By Max Burbank
Hours of operation: I don't really have them. Just come by and knock.
If I'm dressed I'll probably let you in.
THE MUD ROOM
Some wiseacre inevitably makes a joke of asking if this is where the
mud collection is and I tell them they're the two- hundred-fifty-sixth
person to make that joke, the repetition of which is collected in this
room. The coffee can is for donations, which I accept, for maintenance
and growth of the collections. It is a "Chock Full of Nuts"
can, which is the brand my Mom drinks by the pot since she went on the
The Kitchen houses the collection of Posters, buttons, bumper stickers,
mugs and really just about any item that has a saying on it. On the
west wall are multiple variations of cats or kittens hanging on to branches
with the caption "Hang in there, baby!" and in some cases
the longer "Hang in there, Baby! Friday's comin'!" The origin
of this phrase is 'shrouded in mystery', but I bet someone wishes they'd
understood more about 'copyright laws'. Refrigerator magnets are not
for sale, though we consider trade for "Same Shit, Different Day"
magnets. The Bumper stickers along the ceiling molding and baseboards
are mostly associated with Alcoholics Anonymous, although this was primarily
accidental. The scraped area over the doorway to the dining room was
previously occupied by "Ass, Gas or Grass; No One Rides for Free"
circa 1972, which my Mom didn't think was nice.
THE DINING ROOM
Here we have Pez dispensers and Soda Cans so Rusted You Can't Tell What
Soda They Had in Them. The second collection was started because Pez
dispensers are not that unusual a thing to collect. On an interesting
side note, Pez taste like crap.
THE LIVING ROOM
This is the collection of the kind of crap my parents would have in
their living room. It's curated by them because Christ knows I wouldn't
have any of this junk. The style of the furniture is called "Colonial"
for no known reason.
The Hallway houses our media center and my cassette collection of my
Dad's sayings of despair. Put on the headphones and enjoy "No one
cleans the catbox but me" or "Anyone could have seen this
coming". For an additional twenty-five cents beyond your donation,
adults can go in the coat closet and listen to a tape from last Easter
where, during a cookout, dad hides out in the garage and drink a beer
by himself and cries.
The Spackle under the window is where when I was fifteen my Dad put
his fist through the wall and broke two of his knuckles and is also
the exact point in space/time where his spirit was broken. A portion
of your donations will go to a brass plaque and an eventual restoration
of the actual hole.
You are not allowed in there because it's private.
One of these days Dave will actually visit for Christmas or Thanksgiving
at which point he'll discover that his room now houses my magazines
including the complete run of 'Busty' in near mint to mint condition,
of which 'Museumgoer.com' said "Is ‘impressive’ really the right
word?". Formerly a Shrine to my Bother Dave, since his marriage,
my Mom says it's a fitting place for 'a mountain of mildew and smut'.
Visitors are encouraged to take a flashlight from the cardboard box
and make a guess as to the crushed dreams represented by this collection
of we could neither look at nor throw away. What does this Johnny Walker
bottle with the melted candle in it mean? Who is the pregnant young
woman in that photo? No one I've ever met. An added bonus is the Collection
of Things I pounded Flat With a Hammer and Laminated, which can be found
under the East Dormer until such a time as my parents die.
Before you leave, please visit our giftshop, where you can buy "Hang
in there baby" post cards and tee shirts, a Rusted Soda can that
at first I couldn't tell what Soda it had in it but then figured it
out, an Item Pounded Flat With a Hammer and Laminated or a cup of fresh
brewed Chock Full of Nuts coffee. The Museum of My Collections is open
Year round except for Christmas, Thanksgiving and my birthday, which
is June Fifteenth in case you want to know.