The Hunt for Treasure
(Entry below was written sometime in 2010 before I canceled my cable)
I have become completely obsessed with that new show Storage Wars on A&E. I could watch it all day long. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s about people who go to auctions to bid on abandoned storage lockers (lockers kept by people who have failed to pay their rental bills for three months). The bidders get to look inside an open locker that is up for auction for 5 minutes, but they are not allowed to walk inside or open any boxes.
When they start bidding, they really are just guessing as to the actual contents of the locker that are not visible, if they are way in the back or packed up in boxes or covered by a sheet for example. It amazes me that people pay to store things, sometimes valuable things, and then don’t pay their bills which allows other people to bid for their things!
There was even a storage locker that used to belong to a famous rapper, so it begs the question, did he just forget that he had his stuff stored there? Because surely he was able to afford the bill to pay for the locker.
Anyway, some of the drama on the show is clearly manufactured, which is why I hate and can’t watch reality TV. Like the husband and wife bidding team where the wife is constantly bitchy and mean to her husband for no real reason other than to create drama for the cameras. There are a few ‘regulars’ that go around and show up at every auction and get very competitive with each other, so these guys are like the main characters of the show.
When they finally win a locker, the best part is watching them open up the boxes and explore the contents of the unit they just bought, having no idea what they will find. It’s like watching people dumpster dive without all the dirtiness and grime.
And I just think how I would love that, I’d be thrilled to go through some one’s disregarded things which are packed away in bags/boxes and forgotten about. After they take the things they think are valuable, the show follows them to appraisals where they find out what they bought is really worth and how much they can resell it for.
I don’t know what it is about used/secondhand items that give me such a thrill. Maybe I am meant to work at a storage unit place in the office, or at a thrift store. Or maybe I can own one and go through every one’s donations myself! I think that would be a lot of fun.
Like all those stories I read in Davy Rothbart’s Found books which were included some stories written by people who worked in used book stores and found all kinds of interesting and weird letters/photos inside of used books. They even found money at times. those Found books are so fascinating.
I remember once being in a really crappy mood and wanting to be by myself one day after work. I was walking home from the train with my boyfriend and suddenly we decided to go into a thrift store near my apartment. once we did, my whole mood changed. I felt happy and energetic and curious and really awake.
I don’t know what it is about used merchandise for cheap or free that does that to me. I guess it’s the thrill of the unknown. The thrill of finding that one perfect or valuable thing that you never knew existed, and that you now have a chance to own for yourself.
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