Item Found In Garbage To Be Turned Into Lamp Someday

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Vol 38 Issue 09

New U.S. Currency Expires If Not Spent In Two Weeks

WASHINGTON, DC— Seeking to stimulate consumer spending, the Treasury Department unveiled "QuikCash," a new U.S. currency that expires two weeks from the date of its issuance. "America, get ready to spend," Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said Monday. "QuikCash is our exciting new way to jump-start the economy while telling our valued citizens, 'Hey, go get yourself something nice. Now.'"

Scotland More Relaxed When Sean Connery Is Away

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND— The people of Scotland felt a little calmer and more at ease Monday, when actor Sean Connery left the country to shoot a film in Morocco. "Don't misunderstand, we are quite proud of Mr. Connery," Scottish First Minister Jim Wallace said. "It's just that he's a rather intense fellow, and it's nice to have a little time without him." Connery is expected to be away for seven weeks, giving the nation the opportunity to hold a number of relaxed, Connery-free outdoor festivals.

Olympic Skier Stares Down Icy, Forbidding Slope Of Rest Of Life

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO— Two weeks after returning from the Salt Lake City Games, U.S. Olympic skier Courtney Roth, 31, found herself staring down the icy, forbidding slope that is her future Monday. "I got an offer to do a supermarket opening in Denver next week," Roth said, "and it looks like I may sign on to promote the new popcorn shrimp they've got over at Lou's Lobster House." Following several months of three-figure endorsement deals, Roth will land a job in Vail teaching skiing to surly, spoiled 5- to 10-year-olds for the rest of her life.

Home-Brewing Phase Comes To Long-Overdue Conclusion

BETHEL PARK, PA— Local resident Randy Paltz's two-year home-brewing phase finally came to its long-overdue conclusion Tuesday. "Thank God, it's over at last," said Andrea Longo, girlfriend of the 33-year-old beer aficionado. "Every few weeks, he'd make a big production about his latest 'Paltz's Signature Brew.' It all tasted the same—like really thick, shitty beer." Friend Tim Traschel also expressed relief, saying, "Now I can actually go to his house and bring some Michelob without getting a lecture about the low quality of hops in commercial beers."

It Was The Eighth Subscription Card That Convinced Me

Every now and then, I'll pick up a copy of Sports Illustrated, usually when the cover story grabs my interest. But for all the times I've bought SI off the newsstand, I'd never really thought about subscribing. That is, until last Friday, when that eighth subscription card fell out of the issue I was reading. Yes, that was the one that convinced me.

Man Can't Get Police To Care About His Bob Crane Murder Theory

SCOTTSDALE, AZ— Despite his best efforts, Paul Bernardin, 38, has been unable to get the Scottsdale Police Department to care about his theory regarding the unsolved 1978 murder of actor Bob Crane in Scottsdale. "[Bernardin] keeps coming in here saying he knows who killed Col. Hogan," police chief Walter Dunfey said Monday. "Then he usually goes off on how the electrical cord Crane was strangled with doesn't match the ones in the other rooms of the hotel he was in. What am I supposed to do with that information?" Bernardin, Dunfey said, is also convinced that the police possess Crane's infamous stash of self-produced amateur pornography.
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Item Found In Garbage To Be Turned Into Lamp Someday

MINNEAPOLIS—Joe Lennek, 24, a part-time pizza delivery driver and 1997 University of Minnesota dropout, rescued a three-foot length of metallic pipe from the trash Monday in the hopes of one day converting it into a lamp.

Lennek displays the piece of pipe that will make a really cool lamp.

"The Dumpster was filled with all sorts of cool shit," Lennek said. "There was an old clothes rack, a bunch of mannequin heads, and this huge stack of records—everything from Poco to Mantovani. But when I saw that pipe, I immediately pictured it as a lamp. I'm so psyched that I snagged it before somebody else did."

Added Lennek: "Who would throw out something like this? This is such a perfect piece to make something with."

In spite of the fact that he has never made a lamp before and lacks electrical-wiring experience, Lennek is confident he can transform the pipe into a lamp.

"Making the lamp should be cake," Lennek said. "I'm sure [roommate] Dick [Donovan] has one of those Time-Life books on wiring or something."

A self-described "found-object hobbyist," Lennek frequently brings home discarded items for use in art projects. Recent finds include a frayed rug, a bass-drum pedal, three broken televisions, and a piece of a hamster Habitrail. With the exception of the rug, which has been turned into a decorative wall hanging, the rest of the objects still await use.

"I was gonna use the pedal as, like, one of those open-close foot things on a garbage can," Lennek said. "But the garbage can I was gonna attach it to was too big. So that's temporarily on hold until I can find a smaller can."

Though tolerant at first, Lennek's three housemates have in recent months begun to become irritated by his hobby.

"He drags useless crap home all the time," housemate Jeffrey Worthen said. "There's an entire box of doll limbs and torsos under the kitchen table. He kept saying he was gonna glue them all to his chair and make some kind of Texas Chainsaw Massacre throne, but that still hasn't happened. Neither has the chair made out of wooden wine cases that he was so excited about last summer."

"Some of the stuff he makes is cool, like the poker-chip dispenser he made from one of those old Mr. Mouth games," roommate Mike Mosedale said. "But most of it never gets turned into anything. It just sits there and takes up space."

In addition to adding clutter to an already cramped apartment, some of Lennek's acquisitions are potentially dangerous.

"Joe brought home these old printing plates," Worthen said. "He put, like, six of them up on the bathroom wall, and two of them have already fallen down because of the humidity from the shower. And the ones that are still up have these razor-sharp edges. Every time I ask him when he's going to finish it, he tells me he just needs to borrow some tin snips to fit to the corners. He doesn't care that we're in danger of slicing ourselves open on the edges of these stupid plates."

Last month, Lennek brought home a wooden door he found on the way home from The Nowhere Bar.

"I was on my way home when I cut down an alley, " Lennek said. "I found this bizarre door with all these pages from a Reader's Digest condensed book pasted on it, and each page had a picture drawn on it. I took it, planning to make it a living-room table. I thought we could use that instead of the Dukes Of Hazzard TV trays I found last October, but then I changed my mind."

Explaining his decision to abandon the project, Lennek said the table would have been ill-suited for its intended space.

"It was just a bit too big for the living room," Lennek said. "We could've fit around it to eat or drink beer while watching TV, but it would've been a pain to get around if no one was using it. I figured out how I could make this cool pulley system to hoist it up to the ceiling, but then I would've had to put the legs on hinges so I could fold them under. Otherwise, you'd clock your head when you walked under it."

The door is currently leaning up against the wall behind the couch.

"I have this vision of Joe in 20 years," Mosedale said. "He's going to be one of those crazy people you hear about that has years' worth of newspapers and empty tin cans stacked up in his bedroom. The neighbors will complain about the smell, and the city will have to order him to remove it or face eviction."

Lennek blamed the pile-up on a lack of equipment.

"The big problem is, I don't have enough tools to do what I want," Lennek said. "I should really get myself a good circular saw, a hot glue gun, and a cordless drill. That'll make it way easier to follow through on all these projects. It would help if I had more time, too, but I'm pretty busy trying to hustle for work and looking for more cool stuff."

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