I donâ€™t watch television all that much, but since having gotten the bigass TV, I find myself watching more TV than I had in the past. One of the shows I admit to watching with some regularity is Storage Wars. For those unfamiliar with the show, it involves a half-dozen or so fairly dislikeable people bidding to purchase the contents of storage lockers that have been abandoned by the people who stored their stuff in the locker. The potential bidders are given five minutes to stand outside the locker and look in to examine the contents prior to bidding. No stuff-touching allowed.
Each of the regular six characters has a distinct TV persona, and the bidding, not surprisingly, is spirited and often is accompanied by stated plans by one character or another to drive up the bidding so that one of the other characters has to pay more for the lockerâ€™s contents than the bid driver-upper thinks itâ€™s worth. This often leads to stare-downs and open hostilities that are about as believable as professional wrestling.
Still, I watch it. Apparently millions of others do as well. The show has an average viewership of 2.8 million per episode. So I ask myself, â€Yo, Jimbo. Why do you and so many others watch this rather silly and highly staged nonsense?â€
I donâ€™t know about the rest of the 2.8 million, but for my part, I have often wondered just what the heck people store in those lockers, which are quite common in this area. Curiosity? Just plain nosiness? Not much difference between the two, I suppose, when it comes to watching someone rummaging around in someone elseâ€™s stuff.
There is also the allure of a â€œmystery box.â€
Remember â€œLetâ€™s Make a Dealâ€ when the contestant would be asked, â€œDo you want one-thousand dollars in cash or whatâ€™s behind Door Number Three?â€ The audience would invariably scream at the contestant, to choose Door Number Three. Hell, I would take Door Number Three.
The show has caused me to wonder about a couple things:
When a locker is opened and it is a ungodly mess filled with lots of personal stuff, such as old clothing, old shoes and other real crap, I wonder if the person who rented the locker and who was the previous owner of the stuff happens to be watching and how he/she feels about the characters picking through his/her stuff in front of 2.8 million people.
Sometimes, one or more of the lockers contains stuff that is actually worth a lot of money, which presumably would come as a surprise to the person who originally stored the stuff, otherwise why would he/she abandon the locker knowing its contents would be auctioned off?
Holy shit, Mabel! Look at the TV! Remember that old _______ [fill in the blank] we put in that storage locker? Itâ€™s worth twenty-thousand dollars! It was your idea to stop paying the rent on the damned locker!
By contrast, I have also seen episodes where some of the contents of a locker are obviously quite valuable (e.g. jewelry, three all-terrain vehicles), causing me to wonder why the locker was abandoned. Owner died? (The terms of the contract undoubtedly bind the estate.) Owner in jail? Owner on the lam?
Iâ€™m obviously over-thinking all of this.
I think I need an intervention.