Friday, December 10, 2010

Everyone, there is a new way to make money without really working for it. You can almost call it stealing but we will not go there. This month there is a new show on the A & E channel called “Storage Wars. “ This latest reality series takes place on Wednesday nights and boasts, Why go to work when you can be a full-time storage-locker buyer?
What? Are you suggesting I buy somebody else’s things that they haven’t chosen to live with after they bought the junk? Yes, precisely, and I want you to waste your time and eyesight to watch an auctioneer named Dan Dotson whose job is to auction off the contents of self-storage lockers when their owners don’t pay their rental fees.
Yes, in this economy when no one has cash around to pay their essential bills like electricity, water, telephone, you know the list. Instead of extending the time periods to pay our unessential bills, lets rape you and steal all your stuff and auction it publicly all on TV like a sick game show. It’s the American way of shameless exploitation to anyone who has lost their grip on society.
Back to the show. Apparently there’s a universe of people who make hefty profits by buying these lots blind, discovering valuable stuff in them and reselling it. Easy Money. Television already has assorted variations on this theme, shows about people who hunt for antiques in their attics and sell them, not knowing anything about what the junk is worth but instantly is in love once some expert says it is worth six figures.
I guess it is a sign of the times. We already lost our home to foreclosure so, why not loose all our stuff in the storage locker too. Less to worry about when we are living in our car. Keep moving before they auction off that too.
Back to the show. We all love the monotone voice of a quick lipped auctioneer. It’s like a sound out of a jungle, not sure what he’s saying but I own it now because I lifted my hand to scratch my head. There are four buyers on whom the show focuses are well chosen, and the “reveals”- the moments when the buyers see what they’ve acquired and get estimates of its value is the high point of the show. Lets see what the poor sucker’s junk is worth. Sell the poor bastards garbage and take the money and run. Don’t even give him a chance to buy grandpa’s stop watch he brought back on the Mayflower and has been in the family for generations. No, melt the thing down at Cash for Gold. Keep the car running.
The buyers aren’t allowed to inspect the contents of the storage locker closely enough to know for sure what they’re bidding on. Mr. Dotson lets them look in only from the outside for a few minutes. What’s in an old duffel bag? Might be old cloths, or a stash of valuable baseball cards. At least on the old TV show Let’s Make A Deal when you blindly chose door number three, you did not have to bid on it . Even if you won the goat instead of the car, you didn’t have to bid for the prize. Times have certainly changed.
They have an interesting cast of characters including one that most of us can identify with. A guy named Jarrod whose wife is always ready to smack him upside the head every time he comes home with a pile of junk. Aah, the Honeymooners was a great show too.
If we’re going to transition to a something-for -nothing economy, contribute. Buy stuff you can’t afford and let someone else sell it. The new economics. They never told me this crap when I got my B.A. in Economics.

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