Notes From The Future: Writers Turned Drivers, A Two Million Dollar Crapper

“Our world is flat, and it wants fulfillment.” So says the preternaturally perceptive author of Up In The Valley, and he is right. We have accidentally stepped through the looking-glass into a world where the value of labor has become almost zero. I’m not just talking about the fact that it’s no longer possible to live a middle-class dream by sacrificing your life to the River Rouge or Lordstown plants; I’m referring to all of the “professions” as well. The average urgent-care physician earns $211,000 a year, which sounds outstanding. Except you have all those loans to repay, and you repay them with post-tax money, so in reality you bring home seven grand a month. A fortune by the standards of the temp laborers and contract hires endlessly peregrinating between WeWorks, but it won’t buy you a decent lifestyle on the coasts.

Maybe not even in Ohio. This is the house in which Bark and I lived for part of our childhoods. My father ran a food brokerage. My mother didn’t work. We had new cars every two years plus an MG in the garage. Dad was just starting to buy Armani suits. Could our imaginary urgent-care doctor buy this house and send two kids to Catholic school, the way my father did? Quickly running the numbers… probably not. Now, if our doctor was married to another doctor, it would be possible. If you had $422k of income a year, you could repay your loans, cover the $2,900 mortgage and the $860 property tax, pay $44k of tuition a year for Columbus Academy, maybe lease a couple of Lexus SUVs, and pray every night that neither one of you stumbles for even a moment. You could work flat-out and save almost nothing so you could live in an Ohio suburb, in a house that, as I recall, contained and probably still supports a solid half-ton’s worth of carpenter-ant biomass at any given time.

This kind of permanently panicky situation, uncomfortable though it might seem, is an unattainable dream for most of us. The Atlantic just published a pretty decent piece by a 57-year-old writer-turned-Amazon-driver. One day he woke up and poof! he’d fallen out of the economy. His wife is a lawyer, but they are still struggling.

It could be worse. You could find human feces outside your front door every twelve days or so. How much would you pay to live in that situation? Don’t bother to guess, I’ll tell you the answer: More than you can afford, pal.

San Francisco, the place where America’s future is designed, has a poop problem. More than seven thousand homeless people are defecating in public on a constant basis. The city is aware of, and tracking, more than 130,000 incidents of street shit. Which means that the actual amount of waste beneath your shoes must be a considerable multiple of that. The last time I was in Portland I encountered human waste on three separate occasions, one of which involved a full-to-bursting 7-Eleven “Big Gulp” cup. I didn’t report any of it. I assume that SanFran is the same. So we are probably talking about over a million deuces dropped in front of some immensely valuable real estate. The Forbes article notes, rather dryly,

Avoid the address 786 Minna Street, as it ranked sixth all-time with nearly 300 events since 2008.

Following a hunch, I brought 786 Minna Street up on Zillow. It’s a condo building. The minimum recorded rent there in the past five years was $3,900 a month — more than our imaginary doctor couple pays to live in my childhood home. The current available rents start at $6,900. The most “affordable” sale there recently? $1.1 million. The Zillow value of the upper apartments? $1.965 million.

So let’s put this in perspective. 300 events of public defecation since 2008 means one every twelve days. About once every other week. There will be human waste in front of your home. Which cost you two million dollars. There will be nothing you can do about it. You will have paid an astronomical sum of money, engaged in a bidding war even, to live in shit. Donald Trump pointed this out; the Brahmins of the New Yorker explained that he was probably a toilet fetishist and that it’s perfectly normal for cities to be covered in human waste. In fact, it’s a mark of how advanced San Francisco is.

There’s a term for this brave new existence, this country where doctors can’t afford homes and capital rules over labor with an iron fist and public defecation is considered to be the very most modern and admirable thing. The term is “Clown World”, and I have to admit that I like it. So much of today’s political discussion, economic stratification, and deliberate cultural suicide seems fit only for a clown world. Unfortunately for me, the term is too dangerous to use. Apparently Clowns Are The Next Racist Symbol, and since a public accusation of racist leanings in 2019 is tantamount to a conviction for racist leanings, and since expressing racism is now a felony, you can rest assured that you will never see the term “Clown World” used here.

What interests me about today’s definitely-not-Clownish-world is that it seems purpose-built to produce permanent economic and social stratification. If you have capital, you are safe; if you bought a row of apartment homes in San Francisco back in 1980 or if you happened to get stock options at Microsoft or if your father worked for Goldman Sachs. The value of your capital is increasing at an exhilarating rate. It would be very difficult for you to fall out of the #Blessed set. You don’t need to worry about being replaced, either, because every possible entrance to your social class has been carefully manipulated to make sure that some hillbilly from West Virginia who happens to be genetically identical to you and therefore capable of equal performance — well, that guy is being force-fed opioids and his Harvard application had been put under a pile of protected-class entrants with 1050 SATs who will never, ever, pose a problem for you. So you’re good.

The people on the other end of the spectrum, the street-shitting homeless and the undocumented healthcare recipients and the tough guys driving unmuffled ’98 Civics right past the LAPD headquarters? They’ve adapted to the system and it works for them. They can flash-mob a BART or drop trou in front of your $1.965 million residence, secure in the knowledge that it’s more hassle to arrest them than it’s worth. Most of them receive some sort of government assistance which incentivizes their behavior.

Think of these two groups, the angel investors and the public defecators, as a pair of jaws crushing the middle class. Only the poor strivers and wannabes like me and Bark and most of my readers really need to worry about the future. We’re the only ones who need to find work in an increasingly fallow ground of professional career opportunities, the only ones who need to squeeze out a mortgage payment in a real estate market inflated to insanity by Chinese money and NINJA loans, the unhappy few who are neither too big to fail nor too poor to sue. We pay most of the taxes, do most of the value-added work, suffer the most from capricious behavior on the part of lawmakers and warmongers. At some point in the next fifty years, we (or our progeny) will have to make a choice. Do we fall into the favelas or do we scheme our way into the Illuminati? I’m told that climate change will make the question moot, that we will all suffer ecological consequences long before the economic tragedies arrive in irresistible force. I’m not so sure. I suspect that if you want a vision of the future, the near future at least, you can just imagine a 57-year-old author delivering Amazon packages. Forever.

60 Replies to “Notes From The Future: Writers Turned Drivers, A Two Million Dollar Crapper”

  1. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    one of which involved a full-to-bursting 7-Eleven “Big Gulp” cup

    Someone has really good aim. At least he/she/xi/it went in a cup an not just on the sidewalk.

    Reply
    • AvatarCarmine

      I imagine its not a really high skill level involved, press the cup against your ass and fill till its all warm……..

      Reply
    • AvatarWoofAck

      Jack – Brilliant piece. You can hang with the best op ed writers no problem. Write a book brother.

      Reply
  2. AvatarCJinSD

    “You don’t need to worry about being replaced, either, because every possible entrance to your social class has been carefully manipulated to make sure that some hillbilly from West Virginia who happens to be genetically identical to you and therefore capable of equal performance — well, that guy is being force-fed opioids and his Harvard application had been put under a pile of protected-class entrants with 1050 SATs who will never, ever, pose a problem for you. So you’re good.”

    I’m pretty sure that the criminality of Wells Fargo and the fact that a friend of mine went from being a persecuted nobody as a white man there to being the Hispanic Banker of the Year the moment he defended himself from a misconduct sanction by pointing out his mother is Mexican are correlated.

    “I’m told that climate change will make the question moot, that we will all suffer ecological consequences long before the economic tragedies arrive in irresistible force. I’m not so sure.”

    Climate change is the economic tragedy being leveraged to liberate the billionaires from the presence of middle class power boats within earshot of their mega-yachts. The ships that exported manufacturing jobs and are exporting agricultural jobs don’t cause climate change. The ‘refugees’ from places that never developed moving to places where their welfare benefits will increase their carbon footprints exponentially don’t cause climate change. Private jets flown around the world to lecture people on climate change don’t cause climate change. The only things that cause climate change are the economic freedom of the middle class and the animal protein rich diets of the middle class that keep them from being as stupid and weak as humanities majors.

    Reply
  3. Avatarpaul pellico

    I am able to accept my fate, since I have no choice approaching 67. I have lived the good life.
    But I worry about my kids. And I will get to that later….
    But I blame it all on President Wilson and those idiot, selfish French.
    If they had not strangled the German people after the war, Hitler would not have been, the 2nd world war would not have been and thus the baby boomers would not have been.
    I hate my generation.
    From the most violent times (in US history) of flower children power to the most inadequate parents raising the now #metoo generation of blame others, the United States has become, do I dare say it though warned, the Clown Nation in the Clown World.
    Back to my kids. When I tell people I wish I had never had kids, I get the usual knee-kick response about not loving my kids.
    The problem is I DO love my kids.
    I just wish I wasn’t so controlled by the life reproducing drugs that made me one day think…”Hey! Let’s have a baby!”
    Duh!
    When you are older, and these drugs of nature have worn off, you realize you are no free thinker but a programmed monkey.

    Reply
    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      As I told Jack’s son recently, he and the other kids whose parents actually teach them that they have to excel to the best of their abilities will have advantages over the miseducated masses.

      Reply
  4. AvatarMel Hinshaw

    Brilliant observations about the world we are living in and the unfortunate path our culture appears to be on.

    When I think about how things are going and the outlook for the future I am worried for my 22 year old son who faces this landscape before him. I am super grateful and happy that I am retired (25 years military + 15 years LEO) on a comfortable retirement income. My life is all about living the same dream I had as a 5 year old, playing with cars and motorcycles without a care in the world. Unfortunately I still have things to worry about like not stepping in the shit on the sidewalk in SF or LA. Luckily my situation allows me to stay away from the worst places like those. Too bad younger people like my son have some hard choices to make and a tough row to hoe. I am optimistic that people will figure it out, but I’m hoping it won’t be too late when they do.

    Reply
    • Avatardejal

      What?
      And give up paradise?

      This is why people put up with it. They want the idea that they are “Players”

      Reply
      • AvatarPatrick King

        Hey, I had a Fairmont wagon like that, except no fake wood. Five hundred bucks, one of my favorite cars.

        Reply
  5. AvatarEric B Jackson

    Jack.

    Stop buying race cars, tow vehicles, bicycles, guitars and watches and you’ll be amazed at your positive cash flow!

    Reply
    • AvatarWill

      “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” – Oscar Wilde. Don’t sound like a bore.

      Reply
      • Avatararbuckle

        There’s a big range available between a joyless existence of austerity and filling your 72-month financed Macan Turbo with Hublots, caviar, and tailored Italian shirts.
        I’d personally rather be considered boring on the internet over swallowing a bullet because I can’t make my Range Rover Velar and hot tub payments after a downsizing.

        Reply
        • AvatarWill

          He essentially told Jack to stop buying the very things that Jack enjoys. While your comment is flippant/borderline caustic, it does miss the greater point of the quote and fails because of your assholery.

          Reply
          • Avatararbuckle

            I apologize. I my comment was harsher than necessary.

            That said, I still disagree with you and Oscar Wilde (and quite likely Jack & others commenters here as well). There absolutely is virtue in living within your means and being able to avoid the nightly panics over a “stumble” that Jack described.
            “Living within your means” also does not require giving up all objects of joy in your life, saving every penny, and becoming a “boring” person. It is just about balancing your lifestyle to your income.

          • Avatarpaul pellico

            yes, there is dignity in living within your means. and the pursuit of pleasure is the Buddhist definition of true suffering, but complaining about life and that you are cheated while others unfairly are born, um…white, is simply unforgivable.

          • AvatarBlueovalDave

            The pursuit of happiness is the no. 1 cause of unhappiness, or something like that.

          • Avatarpaul pellico

            BlueovalDave

            well, to better explain, the pursuit of happiness, as they say, in itself is never ending. Pleasure, once attained, like a good meal, then has to be pursued again.
            And on and on.
            The thought is a never ending pursuit of something momentary and always fleeting..is indeed nonsensical and a mission of failure.

            chasing one’s tail.

          • Avatar-Nate

            “The thought is a never ending pursuit of something momentary and always fleeting..is indeed nonsensical and a mission of failure.”

            Sort of like driving those endless Desert roads……

            I never tire of it .

            -Nate

    • AvatarJohn Cantle

      Jack confided that he enjoys spending his money and doesn’t think to the future.
      He is probably counting on his inheritance.

      Reply
      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        Bark and I waived our inheritances to our children. I’m gonna leave this world the way I came in… naked and screaming.

        Reply
          • Avatarsabotenfighter

            Nate, I was talking about dying naked and screaming on a motorcycle. If done right, it should be pretty quick… and memorable.

          • Avatar-Nate

            Fair enough .

            I’ve had two “fatal” get offs and they’re not fun, you rarely die slowly in Moto collisions .

            As far as die robbing a bank, I was working not far from the North Hollywood BofA shootout where two dimwits were fully armed and still only made it a few blocks and died horribly and painfully .

            Best of luck however you choose to go .

            -Nate

    • Avatarrambo furum

      I was going to say that the Baruth income could have been transferred into capital, but it was spent in largely ephemeral ways instead. Some people have problems realizing the difference between income and wealth.

      Reply
  6. AvatarPatrick King

    Much as I look forward to your posts, Jack, the problem is that I need to dedicate a nontrivial amount of time to read all the linked articles as well, including old ones of yours. I’ve long since become a subscriber to “Up In The Valley” and your other links are always worth the time as well. Great stuff!

    Reply
  7. AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

    There some, albeit not enough, jobs where one can earn a blue collar middle class living, but it depends on the individual AND their location. Journeyman electrician, welder, pipefitter, etc.can knock down near six figures a year, with some overtime. As for location, you can’t afford to live in most of the coastal cities, but here in my area (50 miles outside metro Atlanta) you can afford a nice house and newish cars. School options are a bit limited for your offspring, nearest private school is about 30 miles away and has a waiting list. As far as living in SF, LA, NYC or similar, there is no amount of money that could get me to go to any of them. I prefer my rural lifestyle and in all my travels around the US, I have yet to find a location I like better.Nothing against any of the areas I’ve traveled to, and stayed to work in, I just prefer where I’m at (same reason folks stay where they are the world over).

    I figure to play the game for a couple more years, on my sixty second trip around the sun, before I pack it in. I might maintain my partnership, I might sell it off, Depends on my health and whether I still enjoy what I do.I’m fortunate to be in a position where my lifestyle doesn’t require a lot of money to maintain, 2-3 months of income more than covers my yearly bills (taxes, insurance, utility bills, etc). I see some travel in my future and maybe some new “toys”. In other words; go piss away some of my unearned boomer wealth.

    Reply
  8. AvatarJeff Zekas

    Jack, well stated. Clown World, as Paul Joseph Watson says, is the new world. I’m retired and working security at the mill: mostly old white guys and Mexicans work at the sawmill cos it is hard work for low (non union) pay. But it pays the bills. Gotta say, though, if my wife dies before me, I’m leaving Communist Occupied Eugene Oregon and moving to North Carolina, just to escape the crazy taxes on the west coast. As an aside: the schools here are now brainwashing kids as young as 12 to believe that there is no gender and everyone is bisexual or tranny. WTF???

    Reply
  9. Avatarstingray65

    The problem for many lower income/younger people today is that too many think they need to live in diverse (is our strength) major cities to get a high paying career. Yes there are many high paying jobs in NYC, SF or LA, but there are also sky high taxes and housing costs, crappy public schools that force you to send your kids to private schools, and more “keeping up with the Jones” that “force” you to buy prestige brand clothes and cars and take exotic vacations, etc. so you end up with nothing left (or in the hole) from your big paycheck.

    But there is a world of less diverse medium size or smaller cities and towns where paychecks might be smaller, but the cost of living and spending expectations are smaller still. Many of these places will also not discriminate against you simply because you are a skilled white, male, heterosexual, or Christian, which is one reason that schools, public services, and infrastructure are good despite low taxes. If you want to know where these places are, just look at where all the middle class from California, Illinois, NJ, NY are moving to, or look at the places with highly ranked school outcomes and low per student educational spending.

    Reply
    • AvatarDaniel J

      I’m lucky to live in one of these smaller to mid sized cities( N. Alabama). While the town is predominantly engineering and defense related, they’ve done a good job of trying to keep the less educated employed. We have several plants and we have a Toyota engine plant. Just a few miles down the road Toyota and Mazda are building a new plant as well.

      The progressives in the city still whine that there isn’t enough inclusion, especially laws and ordinances that force inclusion on businesses. And while these plants bring good jobs to the middle class, they’ll also complain that the city gives too much away. It’s almost like they’d rather have more unemployment just for the sake of not giving out tax breaks. Like the city lives in a vacuum and companies won’t go anywhere else.

      In the 20 years I’ve been here the COL has gone up mostly due to transplants from the DC, Virginia, and Pacific Northwest areas. But renting and owning are still affordable in comparison to Nashville or Atlanta.

      Reply
      • AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

        ” And while these plants bring good jobs to the middle class, they’ll also complain that the city gives too much away. It’s almost like they’d rather have more unemployment just for the sake of not giving out tax breaks.”

        See AOC versus Amazon for reference.

        Reply
    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      We don’t need a full scale war with Iran, though Iran has indeed been waging war on the United States for 40 years. Nine cruise missiles and a naval blockade would cripple the Iranian economy. The country has nine oil refineries which haven’t really been upgraded since the 1979 revolution and Iran is a net importer of gasoline and diesel fuel. The refineries aren’t maintained well and operate at whatever their full capacity is at the time, ultimately reducing capacity. Put a cruise missile into each refinery, prevent incoming shipments of refined petroleum products (Iran isn’t the only country that can block the Straights of Hormuz) and the country will collapse.

      The only question that I have is whether or not that would cause Persians to rally around the mullahs.

      Reply
      • AvatarPaul

        Ronnie Schreiber , Short term thinking.

        Put more pressure via actions you state, and you start a flood of immigrants to Europe through Iran’s common border with Turkey that makes the prior Libyan and Syrian migrant waves look small in comparison. Remember Iran’s population is close to 100 million vs. 18 million for Syria.

        Not to mention, Iran has considerable influence in Iraq and Afghanistan where there are still US troops. Huge Iranian and Shia presence in both those countries.

        And it doesn’t end there. In Syria remaining American forces will come under fire. In Lebanon the Hezbollah will attack American interests. Around Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain will all come under attack from Shia minorities.

        This is not even taking into consideration tanker traffic that will come under severe pressure if not complete stop in Persian Gulf.

        The war against Iran if it happens, will be an unorthodox war. Think more Vietnam quagmire than war against one country. But neoconservatives like you sold war against Iraq in simple terms too, and years later, we are still there.

        US will start the war, but guaranteed it won’t be able to end the war just like in Afghanistan and Iraq.

        Reply
        • Avatarpaul pellico

          Why do people always talk about a Vietnam like war when we are dealing in desert regions?
          i mean,come on, let us be clear. wars are won or lost these days due to political correctness or poor media biased reporting.
          do you mean to imply that IF America wanted to use any and all of its weapons a single life would even be lost!?
          the only thing we would really need is soldier janitorial clean up training.
          IF ALL and ANY weapon we had and wanted to use in a war with Iran was allowed.
          Please…

          Reply
          • AvatarMarkXJR

            What about the other option, leaving Iran alone? Just flatout ignore them. End all economic and diplomatic relations, close the embassy and pull all diplomatic staff. Their rhetoric won’t mean anything if nobody is paying attention

          • AvatarPaul

            The parallel with Vietnam is a war that is not a conventional war. What I shared in my response to Ronnie is it will be a war fought by an enemy that has its fingers all over middle east. If high tech weapons could control these countries, you have to ask why are American solders still fighting in Afghanistan? Why can American supplied Saudi Arabian high tech weapons not control Yemen? Why did America have to send its solders back to Iraq after initial proclamations of mission accomplished?

            As for your point about Iran being a desert country, I think you need a geography lesson. Iran is desert in south and middle, but mountainous all around. It is actually very lush and green in the north (south of Caspian Sea). Tehran is close to very high mountains. It is hot and dry in summer and snow and sub-freezing in winter. Think Rockies not Smokies high mountains. Add to that size. Iran is 2 1/2 times the size of Texas. You may be too young to remember the American disaster that was the hostage rescue mission in middle of desert by Jimmy Carter. Helicopters crashed and the rescue mission aborted, complete disaster. Solders dead. But they don’t make movies out of those types of disasters.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Eagle_Claw

            As for using the ultimate weapon, meaning nukes. Are you serious? At least Trump seems so far to have more sense than neoconservatives he has surrounded himself with. He knows a war with Iran is the nail in the coffin for him being a one term president. After initial surge of popularism, we’ll be back to bad old days of George W. Bush presidency and tired of all our wars. If not in middle of another great recession.

            Starting a war is easy. Ending it, is a nightmare.

            The way to defeat Iran, is not via a frontal war. It is to use all the minorities of its own population and arming them to fight from within (Kurds, Arabs in the south, Baluchis in the east, Azeris/Turks in northwest). All of that may not be enough, but it sure can increase the pain.

          • Avatarrambo furum

            Who could be behind political correctness, biased journalism, and endless sand wars that seem to benefit only war profiteers and that one nation over there? Who???

  10. Avatarpaul pellico

    “President Potato prevented the NeoClowns from starting another war …for now”
    Oh, my.
    The result of the diversified pissy education process?
    Is American history not taught at all any more?

    Reply
    • Avatarhank chinaski

      Thus the qualifier. You’re preaching to the choir.

      upinthevalley is an excellent blog, but an hour in and I’m not sure whether to pick up a pitchfork or put my head in the oven.

      Reply
  11. Avatar-Nate

    Another sad but true article with many good bits of writing .

    I’m old, uneducated Blue Collar and a white conservative to boot, I mostly like my crappy little ghetto neighborhood but bit by bit it’s going yuppie (or whatever they call those people these dayze) and hope I can afford to live here in my crappy little termite farm until I die, my 41 Y.O. son OTOH, has had enough of California Livin’ and has purchased a hour in Arizona, now it’s for weekends but he plans to bail out and move there the *instant* he can retire .

    Fencing helps keep the rabble and poop off your lawn .

    -Nate

    Reply
  12. AvatarCliffg

    I see these posts about clowns, the Dem presidential runs referred to as “clown car”, and I just get sad. Look, quit insulting clowns! Red Skelton was a fabulous person and doesn’t deserve the perjoratives. Gol.

    Reply
  13. AvatarScottS

    Many good comments here. All I can add is that the pendulum has swung very far to the left and when it does a major reversal it will be profound.

    The big swings are unfortunatly disruptive.

    Reply
  14. AvatarAoLetsGo

    I just want to say one word to you “Security”
    As the economy cools and real jobs continue to disappear, the poor and desperate ranks will swell.
    You could say “Geography” and yes that can help if you afford to move to a heavily policed suburb or a remote island.
    Private security is where it is at and this will be continue to be a big growth sector. As Nate pointed out fencing can go a long way, the taller the better. Add to that more cameras, alarms, armed guards, vicious dogs, or how about tiny drones that fly the perimeter of you property and emit an ear piercing warning.

    Reply
  15. Avatarpaul pellico

    American forces are fighting in Afghanistan because, if you read my post carefully, it has been fought by PC guides.
    If, as I explained, Americans used all their firepower and ignored the mainstream media as well as fearmongers and The Sky Is Falling cries, the war would have ended in a matter of days.

    Reply
    • AvatarCJinSD

      The only war should be total war. If there’s an objective worth asking one of our young men to sacrifice his life for, it should be worth taking every one of our enemies lives to achieve. Anyone who disagrees with me is welcome to watch his children die before his own life is take as slowly and excruciatingly as possible.

      Time is running out for people to comprehend that the stakes of their comfortable stupidity have never been bigger. The Democrats are already killing their own voters with medieval diseases. I hope it is incredibly miserable for the people who voted for my annihilation, even if they never realize they chose their own fate.

      Reply
      • Avatarpaul pellico

        exactly.
        exactly
        i always tell my kids to gladly pay whatever is needed to have the most powerful, successful armed forces in the world.
        and should anybody ever try to do harm, then do the war code…kill and break up everything.

        we should only have to train soldiers to clean up. each soldier’s life should be spent like my mom used to spend a dollar…never, unless totally and absolutely needed. needed. better yet, like my dad who would always try to spend somebody else’s money first!!!

        Reply
      • Avatardejal

        If you don’t plan on winning then you won’t win.
        We stay there now because it would look bad to leave, because we stayed there for all these years.
        So, we stay some more.
        But, we can’t leave because it would look even worse.
        So, we stay some ……

        We are getting close to a time in a few years where you could have enlisted, went to Afghanistan, had a kid when you came back and your kid ends up in Afghanistan. WTF?

        If we had to be there, we level the place and then say, “Don’t make use come back”. And leave.

        F’ Bush and his nation building. Was he the better choice? Yeah, BFD.

        We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

        Reply
  16. Avatarpaul pellico

    Jack, find a way to avoid the screaming, If caused by pain, especially.
    Besides…nobody really care as they go through your stuff getting rid of most of the things you thought were valuable.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      In the long run everything is worthless, no one is remembered, and we’re all dead.

      With that said I’m sitting on AGEs and APEs and I don’t mean monkey birthdays so I think there will be some nontrivial interest in my estate sale.

      Reply
    • Avatardejal

      Tell me about it. Did it 3 times. Once for an Aunt. A bit for my dad. Later for my mom and more of my dads stuff.
      Keep, keep, keep, throw away.

      Later take the keeps.
      Keep, keep, throw, throw away.

      Later take the keeps.
      Keep, keep, throw, throw away.

      You do care, but after awhile you give up.
      You spread the word, “Would you like this or that?” You get no or no answer.
      You then dump it, and people come out of the woodwork asking why.

      A guy at a Building Materials Charity recycling store told me.
      Box the stuff up in clear plastic crates.
      Label the date when the lid is closed.
      Do not stack the boxes 2-3 deep.
      If 5 years go by and you didn’t open it, then the contents are meaningless to you. Give it away.
      The Salvation Army and my church tag sales have done very well by me.
      Probably a couple of grand at full retail. I had enough glassware for 200 people.

      My aunt was a hoarder. No doubt. Could have been on that TV show Hoarders.
      She once had a poodle (loved that dog) that disappeared during a blizzard.
      The running joke with my sister was “Did you find Pierre yet?” every time I said I threw more stuff out.
      My dad (her brother) had it to a degree and my mom kept him in check.

      Boxes and boxes of the stuff. I had 3 cases of Friendly Ice Cream (NorthEast failing chain) coffee cups.
      Maybe a 100 cups. No idea other than an uncle was a cop and something fell off the truck.
      All dirty and whatnot from being in a corner for X years.
      All the stuff I gave away I washed and cleaned.
      After awhile, you get pissed off at a dead person.

      I’m the keeper of 3 folded grave side veterans flags.
      Father and 2 uncles. I don’t know which one is for who.
      1 uncle I was indifferent about.
      They are in the basement in a plastic bag.
      I don’t want them because I don’t know which one is which.
      Yet because one is my fathers, I keep all 3.
      Yet, when I die they’ll be gotten rid of. Hopefully properly.

      Reply
  17. AvatarNarcoossee

    WRT: “you can just imagine a 57-year-old author delivering Amazon packages. Forever. ”

    Nope.

    Soon to be replace by drones. Checkmate, you Great Unwashed!

    Reply
  18. AvatarLynn W Gardner

    Jack,

    Did you or Mark put up the collinade over the garage door of your home in South Arlington to make entering and exiting the garage an event everyday? I am leaning towards Jack doing it, but I know readers would like to know. 😉 😉
    And one follow-up, what did the Home Owners Association have to say? or did they just say there goes those Baruth brothers again…..

    Reply

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