By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
One mans trash ...
Placeholder Image

I honestly do not watch a lot of television, but I find that I am addicted to two shows: “Dexter” (on Showtime) and “Hoarders” (on A&E).

I totally get Dexter, because he does away with bad guys. He is meticulous in hunting them down and how he disposes of them. Creepy-crazy but oh so entertaining. Not meant for anyone under the age of probably 17 as there tends to be nudity and some clap-hands-over-ears language, but the casting and scriptwriting are superb.

Hubs keeps saying, “We need more Dexters in this world.”

That’s a fact I can’t argue with.

Now, with “Hoarders,” there is a statement at the beginning of the show that says there are over 3 million people in this country who are considered “hoarders.”

It is absolutely mind-boggling to watch.

People who hoard used to be called “collectors.”

Good Lord.

Haven’t seen anything on there yet worth collecting.

The most recent episode took place in a home in Louisiana, where the crew removed over 8,000 pounds of trash. Underneath the layers of garbage and debris in the home, they found the carcasses of two cats. Ew. Very gross.

The homeowner seemed totally nonplussed by all the dreck and trash and funk. She was very unemotional about the way she lived.

All she wanted was for the cleaning crew to find her dentures.

They found the uppers, but not the lowers.

Her daughter said, “Don’t you dare put those in your  mouth!”

She didn’t, but thought by wiping them on her shorts they would be all right.


Another woman was a shopaholic.

She had truckloads of items in her house that still had tags or were still in bags.

She and her husband had lost custody of their two children because their house was unfit to live in.
As the crew came in to clean, she had a few minor panic attacks that the crew would dispose of items that had “sentimental” value, “mental” being the operative word here.

There is usually a counselor on hand to talk to these people when they start freakin’ out.

The counselor said, “It’s the garbage or your kids.”

Even though it was a struggle, she relented and let the crews keep working. I forget the number of boxes they ended up filling, or the number of storage units she ended up having, but it was astounding.

What was really hard to grasp is why they didn’t just take all the stuff to a vacant lot and sell it or donate it? I guess the gal was OK with having it taken out of her house but not willing to totally part with it.

Most of what she had would have gone a long way toward making quite a few less fortunate families have a wonderful Christmas because a lot of it was in excellent condition. It was the layers underneath that were scary.

As the house was being cleaned out, mice were running everywhere. The workers were all required to wear masks and gloves, but in reality, haz-mat suits would have been more appropriate.

The courts decided that they didn’t trust the woman enough to relinquish custody of the children back to her, but her husband did manage to get custody of the son. No word mentioned on what happened to the daughter, but the couple was divorced six months after the house was cleaned.

I had to wonder, “How do they cook?” “Where do they sleep?” “Where do they bathe or use the toilet?” It looked like there was not one bit of space that wasn’t knee deep in clothes or trash.

And not only that, where does the money come from to shop that way? Did the adults in the house even work?

I had to make Hubs sit down and watch it with me.

His mother is a hoarder, but on a very tiny scale by comparison.

He is, too.

He watched the program, appalled at what was laid out before his eyes.

It bothered him enough that he admitted to having a bit of a problem.

Would he be willing to part with the 10 coffee cans full of nuts and bolts? Would he be willing to part with the other 10 coffee cans full of nails of various sizes? Does he really need four hammerdrills or six power saws or ... the list is endless.

He is certain that if he disposes of something he’s been lugging around for 20 years, he will end up needing it the next day.

I used to go around the house, quietly disposing of items that I knew had absolutely no value or use.

Somehow, he would realize that the old frazzled bit of shoelace was missing and would go dumpster diving, scrounging until he retrieved it, along with many other miscellaneous bits and pieces.

Now I won’t let him into the house if he is carrying a retrieved item in his hand.

“You want lunch?” I holler through the door, “Then put that back in the garbage can!”

He’s gained 20 pounds since summer. But my garage is getting cleaner by the day.