February 2018

My friends are as into music as I am. It is not surprising that a good one wanted to borrow one of my favorite band t-shirts for a special concert a while back. I have tons and he knows it. His collection is rather meager. Of course, I said yes. What’s a simple shirt between friends? I have a good assortment of these memorabilia items purchased over the years online or at different venues. They remind me of the great music I’ve heard. It is a way to literally stock pile history. Plus, going casual most of the time is my style. I offered my friend a choice of five and he selected my most prized possession. So what is the big deal? The story will unfold.

The problem is that the shirt never came home. It is not that he was lax about returning it or that he lost it in a pile of dirty laundry. He didn’t give it away or use it as a cleaning rag by mistake. The real truth is that he was in a car accident and it had to be cut off with trauma shears (these things: https://www.wardheroes.com/best-trauma-shears/)  by the EMTs so they could see the extent of his physical damage. This actually happened! I can picture it in my head.

I can’t be too bummed about this turn of events since a human being is far more important than any concert tee for sure. I am grateful that he is alive and I can certainly do without one shirt. He was very apologetic when he recovered and offered to replace it as fast as he could. It isn’t available anymore—I knew that—but I indulged him and let him search for it on the Web. It made him feel better to at least try. Finally, he came to the right conclusion and let the issue die. I reminded him how lucky he was that he only sacrificed the tee and not a limb in the accident.

Car accidents can be devastating, often requiring trauma shears or the Jaws of Life. It is a scary proposition. You wonder how firemen use these dangerous tools without cutting something vital in the process. More than once, these ingenious devices have saved lives. People who experience being trapped in a vehicle are willing to let anyone or anything free them as quickly as possible. Cars are known to catch fire in some cases. You have to get out fast.

I don’t keep any safety equipment in my car as I don’t expect to use such last resort gear. I do have some shears among my tools in the garage. I bet it took about five seconds to make mincemeat out of my t-shirt. It is a wonder that my friend walked away with only a few minor scratches. We are celebrating by attending an upcoming concert featuring a favorite band. I will be happy to buy him a replacement shirt.

I had a fantastic music collection at one time, the kind you brag about. It had some very rare items and a variety of selections from many categories. It was thus very comprehensive and something to be proud of. I am lamenting its demise. You don’t collect this much material in a short period of time and it will take a long time to reconstruct. I say this because, sadly, it has been damaged beyond repair. How did it happen? Let me tell you the full story.

I was moving to a new apartment and had packed up a lot of personal things to store at my parents’ house to avoid unnecessary storage charges. Was this ever a mistake! Of course, there was no way to know in advance. I found a good empty spot in the guest room closet, away from prying eyes and hands. Little did I know that an evil humidifier would attack everything with its errant mist. My mother likes to keep things moist in very dry weather as she can breathe more easily. She got a whole house model (like these; https://www.humidityhelper.com/best-whole-house-humidifier-reviews/) and placed it in the guest room in an empty corner. It was pointed right to the closet—just my luck as it turns out.

The darn thing always worked fine until my belongings came to stay. Maybe they annoyed it because it retaliated in no time flat. It leaked and didn’t stop emitting moisture until it ran out of water. It had a super large tank that ran for hours on end. It was enough time to ruin the packaging on the CDs in my collection and some old cassette tapes from special occasions in the past. I had not yet gotten around to transferring them. There was mold everywhere when I came to fetch the collection after I settled in my new place. I had extensive notes and rare album covers from old LPs. All were ruined. These covers are sometimes more valuable than the disks inside. I was aghast.

I rescued some items but the collection never seemed to be the same. Everything looked dog eared and in sad shape. I kicked the humidifier over and broke it in half. It had gotten to more than the music collection (which included old signed sheet music from decades ago), but it was all I really cared about. So what if some old clothes were moldy. I would put them in the wash. I had some posters of famous groups that were ruined by moisture. Not all were framed for protection. By the way, framed photos and posters can show mold even under glass. You just have to know to keep valuables away from an excitable humidifier.

My parents were devastated for me and offered to replace anything and everything. I hated to tell them that it wasn’t possible. They bought me some concert tickets and I pretended to be grateful. It didn’t make a dent in my depression.