Bower birds


The house was one of those rambling Californian bungalows built in the 30's. It had seen better days, but it was a great renter, great for young people. As the years went by the original tenants left and new ones arrived. With each move, more furniture and gear were squeezed in and more was left behind. Still, the time came for renovation and the young crew had to move out.

As the crew moved on they left behind a house full of furniture, electrical items, kitchen ware..... you name it, and it was there. Of course, not always in the best of condition. In fact, the only description of it all was pure junk. Still, what's junk for one is not necessarily junk for another.

With the clean up of the property underway and a rubbish skip in the drive, all the gear was dragged onto the front lawn. "Free: Take what you like", was the attached notice. Left with the stuff there was probably four skip-loads of rubbish, but only one was needed.

From out of the air they arrived. The fridge was beyond description. There was not one part of it free from graffiti. It still worked, but heaven knows what you might have caught from it. Like a flash it was on the back of a Mini Moke, with two young blokes holding it down as the car drove away in first gear. Kitchen cupboards, wardrobes, bar, lounge (without cushions), carpet-tiles, electrical gear (most not working).... it all went. Most of the stuff we would be embarrassed to put in the front of our own house, but it all went (all except two single beds, and a wardrobe that really was beyond recycling).

As a young bloke, the annual rubbish clean-up-week was a wonder for a young Bower bird. I would drag home all these great finds to display to mum. She never seemed to be impressed, although it was most wondrous stuff. It always seemed to get added to our own rubbish pile when I wasn't looking.

Obviously, our hunting and gathering ancestry has impressed itself on our DNA. Our attraction to a Garage Sale, even if only to deal for a mere trinket, underlines the genetic necessity of the quest. So what have we here, a survival technique? Or is it maybe an eternal verity - a Divine design quality? Is it that I shall never be at peace until I find the true source of my security?