This list was originally posted on October 18th, 2015. I think I might still be helpful.
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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, so I didn’t have these experiences. I would ask the Wall Street Journal to fact-check entirely 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 supposed 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 handmade 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 find the spin, and the empty cycle doesn’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 is 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 neighbor’s 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).