Cleaning House

It’s a metaphor.

I was cleaning out my basement (it was overdue and more!)
And I found a couple items I’d forgotten what are for
Here, for instance, is a whatsit with a deally on its side
And I think it had a charger once, or maybe that one died
I don’t know if I need it, though I really rather doubt,
But it looks like it’s important, so I dare not throw it out.

And this thingy might be ancient—at the least, it’s rather quaint
It’s got brass, or maybe copper, or I guess it could be paint
Anyway, it’s kind of shiny—it’s supposed to look like gold—
But it isn’t. And it’s broken. What it mostly is, is old.
It was tossed in with some hardware, right behind a tub of grout
But it just might be collectable; I dare not throw it out!

Here’s a sort of metal widget, colored reddish-brown with rust
It was hidden in the corner, under half an inch of dust
They don’t make ‘em like they used to—and perhaps that’s for the best,
And I think I once had four of these, but cannot find the rest
It has no modern uses, no new features it can tout
But I’ve had it for forever, so I dare not throw it out.

The detritus of the ages, oh the odds and ends you’ll find
If you’re looking through my basement, or you’re looking through my mind;
All the stuff I thought was useful, so I always kept around.
Surely most of it is useless—or at least, that’s what I’ve found
Still, I kept my ways of thinking—you could say I was devout
It was easier to keep them, so I never threw them out.

But, for both beliefs and basements, that’s what cleaning is about:
If they won’t stand up to scrutiny, it’s time to throw them out.


  1. cafeeineaddicted says

    I kept expecting you to bring up the point that every hoarder loathes
    The one that keeps them up night or tearing at their clothes.
    That single time you found you can finally use that antique mounted trout
    and you recall that upon protest you were forced to throw it out!

  2. Cuttlefish says

    Only because it’s a metaphor. (and I really tried to work in “trout”, so I’m glad you did). If we keep the cultural attitudes left over from our ancient belief systems… I don’t want to see “hey, maybe we’ve been all turned around on this bloodletting business!” Or racism, sexism, or a dozen other isms…

  3. Suido says

    I can practically hear my yorkshire based cousins rephrasing those couplets and using “owt” instead… don’t keep owt, not worth owt, etc.

  4. says

    As a sage once observed, ideas don’t vanish,
    They go underground, even those that you’d banish.
    No matter how useless or deadly, they stay
    To resurge when awakened on some future day.
    Lodged somewhere twixt DNA’s code and its memes,
    Tenaciously sticky, they linger, it seems,
    For eons, and only free will has the clout
    Each time to resist and to throw the junk out.

  5. Cuttlefish says

    ca@#4– you have not seen my basement. Nothing there ever gets truly thrown away, either.

    suido–I love it!

    memehunter– next movie: “Zeus Is (NOT) Dead”, with Kevin Sorbo back more in his element.

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