in these people who are desperate enough for fame that they’ll allow cameras to document their squalor, and sit idly by as their family and friends besmirch their reputations and community standing, others look on with sympathy, seeing the human tragedy and emotional neglect amid the rubble of these people’s lives. I tend to empathize with the show subjects…does that make me one of them?
You might be a hoarder if you look at the clinical definitions of pathological hoarding or disposophobia and defensively argue in favor of the term “collector with purpose.” While my buddies the Collyer brothers and I would tend to think our shared behaviors more in line with the eco-friendly mantra of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, I think we all know that deep down inside most serious inline skating enthusiasts, this twisted psychological disorder claims a small part of us all. One look at my skate bench tells my story. Why is it that I can’t seem to part with that 100mm wheel that’s been chewed down to 76mm? HA! Because it will come in handy some day, I just know it.
As I sit here looking at my skate bench, waiting for the A&E film crew to come in and hand me a big ‘ol slice of public humiliation pie, I decide I’m going to take the first step and inventory my accruement. When the hazmat team comes to dig me out, here’s a sampling of what they’ll find in my little corner of the garage…NOTE: this picture was taken in May, 2010. The bench is now much worse than this, but I’m too ashamed to show it:
I’ve got everything exactly where I want it:
A. SpeedyWeezy’s first “speed” skates – a pair of adjustable kids rec Rollerblades with the cuffs cut off.
He actually did pretty well on these for a month before we ordered his first pair of Luigino Mini-Challenge. We’ve been saving these in case he becomes the next Joey Mantia, because surely The National Museum of Rollerskating is going to want these for the permanent display.
B. My first pair of Rollerblade Lightning 10 fitness boots. I’d just popped off the buckle to use on my buddy John’s pair of Powerslides pictured here on the bench. The liners for the Lightnings have been used to make a pair of boots I use on my slideboard.
C. Mailing label with Stephen Charrier’s home address so I don’t forget to send him a Christmas card.
D. The Black & Decker heat gun I used to put a hurting on…
D1. …a brand-spanking-new pair of CadoMotus Pro110 boots, now with nasty burns on the inside lining of the left skate.
E. A foam earplug used to make ear-candy bud covers. (Do you know what that means?)
F. Set of Buck Bearings I used to become First Loser in Duluth in 2009 (I think they’re still there, rusted to the table.)
G. 2nd Gen iPod 8GB Mini that I used as the soundtrack to my skating for 4 years. Needs a new battery, works when it’s plugged in so I can’t throw it out. Worth -$10 on Gazelle.com.
H. One of Jondon Trevena’s Rollerblade Lightning race skates – 5 x 80mm set up, all plastic frames, all leather upper, zero support. He actually won races on these things, he thinks he even wore them on MTV back in the day. Yowza!
I. eZeeFit Slider Gloves – they’re just sweet.
J. Bowl of miscellany (stripped axles & mounting screws, cut washers, credit card shims, small screws, all crap. But you know…useful crap.)
What my camera missed, but the A&E crew would find…the boxes of used wheels, bowls full of beat bearings, 4 or 5 empty skate boxes, 1/4 full bottles of lube and WD-40, old pairs of protective pads, 1/2 gone boxes of fabric softener, full box of industrial latex gloves, open tube of synthetic axle grease, 16 98mm scooter wheels with bearings rusted firmly in place, cut pylons, instruction manuals and spare Allen wrenches from every new pair of skates I’ve ever acquired, 6 or 7 heel-break assemblies, a set of wheels with disc breaks built into the axles, wheels from my very first pair of fitness boots, old wrist bands, a broken heart rate monitor, two helmet lights, a fanny pack, 2 hydration belts, and holy crap…and a stainless steel coffee pot full of, um, well, it was for those pinch situations when you’ve got your skates on already and can’t go back in the house…we don’t have a floor drain – you figure it out. And all of this is just what’s on or under the table.
Then, there’s the 6 ft. shelf…
The shelf is actually a place where I’ve made a little progress since May, in that I rearranged some crap and actually got rid of 1 pair of skates…
Then there are all of these pads, which I’m saving on the bottom shelf for some poor little field mouse who’s going to want a warm place to live this winter…
So in surveying all of this, I think I counted 13 or 14 pairs of skates out there. Some belong to my family, but yes, most are mine. Imelda Marcos ain’t got nothing on me. I’ve got a deeper selection than Zappos. And I can’t ignore all of the frames, cracked helmets and old Ezee Fits out there too. There could be a Yeti living out there in the corner for all I know. It’s a complete disaster.
In May, the lead in to this post was: “I swear, this bench was completely cleaned off two weeks ago…” And it was man. And it was my intention to keep it clean so I could have a place to hang out. But that didn’t happen. With each passing day I was more interested in gearing up and heading out. I’d just keep the important stuff (CadoMotus torquing Allen wrench, indoor & outdoor wheels, Garmin Forerunner) in my skate bag, dump the garbage or unnecessary accessories on the bench and go on my way.
The junk really started piling up once I got my Pro M1’s. These skates don’t live in the wilderness of the skate wasteland I’ve documented here. No sir, they stay in the house, in my ventilated skate bag, with charcoal Stunkies, in my climate controlled closet. Once I got these it’s like nothing else mattered. I didn’t really have time for any of this stuff I’d been “collecting.” And now it all just sits there, a living monument to my mental illness.
What does all of this say about me? That I’m lazy? That I’m a slob? Probably both. But I’ve definitely got a bit of that hoarding gene, and I know I need to shed some gear, toss some crap and get in touch with Dr. Phil. And when he asks me how it’s workin’ for me, I’ll tell that snide bastard to go to hell, cause you never know when your extra junk is going to come in handy and help your kid with his “simple machine” project.
But seriously, I can’t even find a good way to close this post out…it’s embarrassing. WTF is that all about? Look for some gear to be posted to Nett Racing’s used board soon…maybe. I’m not sure. Ah, I should probably just keep it. You never know…