Have you ever watched that show on A&E called Hoarders?  It features EXTREME stories about obsessive-compulsive types who NEVER throw anything away.  Their homes become little mini-landfills . . . full of trash, totes, piles of clothing, food wrappers and, in some cases, animal hair and gunk!  The show is gnarly and I never in a million years thought I would find myself in the home of a real-life hoarder.  That is until this past weekend, when I visited a dear friend of mine (who's going to take a hit out me for publishing this) and found out his "dirty" little secret.  Yes, I think I know a hoarder.

Now, before I tell the story I must confess a couple of things.  I am definitely prone to obsessive-complusion myself.  I am deathly afraid of fire and check to make sure the oven is off repeatedly before leaving the house.  There are certain lamps in my home that I just don't trust to leave on while I'm gone.  Pardon the pun, but they look shady to me!  I refuse to write with a pen that doesn't have a top to it.  I peel paper off 2 litres.  Yes!  This is complusion.  No!  It's not healthy.  I understand.  I know obsession.  We're buddies.  We're BFF's.

I also know people who are borderline-hoarder.  You should see the interior of Dave Spencer's car.  Good Lord!  It looks a strip mall, with a convenience store and a consignment store in it, blew up.  For instance, a couple of Mays ago, there was a loaf of bread sitting in his back windshield.  There was a running joke in the office about how long it had been there.  Well, we finally got close enough to the glass to see the expiration date.  It was JANUARY!!  Five months!!!!!!!  Who knew the WBKR afternoon-drive guy was harvesting cures for cancer and human papilloma virus in his Impala??  Again, I know obsessive-compulsion.  We go way back!

But, this past weekend, I headed off to Louisville to visit one of my oldest friends and to stay with him for a few days.  And, I suppose, for the sake of this story I should change his name to protect the "allegedly" innocent.  Hmmmmm . . . we'll call him Nairb.  I phoned Nairb to tell him that I was getting close to his house and he started screaming (like a crazed lunatic), "I NEED MORE TIME!"  Well, Nairb should have thought about that before Tad left Owensboro.  Now, Tad's in Louisville and he's not driving around the city in Rhonda the Ram and wasting gas that cost $3.50 a gallon, thank you very much!  I just figured Naird was being a drama queen and I proceeded to his house despite his warnings to stay away.  Huge mistake!

When I arrived at my destination (my home away from home for a couple of days), I found Nairb sitting in the middle of a pile of newspapers and coupon clippings.  And when I say "pile", I mean a mountain the size of Kiliminjaro.

To make matters even more suspicious and "hoardier", Nairb was sitting in the middle of the mountain eating some sort of sour cream dip.  He would have been eating chips as well except for the fact that he lost the bag of oven-baked tortillas somewhere in the gigantor pile of paper.

Now, I must clarify something in his defense.  Yes, Nairb is an EXTREME couponer.  He saves ridonkulous amounts of money by clipping coupons and getting rebates from just about every store in Jefferson County.  I'm here to tell you right now . . . he would to go to Gap Kids with a coupon for a hoodie if he could find a cold toddler who'd wear the thing.  I actually applaud his ability to save money.  I just didn't realize his methods of doing so were so . . . disorganized!

But the coupons weren't the only things strewn about his house.  There was clothing EVERYWHERE!!  Shirts, ties, dress pants, belts, shoes, and, yes, BOXERS!  There were empty cans in every room of his house.  Nairb apparently likes to recycle but forgets to put his recyclables in the proper storage bins.  Uh?  Hello?  You can't get a quarter for that Dr. Pepper can if you're sitting on it, Genius!  Get your ass up and Go Green!

And, the kitchen!  Let's talk about the kitchen . . . home to about 45 different spoons.  Okay, here's my question.  Why does anyone have 45 different spoons?  And who only eats with a spoon?  I'm nosy, so I immediately starting looking through his kitchen drawers and found proof of other utensils.  Yes, there were forks!  Yes, there were knives.  So, why were there only spoons in the sink???  Do Ben & Jerry live here too?

Do you only eat cereal?  And, if so, with all that fiber in your digestive tract, how do you get through the day without blowing your pants apart?  On second thought . . . don't answer that.

Realizing that I wasn't possibly going to find a clean place to sit or sleep for the next two days . . . I ordered Nairb to get up out of the pile of Sunday papers dating back to 1995.  He said (again like a crazed lunatic), "Why?"  I said, "We're going to clean your house, dips#$t!  You're like an episode of Hoarders!"  He then laughed hysterically and agreed to help.

I ran the vacuum.  I cleaned the hardwood floors.  I changed the sheets on Nairb's bed.  I picked up so much clothing I could have opened my own St. Vincent Depaul.  I found so many quarters in so many corners I could have gone to the casino boat and played the slots all night!  I ventured into the bathroom and found so many bottles of lotion I could have gone outside and rounded up some husky girls for my remake of The Silence of the Lambs!  Apparently, when you collect coupons and rebate, you buy dozens of bottles of lotion even though you don't really need it.  Hey, I guess in the event of a major storm, an earthquake or nuclear holocaust, you'll at least have smooth skin!

Oh!  And, wait!  I found the bag of tortilla chips that Nairb had lost!  They were under the couch with socks, cans, and about $4.75 worth of quarters!!!!  Victory was mine!

After about two hours, Nairb and I had done it!  We had turned his house's frown upside down.  It was free at last, free at last!  Thank Merry Maids almighty, it was free at last!  And, after a long day's work, a journey to Louisville, and living, unexpectedly, through an episode of Hoarders, I finally had a clean place to sit and put my feet up.  I know in my heart that I had performed a good deed.  When push comes to shove, friends dig deep and help their friends overcome.  And when a friend is a disc jockey who wants to tell his listeners a story like this, he'll change your name to protect you.  I don't mean to sound like Dionne Warwick, but that's what friends are for, Nairb.

Yes, keep smiling.  Keep shining.  Knowing you can always count on me.  For sure.  That's what friends are for . . . you hoarder!  LOL!

By the way, if you want to catch REAL episodes of the television show Hoarders . . . tune into A&E each Monday at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central!