Joys of junk


411: Yeah, it’s my basement. My ex-wife is locked behind that door in the oubliette.

Listening to: Outkast’s new album, “Speakerboxx – The Love Down Below” (The Love Disc).

About a month ago I set out to build a weight room in my basement. I’ve got all this extra room, and usually, the discussion with my wife about why I can’t just take over the whole basement on a whim is moot, since she can’t stop me from five states away.

“Hey baby, I want to smoke cigars in the basement. Really smelly ones.”

“Honey, I’m going to re-enact Janet Reno’s Dance Party in the basement.”

“No sweetie, I wouldn’t dream of installing a sushi fish freezer facility down there. No no no, that’s not a whole tuna you saw on the credit card.”

So I set myself to this task, and resolved not to get caught up in a “gear quest” that would result in me being broke and postponing restarting my workout. I also decided I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money, as it’s just not necessary.

When I was in Florida a few months ago I saw this homeless guy who lived on the beach and worked out with milk jugs. Man he looked good. The perpetual tan probably helped (though he’s probably months away from skin cancer), but it was the constant working out with these sand-filled milk jugs that got him looking that good.

Though I don’t need to be that cheap (and I don’t drink the kind of milk that comes in jugs), the point was not lost on me. So I set to executing the “reverse auction” technique in my neighborhood.

To pull this off you need to live in a neighborhood where people have enough money that they don’t remember what they paid for things. And it helps if the residents have been there for years, thirty or more is a good start.

Then, you send out a message that says something like, “Hey, clean out your basement and sell me that old weight set you’ve been meaning to get rid of.”

I got stuff in droves. E-mail after e-mail said, “My son/brother/crappy ass ex boyfriend left these weights and won’t take them.”

$60 later and a couple of scary motorcycle rides with my saddlebags full of weights later, I had a fully equipped weight room.

I’m gonna swear off eBay any day now.