Sunday, April 29, 2007

More "Stuff!"

I once wrote an essay called “Stuff”. It was about stuff. All sorts of stuff. It was a good essay too, by all accounts. But alas, it got lost during a move, among the morass of papers that makes up a reasonable part of my personal stuff, and I’ve never managed to find it. To add insult to injury, it wasn’t kept in the records or even the inboxes of those who propounded the virtues of “Stuff” and who otherwise keep all sorts of weird stuff. One friend (may he rest in peace) even lost his printed copy in amongst his stuff, which I must admit, I thought was pretty cool. The day of realisation that it was truly lost however, was a very sad day for me. I felt I’d lost a friend. You see, “Stuff” was the first essay I’d written for public consumption and it was quite well received.

Oh well, I guess it’s a good thing there’s still plenty of stuff to write about in this fabulous world of ours. There’s always stuff in the paper and I’m always thinking about stuff, or doing stuff, getting new stuff or passing on old stuff, so there’s always plenty of inspiration.

But stuff lives on and the problem it presents has once again piqued my curiosity. I’ve been thinking you see, that perhaps there’s to much stuff. Did you know, that in the Oxford Dictionary (Concise Australian – 1993), there are no less than ten meanings for the word stuff? You have to admit, that’s a lot of stuff! It also means that you can pretty much use it for anything. You can say stuff, do stuff or have stuff. You can think stuff or think of stuff. You can carry stuff, both metaphorically and physically and stuff can happen or not happen. Stuff is an amazing thing, but I think it’s getting out of hand.

There’s other stuff too, like the stuff in my head. No, not the grey stuff, although that’s some pretty handy stuff to have, but the thoughts and stuff. I’m glad I started with this blogging stuff. Now I can write all this stuff down and get it out. People can either laugh at, or with me, criticise or praise me, or say anything or nothing if that’s how they feel. I don’t mind but it’s fun to be able read and respond to all that stuff. Besides, how can ideas progress without discussion? They’re just ideas after all, intangible stuff. What else are you going to do with them? I’ll admit, there’s probably some pretty stupid stuff floating around here, this stuff being a prime example, but you’re welcome to tell me so, or not. Either way, it’s still good stuff!

And what about the stuff in the garage. Come on, admit it. There’s stuff in your garage, isn’t there? Mine’s a two car garage and we used to be able to park a car in there. I even had dreams at one stage, of turning half of it into a work shop sort of a space for us all to use, we only need the one car after all, but now it’s so full of stuff I can barley get my push bike in, let alone the car. I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of old stuff in there too. Stuff we haven’t used for years, you know, things like the old change table, the old pram, old baby toys, old videos, old crockery that's had the handle broken off and all the general sort of stuff you tend to accumulate during 17 years of marriage and raising a family. I said to my wife that we should probably get St. Vinnies or the Salvos in to take what they can use, but she thinks there’s probably stuff out there that she wants to keep. I suggested that in that case, we should perhaps just get a skip, close our eyes and empty it, completely. That didn’t go over to well though.

But if you don’t have a garage, then I bet there’s a spare room or that weird cupboard in the house somewhere that seems to attract everything that doesn’t otherwise have a place. You know the one, it’s got all sorts of stuff in it, especially that stuff you keep picking up, wondering why the hell you keep it and move it from house to house, then put it back so it can move with you again next time. It’ll have the old board games in it too, for sure. But when you’re asked what’s in there, I bet you say something like “Just some stuff…” because really, there’s no other answer.

I’m lucky enough to have a personal one. I didn’t have room to arrange all my stuff in my little writing and music room and actually use it, so I stacked it in the cupboard and I think it’s about to burst. It’s got sliding doors and one just wont budge now and I’m scared to force it. But there’s old computers, and computer related stuff, old newspapers (my boy’s in one of them somewhere), old song lyrics, sports equipment, you name it. Go easy should you look in there though. I’ll grant that you may find some interesting tid-bits, but the stack got out of hand a while back and grew, seemingly of it’s own volition. Consequently, it is somewhat precarious and should only be attempted by a well seasoned and experienced "stuffist", as I prefer to say.

So you see, stuff, as I see it, especially considering the many aspects it can take, is a business that should be taken seriously. It should be researched with the sort of gusto, funding and resources that would make NASA or JPL jealous. I think it’s that important. I believe that were we to examine the phenomena of the humble “pile of stuff” for instance, we’re likely to find a whole new branch of physics where stuff can balance precariously on its edges, unnoticed, and seemingly defy gravity, all the while conspiring to be ready to fall on you if you should happen to upset the balance of the stack. I’d like to see those Intelligent Design lads have a poke at it too. Ha! Maybe god likes to laugh when the stack collapses on top of you. I can’t see it earning him much praise though. But who knows, there may even be a whole new branch of the metaphysical as well. We’ve all heard people talk about the stuff of life, so what is it exactly? It can’t just be any old stuff, surely!

So there you have it. Stuff. It really is a marvellous word…


Anonymous said...

I remember when you posted that entry on your old blog :-)

Anonymous said...
Here is my blogger.

Plonka said...

LOL! You caught me out! Nice to see you Goo...:)

I did say I might revisit some "stuff" though...

Sadie Lou said...

This stuff makes so much sense!
"Stuff" is a great word. It used to drive my parents crazy whenever I was leaving the house and they would ask "What are you going to do?"

I'd say:



beepbeepitsme said...


Sorry to hear you lost one of your favourite pieces. Having had that happen to me as well, I now save a text file of each article. (Just a copy and paste of it in notepad.)

Plonka said...

Sadie: This stuff makes so much sense!

Why thank you...:) It is a brilliant word simply because it can mean so many things.

Beep: Sorry to hear you lost one of your favourite pieces.

I've reproduced it as best I could and am happy enough wit the result. These days I write them all in word and save a copy before I post.

beepbeepitsme said...

RE: "It is a brilliant word simply because it can mean so many things."

Like god? (You know I had to do it.)

Plonka said...

Nice one Beep...:)

Dikkii said...


I love the word.

I particularly love using it as a verb - as in "stuff this" or "get stuffed." Or "I'm stuffed" after a good walk in the hills, or even after a feed.

Love it.

Plonka said...

Thanks Dikkii. There aren't many other words quite as usable, I don't think.

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