Monday, March 18, 2013

Fibber McGee's Closet

I'm too young to have heard the "Fibber McGee & Molly" radio program during its original heyday, but fell in love with old radio comedies in my teens and quickly made up for the time I'd wasted waiting to become an embryo. One recurring bit involved McGee's closet which, like many things, played better in the sound-fueled Theater of the Mind than it did when translated to film in 1941:

But you get the idea. And I bring it up because that's my office/studio.

Karen and I just finished emptying it at the end of Day 3. It took a while because Karen set the very reasonable course of sorting through everything on the way out, rather than getting it all out and editing it later. So we thumbed through piles, poked through files, and overfilled two large rooms with the contents of one small one. Relieved of its cork, the office exploded like Mentos out of a bottle of Diet Pepsi.

Following my last post, some wiseacre made reference to the program "Hoarders." Which I'm so not. I may be sentimental, I may even be lazy, but I'm not a hoarder. It's just that things come in and never go out. For instance, a 5.25-inch floppy disk with a label reading "Save until September 2001." A decade of self-employment business records. And I parted with the three thick binders totaling about 2500 pages of raw research I did for Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow. I figured if no one had called me out yet (except Jim O'Kane, curse him) they weren't going to.

At mid-clean yesterday. At bottom right is one of my computer monitors. I still need to do some work this week, so will maintain a bare-bones office of computer + printer + phone to get the job done.
I picked up this Galactus helmet giveaway at Comic-Con a couple of years ago. It's cool but takes up a lot of space, so I asked Karen to take one shot of me looking hungry enough to devour a planet before consigning it to recycling.
Speaking of Karen, she's behind that heap o' recycling somewhere. Behind her you can see the books beginning to pile up on and around our dining room table. It got worse. Much worse.
We've kept two document shredders going for two days, tearing up any paperwork with sensitive info (do you realize that people like dental insurers used to put your Social Security Number on everything?!). Ours is the little one on the right and its motor overheats pretty quickly, so we borrowed the industrial-strength shredder on the left from our neighbor Larry the Fed. 
Today we loaded up the minivan with paper recycling. It filled the car and this wasn't all of it. We took an insane amount of paper to the Recycling Center. Hundreds of pounds, no exaggeration. I heard my house's foundation breathe a sigh of relief.
Atop the pile: the box my Eisner Award came in. Like the Galactus helmet, it was neat to have but not worth the space it displaced. So we took a photo to remember it by and sent it to its reward. The box it's sitting on is labeled "Brian's Crap." The box speaks the truth.
The room tonight. We'll pull out the bookcases and some other furniture in the morning, move the big stuff into the middle of the room, and start painting tomorrow. If we're able to move.
I remember being in college and proud that everything I owned--my entire life--fit into the back of a Volvo station wagon. I liked being that guy. Sometimes I'm seduced by the idea of unloading it all and roaming the highways in a little RV or sailing the seas in a little sloop. It's an appealing dream I still hope to pursue someday. After the fire, which with luck will look not at all suspicious.


Jim O'Kane said...

Glad to know I'm the Freddy Krueger of your citation nightmares.

Unknown said...

Fibber McGee's Closet - I forgot about that one! I never heard it first run, either, just re-broadcasts. But it's so my office! Congrats on the cleaning-out... I gotta do that some day, too.

Mike Lynch said...

Love McGee's closet -- and Benny's vault. ("Who's president now, Mr. Benny?") But, yeah, like you said, they looked better on the radio than when recreated for movies and TV.

I am daunted by all the work you guys are doing to clean your studio.

Brian Fies said...

Jim, you are my Moriarty. Which I guess makes me Holmes, so I win.

Unknown and Mike, it does feel great to clear the decks. And I still don't think anyone's come up with a mass medium as immersive and intimate as radio. It can really draw you in.

Ruby Badcoe said...

I’ve always looked at the phrase, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” as something positive, but hearing about identities being stolen after some people go through others’ disposed documents makes me think twice. So kudos to you and Karen for being careful enough to get those paper shredders going.