Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hell in a desk basket

The other day, I reached for my lip balm.

It’s in a little basket on my desk beside the computer, and I know right where the lip balm sits without looking.

Well, I thought I did.

Apparently, a lip balm and a glue stick bear such a striking resemblance to each other.

Annoyed with myself, I decided it was time to clean the desk basket. I originally put it there to hold items I considered necessary for my workday, so here’s a list of some of those necessary items:
  1. Two tubes of hand cream, one tube of foot cream, one tube of body cream
  2. A lapel pin depicting an Oregon Pink Shrimp
  3. A packet of all-purpose plant food
  4. A miniature Slinky
  5. Toenail clippers
  6. Four small rocks
  7. One glue stick
  8. Refills for an automatic pencil I do not own
  9. One packet of Sen-Sens
  10. A fake rubber worm
  11. Five hair elastics
  12. A spoon
  13. A tape measure
  14. Two spools of dental floss
  15. Seven lipsticks, four lip balms, and two tubes of lip gloss
  16. Two small plastic lizards
  17. An assortment of paperclips, safety pins, and pocket change
In case you think I’m making this up, here’s photographic evidence:

My mom has a catch-all drawer in the kitchen she calls “the hell drawer,” so it seems I have a “hell basket.”

I have no idea how half this stuff ended up in there or why I thought it was integral to my work.

Do you have a basket or a drawer that’s become the dumping ground for hodgepodge in your life? What is the strangest item currently in it?

Please share in the comments. I’ll be busy staging a battle between the worm and the lizards.


Dr. Cheryl Carvajal said...

So funny!

I have a hell bucket in the kitchen. YMCA cards, scissors, bills, coupons, gifts certificates, rubber bands, gum, lip gloss, undeveloped film--all goes there, in one heap. The bills stick out, though, so I can find them to pay them!

I guess the strangest item in it currently is a tube of purple glitter fabric glue. Yes, I had to go check. Second place? Four dark blue votive candles.

Linda G. said...

I DO have my very own Hell Basket! It's right at my feet, on the lower shelf of the coffee table. It is filled to the brim with stuff I want "easy" access to while I'm tapping away on my laptop. Ha! I practically have to disassemble it find anything at all. (Can we say "packrat"?)

Do I really need the battery-operated hand-held fan and feather-topped tiara pen? Probably not. But you never know...

P.S. I also have a Hell Drawer. And a Hell Closet. And, okay, a Hell Room.

Jenna Wallace said...

When my youngest was 2, he decided he'd put the sunscreen stick on his own face (being pale as a glow worm and living in south Texas, he was used to the daily routine). Yep, glue stick. I resisted the urge to stick macaroni to him and call him a collage.

Sometimes my life feels like a Hell Basket. But I am proud to say that I cleaned out one of my Hell Drawers the other day (yep, we have more than one). Best find -- 3D glasses. I'm wearing them now and you all look weird.

Christi Goddard said...

I have a drawer, a large basket, a large oriental ceramic bowl, and a corner bar that all serve as catch-alls for 'stuff I don't know where to put.'

Trisha Leigh said...

Ha, yes! I think everyone has a "junk" drawer, as it's known in my family. I found:

Some orange ribbon with pumpkins on it

Ant bait

Striped candy cane ribbon

Smoothie recipes

Birthday Candles

A nice mix, I think. :)

ExMagistra said...

I have a Hell Drawer and in it live five Disney Princess Pez dispensers.

Steph Schmidt said...

Once there was a decorative bucket, then I realized I could stash stuff under the decore.

-old movie tickets
-name badge from programming contest (sadly no it does not say My Name is Diego Montoya You Killed My Father Prepare to Die)
-1 bunch fake pink tulips
-1 empty glass green bottle
-picture of the folks
-an un-tied-tie

Yet it looks so normal from the outside.

Patty Blount said...

yep, have the junk drawer and the hell basket, otherwise known as my purse.

Cosmetics, hair elastics, receipts to things I bought ten years ago, chocolate wrappers...

My desk at work has 3 slinky's. I love them. 1 is metal, the other 2 are plastic - one pink and the other purple.

A few hundred pictures of my gorgeous guys...

Books. Yep. I have books everywhere.

Adapter cords to gadgets I don't own anymore.

Eyeglass repair kit for the glasses I never wear. Just ask Harley. I thought she tweeted something about face licking yesterday and it turns out she wrote KICK. *sighs*

Tools. I have screwdrivers everywhere. You never know when you might need one.

Interesting... I've always thought a girl's purse could speak volumes about her character. "Julie" in current WIP carries a duffel bag wherever she goes. It holds her dead brother's treasures like the Lego project he didn't get to finish.

Kari Lynn Dell said...

I have a hell bowl on the coffee table in the living room. Last time I looked, its contents included a gold-painted horseshoe decorated with silk flowers and a fake bird, a non-functional USB drive, six dead AAA batteries, the lid to a canteen and a battery charger for a remote control toy monster truck.

Liz Czukas said...

I think I might live in a hell house, if this post is any indication...

But, in my purse I have...

a head band
2 spiral hair pins
1 pair of boys underpants
a ziplock bag of baby wipes
a smashed packet of oyster crackers
1 green monster figurine
the leg from an Iron Man action figure
all the usual purse stuff

I think we can safely put most of this on my 3 year old's shoulders, but it's not like I'm cleaning the thing out on a regular basis.

- Liz

Angela Perry said...

Um...I have a "hell house." I'd list the contents, but there are places I haven't been in years.

Alexa O said...

My life is a hell basket. Oh wait... that's going to hell IN a hand basket.

What is a hand basket, anyway?

I bet I have one in my junk drawer...s.

I collect change. I have so much silver (as we call it in the restaurant biz) that I hardly know where it comes from. I can put on a pair of pants fresh off the line, spend no money all day, sit down on the bed, and suddenly there are ten pennies and a quarter under my butt.

Which would be great, but who needs pennies? Why can't my jeans manufacture $20 bills?

Cynthia said...

Tawna- I think we all have those. Mine is a draw in my kitchen. I only open it if and when I have to.

I linked your blog to mine. Hope you don't mind!

Génette Wood said...

I actually have to think about this. My room/office is such a disaster, that I think the whole thing is probably a Hell Room.

I've got it. I have Hell Bed.

The mattress is pushed just enough to the side of the box spring that I can store things on the lip. I have lipgloss, an pair of outdated glasses, at least two rocks, and half of my jewelry. I think there are a few pens for when the mood to write strikes at midnight.

I think it's time to clean.

Adriana said...

God yes! I have several hell drawers! Here are some of the things in my hell drawer at work:

a pumpkin carver; nail polish; random pieces of potpourri; TWO large hair clips (only strange because my hair is way short; i inherited these w/ my office); an almost-empty half-pint bottle of tequila; two charms from a charm bracelet; an OBAMA-BIDEN sticker.

I also have a hell purse (read: any purse that I'm currently carrying). At various times in my life I've carried around these things in my purse -- and I do mean carried around, not just transported:

multiple tea bags; a spoon; pair of clean socks; pair of dirty socks; pair of dirty panties; wine key; bag of sea shells; razor; an IRON (don't ask!).

Danielle said...

I've been working on cleaning out stuff lately, but I haven't tackled the trio of Hell Drawers in my bedroom. Peeking inside, I see:

- 2 used matches (and a pile of soot)
- a tiara
- a souvenir cup
- 2 pairs of moisturizing socks
- 3 unpaired earrings
- 2 charms
- at least 4 wallets (there could be some more buried in there!)
- a sock full of change
- a passport wallet with no passport
- a cellphone case for a phone I no longer have

And that's just visible from the surface! It's amazing what you can collect...

Harley May said...

This list is awesome.

And I have a little something like your basket. It's called my purse. I get rocks to hold onto for "safe keeping," snack wrappers, gold fish, toy cars, my little ponies, chapstick, diapers (I have accidents occasionally)two dead cell phones for my children to play with while I talk on the real one. I wrote an Army of Erma's post once talking about it all.

I wish I had all that lip stuff. Your lips must be very well-maintained. Let's make out.

Danica Avet said...

Okay...I can see why you need the slinky. You have to do something when your brain needs to recharge. Maybe I should get one *ponders*

I don't have a junk drawer. I have a plastic bin with drawers filled with stuff...let me see:

- pencils. I barely remember how to use a pencil anymore
- eyeshadow I've never worn
- hair clips
- yarn...just in case I decide to take up knitting again
- pictures from college (I had to hide them somewhere)
- one hoop earring (because I lost the other)
- 3 old licenses and 4 ancient school IDs
- lip balm
- change
- college grade slips (have I mentioned I've been out of college for 10 years?)
- a screwdriver

It's a mess and I really should clean it, but it's so convenient if I need to see what I looked like when I was a nubile 21-year-old, or how I fixed my hair in my driver's permit picture...


Shakespeare, hey, you never know when you might need that purple glitter fabric glue!

Linda G, I can't think of any reason you WOULDN'T need a feather-topped tiara pen.

Jenna, cracking up over the idea of turning your son into a macaroni collage!

Christi, yeah, I have to admit I have a hell drawer, too. And a hell closet. And a hell garage.

Trisha, so I take it you like ribbons?

ExMagistra, well really, four Disney Princess Pez dispensers would be two few, and six would be too many.

SM Schmidt, that must be a very large bucket!

Patty, I will admit that I play with the Slinky from time to time. And the worm. And the lizards.

Kari Lynn, OK, you might just take the prize for the most eclectic collection!

Liz, moms always seem to have the weirdest stuff in their purses/hell baskets. Then again, I guess moms have an excuse. What's my excuse for having all those plastic toys?

Morgan, I'm with you on the "hell house." There are closets I don't open for fear of death.

Alexa, I'm loving the idea of you sitting down and laying coins like a hen lays eggs.

Cynthia, link away! Er, as long as yours isn't a porn blog. Hell, I guess I don't care even if it IS a porn blog. Thanks!

LadyGenette, you totally have to write a book called "Hell Bed."

Adriana, why do I have a hunch there's a story with the tequila and the panties?

Danielle, moisturizing socks? I don't know what those are, but I want some!

Harley May, yeah, the lip stuff was the most surprising to me. I knew I had one or two things in there, but that many? And of course I want to make out with you. Let me just moisturize again. OK, ready? Go!

Danica, ah, the single earring. I have a few of those lying around, and every now and then I get lucky. Sometimes I even find the missing earring. Har!

Thanks for reading, guys!

Elizabeth Ryann said...

Yeah, I totally end up with completely random stuff like that that I vaguely remember had a point at, you know, some point.

But funnier than that was the stuff that a deskmate used to keep in our shared drawers several years ago: five pairs of prescription glasses, a light up bouncy ball, and hundreds of pistachios (loose, mind you, not in some sort of sanitary bag--just hundreds of pistachios filling the drawer), and about 20 straws. I was so happy when he left and a new person came to share my desk (the office was open across all shifts). But then what did she collect? Empty soda bottles. Granted, she worked the graveyard shift. But would it kill her to recycle before leaving? Every day she left me at least three empty 2-liter soda bottles. And if I was out for a couple of days for whatever reason, I could easily come back to something like 11 empty bottles.

I'll stick with my pen and hair band hoarding any day.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I have so much junk everywhere, it's not even funny. I think we've already outgrown this house. But we're not going to look into moving for another 5 years at least. :(

Candyland said...

Yeah, I think we all do. The strangest thing...a phallus shaped wine stopper I won from some blog...

Delia said...

I, too, have a hell house -- hell drawers, hell purses, hell rooms, no hell closets, though, because my house doesn't have closets. I'm serious. One coat closet, one pantry. That's it. Now you understand the hell house.

Narrowing this down to the most commonly used hell drawer, however, I'd have to say the oddest thing in it is ammunition.

Hey, you gonna use that rubber worm? I might have a spot for it.

Kathryn Rose said...

I have a hell drawer. My husband hates it, and I hated it when I was growing up and my mother had one, but it's just so unavoidable. The extra envelopes that bills come with? They're all in there. Rubber bands? Ditto. Pay stubs? Check the drawer. I think my cat got lost in there one day too, but we managed to save her.

Matthew MacNish said...

It could have been worse. At least you didn't confuse glue for lube.

Blue Betty said...

That was impressive.

I don't really have a hell basket. I have a hell counter-next-to-the-sink in the bathroom, but that's because that's where I take off all the weird stuff (bracelets, barettes, retainers, etc.). I do have to clean that spot up once a week or so.

Abby Minard said...

Omg, I love it! Sounds like my "hell basket". We call it a "junk drawer" and we have one in our kitchen, one in my desk...actually my daughter's playroom is pretty much one big junk drawer.

There are all sorts of strange things in there. My daughter is 5 so she just opens the drawers and puts things in there, very similar to your lizards and such.

Glynis said...

We've got junk drawers and a hell house. This is what happens when one moves into one's sig-o's house after he's been living in it for a couple of years. There are corners that I've never seen.

The four junk drawers have a wonderful range of stuff. Quick survey of all four drawers and this is what I found without digging:

plumber's tape
index cards
motorcycle head gasket
eight rolls (in various amounts) of electrical tape
old prescription eyeglasses
three hammers
plaster of Paris impregnated gauze
cello tape (multiple rolls)
Opinel pocket knife
batteries (both dead and alive)
two purple candles
two black candles
motorcycle oil filter
green tissue paper
socket set (imperial)
assorted exotic change
my mother's hanko
plumber's putty
1 1/4" bathroom slip joint
repair manual for a 1975 Yamaha motorcycle
shop manual for a 1967 BSA Thunderbolt
a book on PTSD, written by Mr.X's sister
Silly Putty
Found unopened decks of cards

Yeah, that's just the beginning....It is fun to go through the drawers.

CKHB said...

Morgan beat me to it: I have a "hell house." And a 3yo. There's weird shit EVERYWHERE. Last time I tried to buy something I found a Krugerrand in my change purse.

Jan Markley said...

I've been looking for my fake rubber worm!

The weirdest things I keep at my writing desk are Q-Tips with which I clean out my cat's ears when she is sitting on my lap while I'm writing. I know - TMI!

Jeffe Kennedy said...

Now I know why it's so easy for you to put on lipstick every time P comes home...

Claire Dawn said...

Sounds like my house! Seriously, Japan has 16 categories of trash, and since we've only figured out how to throw out 7 of them, the others end up stashed in cupboards or the shed.

And I'm a packrat to start with...

adam.purple said...

And you have a "Quantum of Solace" mousepad. Too bad the movie wasn't better.

Jessica Lemmon said...

OH yes, my desk, too is a junk graveyard masked to look like a workspace. I found SEVEN hair elastics, and now I know where they all went. Also, there's a pair of shoes under my desk. I kick them off without knowing and then forget where they are.

lora96 said...

Ironically my hell basket is technically called a mail "organizer".


Empty packet of stamps
Expired Pizza Hut coupons
Warranty papers for TV unit we bought 14 months ago
Unfiled bills which have been paid long long ago
Thank you note from a baby shower (the child is now eating solid foods)
Photo from engagement party May 2009
Assorted receipts from grocery store
Pencil topper erasers with smiley faces on them

Unknown said...

Lol! it's not a basket per say. I'd be bold enough to call it my black hole (aka. my bedroom).

Let's see, 5 musical instruments, roughly 10 sets of karate weapons (two of them swords [I'd mention the daggers but I don't use them as part of my karate stuff ...]), an entire ceiling full of stuffies from almost 15 years ago ... and let's not forget the strewn clothing all over everthing :)

I can't even tell what's clean and what's dirty :D


Elizabeth Ryann, I can't believe how much soda she's drinking! Does she have to get up every five minutes to pee?

Nicole, sounds like it's time for a garage sale at your place!

Candyland, that is a treasure and you must keep it with you always!

Delia, hands off my rubber worm, dammit!

Kathryn, hell drawers and baskets are excellent places for cats to play!

Matthew, this is an excellent point. Thank you for a visual I will never be able to scrub from my brain.

Blue Betty, I recently cleaned off my bathroom counter and found stuff I'd worn to a party six months ago. Oops.

Abby, yes, I suppose "junk drawer" is more polite than "hell drawer," isn't it?

Glynis, holy crap! That's quite a list. I want that Silly Putty, btw.

CKHB, I'm with you on the weird coins. We do a lot of international travel, so we've got strange coins floating around everywhere.

Jan, I sometimes keep a comb by my desk so I can groom the cat, but your Q-tips are taking it just an extra step further!

Jeffe, no joke, I'm never without lipstick!

Claire Dawn, 16 categories of trash? What are they!?

adam.purple, I am madly in love with Daniel Craig, so I don't even notice the quality of the movie!

Jessica, our whole house is a black hole for hair elastics. Matt the Cat likes to play hockey with them and bat them under things.

lora96, I'm awful with the expired coupons, too!

Matthew AT Banning, karate weapons? Now THAT'S something I really need in my hell basket!

Thanks for reading, guys!

Kari Lynn Dell said...

Glynis wins the Internet for this blog. Handcuffs. I want.

Laina said...

A spoon?

I have a large storage container that I keep craft supplies in that I use as a corner table. It has so much stuff on it, including:

My camera
Nail polish
Crazy bands
Body spray
A bow

I could go on...

And then I have a little basket on my nightstand in my bedroom with things like:

A magnet that looks like a Canadian five dollar bill (I live in Canada)
An I <3 New York keychain
Address labels
Paper clips
Bobby pins

And all sorts of things I never use :P