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Legends of the Hidden Basement



With the coming of March, we all start to think about spring cleaning. I usually never do too much of it, my house is fairly clean in general. This year, however, I decided to get a preemptive strike on it done. As with each year, I keep saying something along the lines of “This will be the year I finally get around to cleaning out that basement!” In year's past, I've said that with all enthusiasm, but usually I wind up moving a box from one corner of the basement to another. I'll give up around midday, and get distracted by the fact that Murder, She Wrote is in my Netflix queue (don't you judge me).

But this was the year I finally decided to do something about the tangled web of cardboard boxes, seasonal decorations, and my grandmother's luggage. The biggest issue is sorting through the things you genuinely want to keep, be it for sentimental reasons, or just something that you know will come in handy one day. Then there's all the other esoteric...crap. Middle school math tests from 1997, the papers for that 1992 dot matrix printer that came with your old IBM PC. The booklet telling you about all the exciting titles coming soon for the CD-I Home Entertainment System! Remember that one? Don't be concerned, nobody else does either.

Then there's those moments of rediscovery. Those moments when you find something that you kinda knew you still had, but wasn't entirely sure where it was. The downside to these moments, is they can sometimes slow down your productivity. Picture opening up a box that you don't even recall moving into the basement. Then picture that inside this box is all your old toys from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Picture that when you put batteries inside your old model of the Enterprise, that it still works, and by “still works” we mean “It lights up and makes all kinds of starship sounds.” Suddenly, fifteen minutes go by while you pilot this thing around in your hand, trying to do an impression of Patrick Stewart.

The toy parade did not stop there, another box contained most of my Mighty Morpin' Power Rangers play-sets (I'm a child of '90s people, get used to it), there were plastic figures of the Animaniacs, VHS tapes of many a cartoon, and a Nickelodeon brand cassette tape player. I find myself feeling something of a pop culture Indiana Jones. Amongst all the things to get rid of, offer to friends, I kept finding bits of me from various ages. Soon I had everything sorted, and filled a few large trash bags full of stuff. I'm still wonderful why I still had the instructions to my grandparent's VCR, and the VCR to go with it!

All in all, it was a productive day. I realized I had enough to stock a thrift store, and had inadvertently become the hoarder for manuals to machines from the '90s. The basement looked neater, and there was less clutter. I was almost proud of it, but no to the point that I was going to throw a party and have people in it. Now if you'll pardon me, I have to go work on my Patrick Stewart impression.

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