For those who aren’t aware, my wife and I are moving back to Seattle in mid-April. It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been exploring our options for moving away from New York for years now. New York is fine, but it’s way too damn hot in the summer, equally cold in the winter, and generally the local attitudes reflect the weather (especially now that we own a car). Seattle was our 3rd choice in terms of destination. Our original plan was Australia. We’d gone so far as to inquire about possible apartments, contacted local universities and flight times to visit beforehand. But the work visas alone would have cost $12,000 and there were a myriad of other barriers that ended up scrapping the idea. Next was Southern California. I’d secured a job down there. We were knocked off that plan by the fact that going to L.A. meant further implantation into a career I currently loathe. So finally we settled on Seattle.
The packing and preparing for the trip has been going on for a couple weeks now. I cannot believe the amount of crap we have been able to cram into a small 2 bedroom apartment (it’s really a large one bedroom). With most items I pick up, I doubt why I ever bought it to begin with. Why did we need THREE meat loaf pans that have never been used? My wife doesn’t even eat meat loaf. But we have three of these things. Three pans - only for meat loaf. But there I was, wrapping and packing them. I thought about throwing them away, but at that moment I was really hungry for meat loaf. I was thinking, “man, I’m gonna want meat loaf again, and when I do I’ll be glad I packed this shit.” I have an entire box about as big as an old tube TV that is filled with electrical cords to devices that I may or may not still own. There are cords for old cell phones, laptops, stereos, etc. I don’t know what they go to. I only know that when I plug something in, I will have the cord buried somewhere.
None of this even hints at the baby stuff we don’t use. We spent at least $1000 on just baby chairs. A couple are for rocking the baby, one props her up, some are for holding the baby. All I know is that the baby is quickly reaching “kid-dom” and she doesn’t sit in any of these things anymore. All of them are bubble-wrapped and coming with us. You better believe I will not be paying $1000 for more of these things when the next one is born (we all know this is a lie because we don’t have the boy version of all this crap).
Amongst the numerous piles of stuff that amounts to the thrift store that is our apartment is a video game system I bought from some dude on the street near Union Square. It is essentially a video game controller with “thousands” of old Nintendo-esque games imbedded into the controller itself – which you then connect to the TV. There’s “Duck Shoot”, “Super Morio,” “The Legend of Zeyda,” “Mega-Robot” – you know, all the classics. One of the accessories to this copyright nightmare is a plastic light-gun like the old gun that came with the old Nintendo system. Only this one looks exactly like a real, black pistol only there’s a cord running from the butt. As I’ve packed each box, I’ve noticed that I tend to hold on to this thing. I point it at stuff and fake shoot things like records and ugly people that pass by the window.
I’ve gotten into arguments with right-wing buddies of mine about why I should not get a gun, and this is exactly why I shouldn’t. Because I want a gun. I think owning one would be awesome. I want an old pistol like Blondie from The Good the Bad and The Ugly. I want a holster with bullets on it that hangs low around one hip. But I don’t want it because I want to protect my family or do target practice or hunt or something. I think I want it because I want to walk around the house like I did when I was 10 years old and silently pretend I’m a cowboy or Harry Callahan. And I would, too. I’ve priced these things. I would spend the $700 on a gun so I could walk around and point it at crap.
I would be put away so fast that there’s no way on earth I should be allowed to have a gun. I shouldn’t even have the plastic one I have. On multiple occasions I’ve told myself I should cut the cord off the bottom and keep it in my glove box. This thing looks like a real gun. I can only imagine what would happen the first time I got pulled over and the cop asked for my registration. He’d see this gun in the glove and freak. I would then try to show him it’s fake by – like an idiot – pointing the damn thing at him, and then I’m the next news story. And knowing my life, I’d be shot on my way to buy the ingredients to meatloaf. Clearly, as I sit under the cardboard box fort we’re building in preparation for the move I should just send my stuff to more responsible people.