Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I never thought I'd find going through the laundry bag of someones personal possessions a fun project. But with the popularity of TV's "Storage Wars", apparently a dreamer can believe there is gold in the bags and boxes of the poor folk who can't afford payment on their storage locker rental space.

"Storage Wars", an A&E television series, follows a group of second-hand merchandisers as they frequent storage unit auctions in California. The show's drama is dependent on the competitive bidding among them, and the valuable merchandise they may or may not find in the storage units they win.

The poor saps who lose their personal belongings when payment is not made on a rented storage space, abandon their possessions to the auction bidders who gather like vultures ransacking the pockets of corpses.

It's a gamble for the bidders who have only a few moments to canvass the items in storage and determine their worth. They can not rummage through the stored items, they can not even enter the storage units, but instead are filed by, like a guided museum tour, or a funeral line viewing of the deceased, to get a quick overview of the items up for auction. The entirety of the storage unit is then sold to the highest bidder.

The show is likely contrived, as you could purchase hundreds of abandoned rental units and never uncover the valuable merchandise that is discovered on each episode of the series. It's reality television, meaning - it's not real.

So anyway, the point of this blog entry, which I'm realizing should never leave the draft stage, is to mention I went to a local storage unit auction. I hooked up with my brother-in-law, also a fan of the show, and with dreams of signed Paul Revere candlesticks at the bottom of an old gym bag, we got up early and went to the auction.

But we only stood there in awe of the mega-dollars that were being thrown about. We were obviously "Storage Wars" fan boys among the seasoned baseball-capped bidders who flocked to this city auction. The most remarkable thing was how much the local storage auction resembled the TV show.

I couldn't get that catchy, blues driven theme music to "Storage Wars" out of my head. I wanted to swagger down a storage unit hallway and have "The Neophyte" written across the screen.

We couldn't get a bid in, but we had fun. It was all my effort not to raise the $5 winning bid for  a pathetic unit that contained a pile of old sneakers, a broken Fisher-Price toy, what looked like plastic furniture, and a mysterious cardboard box that certainly hid a valuable treasure.

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