Invasion of the Knick-Knack People

Invasion of the Knick-Knack People

A Story by Damian Alan Gray

Knick-knacks have become the masters, and I but their humble protector.


Are you a Knick-Knack Person? I am. In fact, I have so many damned whatsits, whosits, whatnots and dooglebobs that I'm not even quite sure where they've all come from. Some have been given to me, others I've purchased and some I've found while wandering about the great outdoors (Rocks. ROCKS! I need more ROCKS! Oh, yeah, and a few more feathers couldn't hurt either). But, I swear that some of these things have sought me out just so they'd have a permanent home, in which to be safe. Safe, because they know that I'll never - and, I mean NEVER - get rid of them.

Some might call me a "packrat." This term, I'll have these idiots know, is a misnomer. A packrat (a real animal, for those of you who may not be in the know) will substitute one item for another. For instance, your general packrat will come across a Snickers wrapper that he finds completely adorable and cannot live without. He'll then run back to his nest, take something that he believes is of equal value (an old and much cherished shoe lace might do just nicely), run back to where the Snickers wrapper lies and then “pay” for it.

I don't do this.

The very reason that I’d worked as a bartender for so many years is so that I could be assured of having tip-money on me at all times in order to pay for my "Snickers wrappers." Why pay my hard earned money instead of simply substituting one item for another? Because I can't do it any other way. I am the Consummate Collector of useless crap.

People like me are easily identified by our shifty eyes (always on the lookout for another item of temporary, yet somehow vital interest), the way we walk (try to imagine Groucho Marx's gait; permanently hunched over from browsing through the lower shelves of antique stores) and, of course, the way we talk (which would be fast. We have no time to squabble about prices because we have to get our loot home before we're tempted into purchasing a pack mule in order to carry home even more junk). Knick-Knack People (KKP's) are also easily exposed by the amount of shelving that they have in their homes.  

Some people are not, nor will they ever be, a KKP. In fact, I have a good friend who is the epitome of the Anti-Knick-Knacker. Folks like me simply cannot understand these people because we have the ability to see beauty in clutter. Anti-Knick-Knackers will usually feel extremely claustrophobic the moment they walk into a KKP's home.

I don't mean to say, necessarily, that we have messy homes. Not at all, in fact. In general, KKP's are very tidy creatures; everything has its place and, if you happen to be browsing through our shelves and shelves of curiosities, you'd better have the good sense to put them back exactly where you found them, lest you face the wrath of the KKP! We're very particular about where our little treasures are placed, because the knick-knacks need discipline. Otherwise, the knick-knacks will take over our homes, become our masters, and make us buy larger homes in order to accommodate even more knick-knacks, which we will be forced into buying by our new masters.

KKP's also have a penchant for boxes; I have three within eyeshot as I write this. I don't really know why this is, but when I see a box I simply have to have it. A team of psychoanalysists might describe this particular obsession as meaning that I have something to hide, but they simply don’t understand the depths of this fixation. The real reason for my box mania is just because I need more places to put all these damned Snickers wrappers.

© 2008 Damian Alan Gray

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


As a sufferer of Selective KKP, I must commend you on this essay. The definition of "packrat" adds a nice explanation and your use of parenthesis comments - like Ferris Bueller talking to the camera- are great.

I have been described as more of a raccoon - anything that's shiny, that's for me! and of course, you can never get enough of those wonderful ROCKS!

Posted 12 Years Ago

Wooh. That was a very interesting read. I particularly enjoyed the comments in parentheses, ala princess bride. It helps portray the narrator as a fast-talking, creepy kind of guy that keeps interrupting himself in his eagerness to tell us his compelling story of knick knack collection. Keep up the awesomeness.

Posted 12 Years Ago

hmm... I must thank you for the definition of the pack rat. It seems like an intriguing Bilbo Baggins sort of creature. It takes the snickers wrapper and grunts and frets and worries until it has paid for it. Nicely done.

I am not a KKP. And now, thanks to you, I can't remember if the Russian spies were KTP's or KFC's.... lol... just kidding. But I do have a penchant of my own for collecting boxes, probably because I am a tramp of sorts and don't really have a place I call home.

This was wildly entertaining and I am surprised I hadn't found this before. It is a terrific tale (:

Posted 12 Years Ago

This is incredibly funny...because it is and because I can relate so well to ALL of it.
Had a friend who actually hauled stones..umm...small boulders back from Arizona on an airplane (10 years ago) just for me!
They say diamonds are girls best friend..not this one's. Bring me feathers and stones. They will forever have a loving home and I will forever love the bearer. Add to the list keys, any item that appears sad, old books, railroad spikes, acorns, pine cones, marbles,old postcards, photos of unknown people...
Empty boxes..tons...just in case.
Your Fellow KKP

Posted 12 Years Ago

I can relate - very nice write, funny and keeps your attention

Posted 13 Years Ago

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


5 Reviews
Added on February 14, 2008


Damian Alan Gray
Damian Alan Gray

Spring Hill, FL

Damian Alan Gray is not an author, he is a writer. The difference being, of course, that an author's daily routine normally includes scheduling interviews with Oprah and book signings at Barnes and No.. more..


Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..