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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column floating off into the cosmic junk drawer with all the bottle openers, pizza coupons and exploded pens.There we were, sifting through all the coins in the change jar in the bedroom (affectionately labeled “Hooch Fund” from years gone by), looking for a guitar pick. Now, some of you might wonder why the change jar is the place to look for a guitar pick. Then again, some of you know that that’s exactly where one would look for such a random item. It’s in there with the key that unlocks we don’t know what and had no better place to keep until we find a door we can’t get open.We all have these places and these items: Things that just as well could have been thrown away, things that have no official place or home in the organization of our material world and a drawer that seems to fill up with them. They are life’s left-overs, the “you never know when you might need this again” collection. It’s almost cruel, isn’t it? We cloister these things when we should put them out of their misery and send them to that community junk drawer in the sky (also sometimes called a “landfill”).And so we went to the junk drawer in the house (everybody has one, you know; we actually have two, right next to each other). And we took an inventory of whatever had collected there over the past four years. The discovery – well, the odder discoveries – are worth mentioning:^ A broken keychain with a red LED light that turns on when you squeeze it (good for looking through the junk drawer when the power’s out)F One cell phone of uncertain ownership, the battery of which went dead long ago with no way to recharge; someone left it at the house and never came back for its A pink golf ballD Another broken keychain that wouldn’t be that noteworthy except it bears a large Sea World logo, and features a nail clipper (ostensibly for giving manicures to Shamu)d A spatulap A 3-foot and 18-inch segments of nylon corda An easy-pour top for liquor bottles (gee, how’d that get in our house?)* A large clip from a dog leash (we have no dog)* A made-in-China, dime-sized, bronze medallion bearing the emblem of The North American Hunting Club– The magnetic strip portion of an old, broken Vail Resorts ski pass@ A beer cosy from “Deep South Insurance Services”# A red Crayola crayon/ And, a pin-on button proclaiming, “Outrageous Older Woman!”Then, once we’d pull all these out and laid them on the counter for inspection, it occurred to us we could just send them off now, throw them in the trash. But that would be too anti-climactic. These junk drawer items have hung around all this time, and who are we to say, “Now you must go!”Instead, we’ll try to make some sort of sculpture out of them, something that comments on modern man and the culture of consumption. We’ll give it to a roommate as a birthday present and then laugh when, two months later, we find it poking up through the scrap-paper phone messages in the junk drawer.***A concerned reader writes: “Dear Summit Up: What is up with these people that wear shorts year-round?”You’ve all seen someone like this, usually guys, and it doesn’t matter what the weather or the occasion – they’ll show up showing leg.We’re glad you asked, reader. They’re mutants. They are the remnants of an ancient race that could withstand brutal, arctic temperatures, roaming the tundra and just as they need room to breathe, so do their legs.Feel free to send us your other questions, care of our “Ask Summit Up” department, at, fax at (970) 668-0755 or just leave it Alex Trebec style on the voicemail at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237.***Is it us, or are Saturdays just not what they used to be? In some ways that’s good (we no longer wake up in a groggy state pouring orange juice over our cereal, for example).We’re out building the self-esteem of the stuff in the junk drawer …

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