A Conversation for Ask h2g2

That'll Come In Handy.....

Post 1

Taipan - Jack of Hearts

Why is it that you can hoard something for years under this little belief, and it's only after you've eventually throw it out, that someone -or something - comes along to prove it would have been handy.

Is there some kind of Cosmological law that governs this?

That'll Come In Handy.....

Post 2



a) If you're the kind of person that normally keeps things that might be useful, and opportunities do arise where some of these things would be desirable, sometimes it will just happen that the oppurtunity arises shortly after you've dumped whatever it was you were keeping. Because you have a natural aversion to waste (otherwise you wouldn't have kept things in the first place), that will annoy you, so you'll remember it more strongly than occasions when you did successfully use something you'd kept.

b) It's all to do with the interconnectedness of parallel universes. There are lots of other universes very similar to this one. If your part of the current universe is running a little behind the corresponding part in the near neighbours, lots of alternative versions of you will have successfully used the item already, and therefore stopped worrying about keeping it. This lack of worry slowly seeps into this universe, you stop caring about whatever it was, and throw it away just before the opportunity to use it arises in this version of reality

c) The gods are bored. They're playing with your head.

That'll Come In Handy.....

Post 3

Wand'rin star

Yes, there is. I think it was delt with recently on another forum.but I've forgotten where. This proves the corollary of your law that as soon as you want something you've hoarded, you won't be able to find it until it's too late. I call it the Grandma's String law after the former who hoarded the latter without many beneficial results because of the corollary,

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Post 4

Wand'rin star

Subsection of theLaw of Pedantic Reverberation in play here (I've mis-spelt delt)

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Post 5

Is mise Duncan

...and a new law of software functionality comes in to play. This browser supports "save your password" functionality which is plain evil, but not "check my spelling and grammar" which would be very useful and is fully supported in most other software from the same company. I suspect that had you had a little red squiggly line you wouldn't have had "theLaw" as one word either.

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Post 6

Lupa Mirabilis, Serious Inquisitor

But that red squiggly line is evil. Although not as evil as the green squiggly line; whenever I type a long sentence with a semicolon and a bunch of commas in it, it gets underlined in green and I can't find anything wrong with it at all.

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Post 7

Wand'rin star

I have more than once been told how to change, or delete, the grammar correction squiggles. Usually I'm OK with American practice, but being commanded to use that spelling for the verb as well makes me grind my remaining teeth. However, to return to out muttons, I can never find the information when I need it, having filed it somewhere handy.

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Post 8


Personally I've got much more ruthless as I've aged. The alternative is being drowned in kipple. I've probably thrown out things I should have kept (e.g. the hiking boots I walked all the Wainwrights in, no longer serviceable as boots but they hung on my wall for nine years as a reminder). I've probably still got things I shouldn't keep (e.g. a bunch of Star Trek micromachines models). But overall, I've been pretty good over the last five years at simply going through my house (particularly the attic and garage) and throwing stuff out.

The thing is, if I ever do find I need something I threw out... I just buy another. Knowing I can do that and realising that the space and mental clarity gained by disposal is greater than the financial benefit of keeping everything has made me measurably happier.

Not least among the reasons it's made me happier are that throwing out this kind of tat makes my wife happier. Happy wife, happy life.

That'll Come In Handy.....

Post 9


That's good if you can actually source the item to buy & reasonable cost. Often the item I want is so trivial (bit of string, one cup hook type of item, scrap of particular colour fabric) that you can't just go & buy. Or just unobtainable.
I am trying to get rid of stuff in good condition that I'm sure I'll never use again. The the problem is the effort of finding 'a good home' rather than just chuck in the bin. Charities are a handy outlet but they often restrict what they'll take.
Fortunately we both tend to keep things that might be useful (although different things) so no cause for argument in our house.
Except then there's the problem of remembering where I put that particular thing...

That'll Come In Handy.....

Post 10

winnoch2 - Impostair Syndromair Extraordinaire

The more prosaic explanation is that you were just recently reminded of this thing's existence by the act of retrieving and then throwing it out. It was therefore utmost in your mind the next time a circumstance came along that it would've been useful forsmiley - puff

Chances are that over the years this thing would've been useful a number of times, but you probably forgot you owned such a thing so it never registered in your mind as a useful thng to have.

As soon as the thing has been disinterred, then chucked to landfill, you will spend the next few weeks worrying about whether or not you really should've thrown it away and the very second that the most tenuous situation arrives that you could contrive to use your now ex-thing, you beat yourself up over having thrown such a useful thing away.

Or something

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