This list is inspired by going through some boxes recently and coming across some unusual things. Of course, most of what follows is made up, and so I didn’t have these experiences. I would ask the Wall Street Journal to fact check completely before using this story.
Top Ten Things Not to do with Stuff You Find
10. If you find an unopened box don’t open it. If you do, at best you might find someone’s old toss outs or laundry. At worst, you may find the remains of last year’s Thanksgiving dinner that was to be thrown out. (You still can’t get the image out of your brain)
9 If you find a lawnmower at the side of the road, do not pick it up. If you do, at best you will find out why it was thrown away, At worst, you will put it in a garage sale only to have the original owner accuse you of theft. (How he knew it was his is anyone’s guess)
8 If you find a lamp that has washed up on the beach do not rub it. If you do, at best it will turn out to be made in China. At worst, you will be given three wishes by a fierce looking genie, and you won’t get it right. (You thought you would be clever when you asked for a million bucks and now have a deer-feed bill that won’t quit)
7 If you find what you think is a treasure chest in your backyard, leave it where it is. If you don’t, at best you will find it full of smelly dirt. At worst, it will have things inside carrying a Blackbeard curse. (Go ahead and try to spend those doubloons before your hand falls off)
6 If you find what looks like a bomb in your garage, run away. If you don’t, at best it is only a hand made school project. At worst, old man Jones finally made good on his threat to” blow you to kingdom come.” (Suddenly you remember he used to work for a demolition company)
5 If you find a set of golf clubs at a garage sale, don’t buy ’em. If you do, at best you will find they weren’t worth what you paid for them even if it was only a dollar. At worst, once you take up the game, you will find out why they were for sale in the first place. (How’s that high blood pressure medicine working for you?)
4 If you find a washer on the curb of your neighborhood leave it there.If you don’t, at best you will only be successful in relocating it to your curb. At worst, you will spend the time and trouble to hook it up only to maybe find the spin, and empty cycle don’t work.( Soaking wet clothes weigh a ton. Right?)
3 If you find a strange object with colored lights in the woods behind your house, call the police. If you don’t, at best it is only your neighbor testing the outdoor Christmas tree lights. At worst, you will be asked to join the expedition to a funny place where they will run experiments on you and then send you back. (You say no one believes your story? Really?)
2 If you find a note on the kitchen table, pretend not to see it. If you don’t, at best it is an old shopping list. At worst, it a goodbye note with the name of a lawyer at the bottom who is now your only contact.(And you thought being nice was something you didn’t have to do).
1 If you find a large, five-toed animal footprint in the yard, call animal control. If you don’t, at best it is nothing but the neighbors new dog. At worst, it is the long lost Yeti-like drooling, smelly, hairy thing that is now taking up residence in your shed and suddenly has a thing for you. (Just smile and maybe it will go away).


  1. I love 5; and I could probably name a few people who should have read it – long ago.

    1. A friend of mine got caught up in club fever. Was not a pretty sight.

  2. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    John Howell​ with one of his ‘Ten Things Not To Do’ this time with treasure trove that you might find accidentally by the roadside or even in your own garage!!

    1. Lovely reblog. Thank you so much.

  3. I’ll remember number 10 this winter. We often see very large footprints in the snow.

    1. Make sure you avoid the yellow.

  4. This list is reminding me how my dad recently bought a weed whacker or something from a garage sale. I forget because it’s spent the last month sitting in the garage with its parts across a table. He fixes one thing, it works for a few minutes, and then it dies again. On the plus side, several YouTube videos are getting a bunch of views.

    #8- Time to open John’s Venison Emporium.
    #4- Raccoons. Don’t think I have to tell the story there. (Thankfully not me.)
    #1- Still better than a politician. πŸ˜€

    1. Ha ha ha, Enjoyed your take on these. I always wondered about racoons in appliances, but it is true.:-)

      1. I wouldn’t have to worry here. Squirrels would be the real danger.

  5. We moved boxes to Idaho 15 years ago. They still haven’t been opened. After reading this, they can stay in the attic.

    1. Smart move.Let em rest.

  6. “At worst, it is the long lost Yeti-like drooling, smelly, hairy thing that is now taking up residence in your shed”

    Hey, there is always room for one more Yeti.

    1. Especially if it is filled with beer. πŸ™‚

  7. Great list, John! Being a golfer myself, number five caught my eye. Breaking a club around a tree is a great replacement for BP meds.

    1. Ha ha ha.Have a great week.

  8. One man’s trash isn’t necessarily another man’s treasure, right, John?!? Guess it’s more practical to accept the fact that some things have lived their usefulness and are set out with the trash for a reason!

    1. Hard to do sometimes. πŸ™‚

  9. Thanks for the Monday smile John πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks for making me smile with your comment.

  10. Clever writing, John! A great Monday chuckle! Chryssa

  11. Oh, yeah. Number five, “(How’s that high blood pressure medicine working for you?)”
    Love all the cracks in brackets. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks, Tess. They are for laughs

      1. Indeed and work so well! πŸ™‚

  12. Gosh, this looks like my old neighborhood the week the college students moved out. Don’t touch anything! Wear a mask! Stay as far away from the piles as possible!

    1. Ha ha ha. Good to hear from you. πŸ™‚

  13. Number 5 – didn’t you take up golf to relax? πŸ˜€

    1. It was relaxing as long as there was a de-frib unit on the cart.

      1. I thought that was on the other cart – the one with liquid de-frib.

      2. Ha ha ha.” Hey, caddie, who put grapefruit juice in my grapefruit juice?”

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