Darrell Vickers: My Treatise of Detritus


There is a startling new theory being put forth about the aging human brain. It has been accepted wisdom for centuries that our cranial matter calcifies with the passing years, leaving us increasingly incapable of retaining knowledge.


Much like seawater bounces off a crusty old rock and dribbles back into the sea, our geriatric gray-matter fails to absorb much of the information lobbed its mummified_batway. This new line of conjecture envisions the average think lump more along the lines of a cup of water than a desiccated fruit bat. One can only pour so much liquid/knowledge into a finite container. The young have very little knowledge so they can just pour junk into it all day long but the older you get, the more you’ve already poured into your skull cavity and the less space you have remaining.


Ketchup gifIf this is indeed the case, then there needs to be a method to empty out the puerile debris that gets tangled up in your cerebral synapses to make room for more worthy intellectual provender.  Perhaps vigorously tapping on the side of your head would dislodge this sentient sediment and it would splurt out of your ear canal like ketchup.

The kind of thoughts that wander around in my head….

Cavity SearchIs there ever a good time to get cavity-searched at the airport? Do you remember back to the last time you took an enormous dump in the middle of a room full of people or do you remember all too well? If you knew that you were going to be vomiting uncontrollably in the trunk of a Ford Focus by the end of the evening, would you take that first drink? If you started to orally pleasure a ravenous lion, do cavity search gifyou think the beast would wait until it climaxed before it tore you to pieces and ate you? Do you think an aardvark ever thumbs past page one in the dictionary?

If the Koch brothers were to be murdered, how would they ever round up all the suspects?

koch brothers

The Koch Brothers

What does the inside of your nose smell like? Do you suppose cats ever get pissed off when they have to “do it” doggie style? If there are no stupid cats having sexquestions, why are most reporters soooo stupid? If I can discriminate against gay people because I believe in God, can I discriminate against fat people because I believe in gravity? Why are “Fat chance” and “Slim chance” the same chance? And if what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, does masturbating into an empty paint can make you stronger?

If this stuff isn’t a total waste of phrenic space, I don’t know what would be.

 And it’s not just in our heads!

removing barnaclesAlong with all this mental detritus that requires periodic scrubbing from one’s ever-more-cluttered cerebral cortex, one is also called upon to expunge large quantities of physical flotsam and jetsam. To carry this already-stretched-thin nautical analogy one needless step further, the accrued barnacles on the hull of our existence must be occasionally chiseled free, if we are to sail more freely though life’s choppy waterways. I am in the process of that barnacle chiseling at this present time.

My current purge is by no means unprecedented, although the passing years bring new and exciting challenges to the task at hand….

huge piles of stuff

A: I have way, way more stuff now.

B: I have way, way less back with which to lift the aforementioned.

some of my recordsYesterday and today were spent gingerly moving countless boxes of CD’s and cruelly-weighted album crates from my loft into the garage. Luckily, I have an elevator or I would be dead as I write this. From there, this precious cargo will be transported to a storage unit the size of Latvia by brawny laborers for hire. At one time, I would have attempted this Herculean task myself but at one time I was a resplendent jewel in the eyes of the universe. These days the universe pretty well views me as a potentially useful blob of recyclable stardust, if only I’d hurry up and fucking croak. But since I have dedicated myself to thirstily consuming whole estuaries of wine before my eventual (and incalculably tragic) passing, I must be ever-vigilant for baleful ambuscades and lethal japeries hurled in my direction by our red-shifting hostess.

kathy bates with hammer

Let’s face it, old Ms. U. can turn into Kathy-Bates-at-an-ankle-convention once she deems that you’ve been floating too long in her boat (yet another nautical reference – it must be all this water rationing around here).

It becomes an interesting mental and spiritual exercise, the discarding of one’s inutile encumbrances. Objects long banished to unopened drawers or dust-mecanno setcovered boxes suddenly acquire an indefinable but Holy Grail-like value. “Oh, three bolts and a miniature wrench from my old Meccano set. Hmm. Maybe, if I find the rest of it, I might want to build a skyscraper one day. Better hold on to these.” “Oh look, it’s that pigeon beak we once found in a bucket of KFC.”

Christmas partyThrowing away even the smallest unidentifiable bauble requires a self-discipline tantamount to turning down a blowjob at a Christmas party (I’m only guessing, because I have never done that). Still, I realized that if I didn’t want my broken and crushed body to be discovered one day under an avalanche of browning Jimmy Neutron scripts and Jerry Vale EP’s, stuff was going to have to be tossed like female Depends at a Tom Jones concert.

tom jones

Throw Depends Here

The largest heartbreak however, has been the incalculable waste of obsolescence. I have hundreds of video tapes, draws full of floppy discs, a thousand or so laserdiscs

There's a Movie on There

…and boxes of books – all about as popular as eating refried beans out of a plumber’s ass crack. I have come to terms with our permanent parting of the ways. What I can’t quite get my head around, is having all of these former treasures-nonpareil unceremoniously flung onto a garbage dump somewhere. world book encyclopediaEven charity stores don’t accept encyclopedia sets because they are already awash in them. Being able to recycle such archaic archival mediums would mitigate the sting of our parting somewhat but newly-minted recycling companies demand green acresbig bucks to haul them away from us poor schlubs with a social conscience (and they probably just throw them into the nearest lake, once they’ve been paid). If I were handier, I’d figure out a way of fashioning bird houses out of VHS tapes. They’d be waterproof, last forever (they’re made out of plastic) and the little feathery darlings could entertain themselves with my copies of Green Acres and I Dream of Jeannie during the long winter months.

It is very disheartening. Look around you. All those top-of-the-line, shiny audio/video devices and mega-apped phones that you’re still paying off are mel gibsongoing to be worth less than Mel Gibson’s career in 6 months time. You’ll offer that pretty nifty pre-digital flatscreen or your multi-boxed set of Monk DVD’s to your so-called “friends” but surprisingly find that even the most cash-strapped of your social network are quick to decline your staggering largesse. Craig’s List? Would you risk getting beaten to death with rusty Impala hubcap then eyeball-nakimichi dragonraped for the 12 dollars your beloved Nakamichi Dragon would possibly fetch? Eventually, you’ll just prop it up next to the trash can and pray that it gets stolen.

Considering our grandmothers used to wash and reuse tin foil, we’ve come a long way as a society.

But there will be a rich payoff for having undergone this crap clearing crucible….

In a month’s time – if all goes well (yeah, that’ll happen) – I will be the puffy-chested owner of one of those houses you see in glossy magazines. The kind you stare at, with nary a doily misaligned and wonder, “What kind of an unhinged obsessive-compulsive neat-nut would live in a place like that?”

alt perfect livingroom

Until then…Say, does anyone out there need a 9GB 80pin SCSI hard drive going cheap?


Darrell Vickers appears here every 4th Monday 

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.co

DBAWIS_ButtonDarrell Vickers started out as one half of Toronto area band, Nobby Clegg.  CFNY fans may remember the cheery song “Me Dad” which still gets airplay.  From there, he valiantly ventured to L.A. and eventually became head writer for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Since then, he’s created numerous sitcoms and animation shows in Canada and the U.S.  He still writes music and has an internet band called Death of the Author Brigade (members in Croatia, Canada and the U.S.)   Mr. Vickers also had a private music mailing-list where he features new and pre-loved music.  Anyone who would like to be added to his daily mailing list, just write him at Radiovickers1@gmail.com . 

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