Hoarders & the Free Table

5/4/21. The free table at the NEARC old radio show is a troubled but revered institution where the exhibitors are supposed to leave valuable things for free — as opposed to the table they’ve rented where they sell things. And even those who haven’t brought stuff to sell can put things on the free table. ... The trouble is, stuff is always left on the free table that nobody wants, and then the hard-working club volunteers have to do something with it. Naturally, the stuff left on the table tends to be valueless junk. Various disciplinary schemes have been proposed and even adopted, but so far I don’t think the problem’s gone away — not that I’ve attended a show recently, NEARC being in the Northeast, and I in paradise. ... But free table outrage bubbles over in the newsletter.

That which drives people to discard junk on the free table is the very thing that gives them anxiety about what will happen to their junk when they kick the bucket. In both cases, delusional estimates of value are involved — but arguably such delusional estimates are involved in much of what happens in our lives, good & bad. ... Anyway, I regularly read pitiful plaints from camera/music/radio/etc. hobbyists about how everyone should be so careful to document everything they own so some ignorant person just doesn’t shuffle it all off to the landfill! ... And their pre-death behavior is often described, cruelly, by know-it-alls, as hoarding. ... Here I will gin-up a topical quote:

For them that think death’s honesty
Won’t fall upon them naturally
Life sometimes must get lonely

— Bob Dylan, It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

And by “naturally” is meant the survivors calling Punks With Junk or someone to come and remove the pitiful debris for a very reasonable fee. If there’s really anything worth $, one can contact auctioneers who will deal with it — or not, if it isn’t worth anything....