Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Stupidity of Blind Hope

That darn reeking recliner. It had to go. But how to get rid of the thing. That was my problem.

I eyed it for days and schemed. Why not, I thought, save the money the dump charges, to dump it, which is about $25 minimum now, and make some money by scrapping that heavy steel frame.

I figured I'd make about $6 or $7 on it and some other scrap metal I had. I didn't check scrap prices. I just figured that's what I would get and I wanted that $6 or $7 badly, wanted it bad enough to blindly enthusiastically take on the knuckle skinning task of taking that darn chair apart.

I used an old kitchen knife, blade not sharp brand new, I'd guess, to cut away the cushions, then white sheet insulation and then, beyond that, black thin clothe stapled all over the chair's wood and metal frame. Everything was stapled together, with very long staples, that made the chair even harder to get apart, never mind the layers of "skin" also stapled to each other.

Two days, in the searing 100 degree heat, I was at it. I bloodied my hands trying to loosen bolts and poking myself through on staples.

Finally, I freed the main heavy metal frame and rejoiced. I loaded my car up with that, other metal and headed off to the metal recycler. 44 lbs it weighed in at. My take, for two days hard labor? $2.60. I wanted to cry. I wanted to collapse into the dirt there amongst piles of junked twisted American trash and sob.

When I cashed in at the office, I bemoaned two days of labor for such wage. The cashier was unimpressed with this and shoved a business flier, listing the metals and appliances they take, into my hand. She wouldn't take a no on it. I recycled their flier at home, in the red bin, immediately.

It's not that big a difference. What really was the big deal in my mind, of expecting $6.50 and getting $2.50? It's four bucks, for gosh sakes. Well, I can think of useful things to buy with $6.50. I could have bought one 40 lb. bag of wood pellet fuel, which I use for cat litter, with enough left over for a nice cup of coffee somewhere out, for a couple things.

For $2.50, I can't think of anything significant, weighty, bulky, see with my eyes this labor equaled that, piece of anything I can buy. I stuffed the two one dollar bills in my pocket and I don't know where they are now, mingled in, somewhere, loose change.

So the difference meant something. Not much, but something. It would have meant I wasn't as stupid as I turned out to be, knocking myself out, bloodying myself up, for loose change.

Blind hope is stupid. I have the bleeding hands to prove it.

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