What's in Your Junk Drawer?

Junk Drawer (via Chelsea McNamara). Licensed via Creative Commons.

My wife is a VBS volunteer this week, and yesterday she called to ask me to pick up some pipe cleaners and beads from Hobby Lobby on the way home. Okay, pipe cleaners and beads.Got it.

I love everything I've heard about the Hobby Lobby folks. Great people leading a great company and treating people right in the process. So nothing against them, but Hobby Lobby is not my kind of store. Listen, I live in a house full of girls, so I'm well acquainted with girl stuff. Just recently I confessed on Facebook that I not only knew a couple of songs from Camp Rock, but that I liked them. Hey, Introducing Me is a catchy little thing. And our kitchen table is often covered in glitter and glue and stamps and ink and fancy scissors that make cardstock pretty when it hangs on the fridge.

So I'm no stranger to this stuff. But I simply can't help feeling when I walk into Hobby Lobby that I'm jumping head first into a 50,000 square foot junk drawer. As in "I know it's in here somewhere, but I have no earthly idea where to even begin looking."

All I needed were pipe cleaners and beads, but as soon as I walked in, everything I saw in that store looked like it could be in the pipe cleaner and bead section. How in the world do they categorize this stuff? I saw sharp stuff and soft stuff and thought that pipe cleaners, being both sharp and soft, might be between these two sections, but no.

It had been a long day, so after just a few minutes of wallowing around I just called my wife, and I was horrified to learn that she really had no clue, either. She spends an inordinate amount of time in places like this and in this very store, but her only guidance was for me to "walk toward the back left corner and keep my eyes peeled." So I snaked my way through the last four rows in the back left corner of a store that's the size of Sam's and looks like Christmas morning, seeing nothing close to what I needed, so I just start rattling off what I saw into the phone so my wife could lead me home.

"Necklaces with beads. Necklaces with plastic gems. Necklaces with . . . I don't know what those are. Straw, maybe? Doll parts. Arms, legs, heads. Fantastic. Something called 'poms, stems, and wiggles.'"

Something about that last bit triggered some bizarre association in my wife's mind, and she called out, "Feathers! Theyr'e in the feathers section!"

Why in the world would any store have a feathers section?

Oh, and they weren't there, anyway. Eventually, though, I found the beads, and after a discussion on whether "craft beads" were the same as the "pony beads" she was looking for, I set out for the pipe cleaners. Long story short -- too late! -- they don't have "pipe cleaners" as far as I can tell, but they do have "chanille stems," which I am convinced are what elementary school teachers call pipe cleaners when they need a shot of self-esteem.

All of this got me thinking. What's in my junk drawer? Without boring you too much -- too late! -- here's just a small sampling: Five pads of post-it notes. A package of pencils shaped like drumsticks. Two containers of super glue. A red plastic thing that I think is supposed to be used to extract hair from the Roomba. And about a thousand pens in all shapes and sizes and adornments, none of which work. Wait, one of them does work. This one.

Bottom line? That thing needs to be cleaned out. So does yours. And so does Tennessee's.

So what's in Tennessee's junk drawer that needs to be tossed? I'm sure you have some ideas, but here are a few of mine just to get us started. Beware, controversy ahead.

  1. That brick wall. Seriously. I can't remember when that thing became an issue, but I can recall at least two or three times when someone was scary-hurt. Sure, put a gym mat two inches thick and filled with cotton swabs on the thing, that'll fix it. Somebody's going to get seriously hurt one of these days if they don't just move that sucker back.
  2. Loudspeaker lullabies at Neyland Stadium during games. I've been on this campaign before, and I won't quit until I'm sure it's no longer happening. But please stop with the sleepy songs during games. And since we're on the theme, I'll just mention that even Disney knows how to WAKE UP!
  3. And I know I'm stepping on toes here, but while we're on the topic of circumstantially inappropriate musical choices, I'd toss out the tradition of playing the Tennessee Waltz after every game. WOOO WE WON I CAN'T BELIEVE IT WE WON WOOOOOOOO LET'S CELEBRATE BUT NOT LIKE THAT LIKE . . . LIKE . . . like this:

Ahhhhhhh. If you want to skip all the way ahead to Sunday afternoon in the hammock, have at it. I would like to celebrate first, thank you.

Fine. You can keep what's important to you, but what else is in Tennessee's junk drawer that you think we should put out to the curb?

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