Dick's Blog

“Welcome to Oinkville”, Chapter 48 of 92 of “Inside and Outside”, A Free Book

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Next Week, “Flapping”, Chapter 49 of 92 of “Inside and Outside”


I’ve come to understand the difference between junk and antiques. It’s all in the pride of the collector. When I was taking this picture, the owner, an antique collector who runs an estate auction service, drove up and asked me what I was up to. “Be honest”, he said. “I don’t want trouble!” I said I was amazed by what people collected, and being a writer, needed a picture to go along with one of my stories.

I must admit that my original story, “Welcome to Oinkville”, is about a different kind of collector and hoarder, who has no pride and indiscriminately tosses their junk off the front porch, filling their entire property until it backs up all the way up to the front door. Clearly, this update is about a different phenomena, an “organized” imported collection of antiques, which have value in the eyes of the proud beholder. The owner of this collection is fulfilling a needed service of preventing the backup of rusting heirlooms in other people’s homes and property. He tacitly allowed me to take this incredible picture, which he pointed out is only a small fraction of the enormous collection and gems in a fenced-in yard behind the house.

This update is my apology for assuming the worst, that this was junk. It’s one man’s rightful treasure. This is not the “Oinkville” of my original story. The picture is certainly intriguing, including the monster Komodo Dragon in the driveway, but like the old adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” There is certainly a difference between the owners’ of “Antiquevilles” and “Oinkvilles”. This man could give paid tours, a museum of lost dreams and memories. I was grateful for the opportunity to have this conversation with the proud owner, and to be able to appreciate the difference between one man’s junk and another man’s treasure.

Welcome to Oinkville

There are no incorporated towns called Oinkville, but you’ll see them everywhere. I use the term, in its worst definition, to describe human habitats that look like pigs live there. You’ve seen the house, or what used to be a house, surrounded by junk collected over the lifetime of the owner. There is no yard, only hulks of old cars, parts and pieces of old cars, parts and pieces of every artifact known to man. The front porch usually displays all the thrown-out furniture and appliances because there was no more room in the yard. The porch is where it all backs up. I can imagine the internal state of the house where the stuff that should be thrown out has accumulated, unable to get out the door. How do they get around inside of there? I confess, I’ve generalized the term to describe any backwater place where I expect, around the next bend, to find another collector’s gem. I see that imaginary sign, “Welcome to Oinkville,” and on the back side, “Thank you, Come Again.”

The occupants of these trash museums, and unfortunately many of their friends, travel by car, and do the same thing to the open road that they do at home. Not only do they despoil their property, commonly know as defecating where you eat, they litter the American Road. They dump, with impunity, their garbage bags, bottles, six-packs (empty of course), flick their cigarettes, toss fast food bags and containers without a thought. They visit places, too. Yesterday at the beach, my wife and I found one of their monuments. They had constructed a bonfire the night before and littered the beach with beer bottles and broken glass, little surprises for the next person who comes along with bare feet. How to get your blood to a boil!

I wish I had magic powers. If I had one wish, it wouldn’t be for personal wealth. It would be that anyone who threw anything out of his car or littered in any way would find the whole mess in their bed the next morning. I’m sure the first time it happened, it would be as shocking as the severed horse’s head in the movie, The Godfather. The first time they would probably be clueless as what it was and where it came from, since their littering is probably done unconsciously. After a few times, their hind-brain would start to put two and two together, and get the message. Think of the guy who pours his used motor oil or fuel from his snow blower down the storm drain. I hope he doesn’t smoke in bed. It wouldn’t be a pretty sight. And, where would his surviving kin dump the body?

Next Week, “Flapping”, Chapter 49 of 92 of “Inside and Outside”

Dick Sederquist is a retired engineer, engineering consultant, writer, author, hiker, motivational speaker and cancer and depression survivor. Dick suffered an emotional breakdown 35 years ago, realizing that he had been depressed all his life. That started his long journey back to mental health and happiness. Dick writes motivational and inspirational nonfiction short stories and essays for general audiences on many topics including life, family, humor, spirituality, nature, science, his volunteer prison experiences, hiking and travel adventures, depression, overcoming adversity, and what the author refers to as “home improvement”, healing the mind and body we live in. Dick and his wife have been married 50 years; have two grown children and four grandchildren, all part of a close-knit, active, caring and loving family. The whole family believes that the greatest gift in life is helping others.


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Guest Saturday, 17 March 2018