Techno Punks / The Treasure Chest of Technological Salvage

For everyone's sake, let the techno punk keep his drawer full of apparently useless parts and appliances. You never know when something in there may come in handy.

Tell me, did you see the charger for my ancient Nokia? You know the small phone with the huge antenna that doesn't receive text messages or surf the Web?

Mrs. Techno punk responds, "What do you need it for? Look in your silly drawer. I'm sure you'll find it there among all the other junk you collect.”

Junk? Are you calling the things I keep in my drawer “junk”?  

You should know that this so-called junk is what allows you to download movies from our TV to watch on your computer, it’s why we have WiFi in our bedroom, and how I was able to resurrect those old computers to give you some peace and quiet from the kids!

Whether it’s a drawer, a trunk in your utility closet or a work cabinet out back, the idea’s the same. A techno punk's tool drawer is a holy site that contains years of scraps of seemingly useless components from electronic gadgets that have grown obsolete. Cables, old mouses, chargers for cell-phones long since lost or broken, memory cards for digital cameras whose better days are long behind them, banana jacks for different A/V systems… they are all there.

You can’t throw them out because you never know when you might need them. They're like some seemingly insignificant plant in the Amazon, nearing extinction but which might one day provide the cure to cancer. Would you want to tell all the little hopeful children in the hospital that you stepped on one of those suckers while on vacation? What kind of heartless person are you?

Such a drawer, essentially a time capsule, reveals the historical progress of humanity's technological development. As the excavator digs, there is the moment of joy in discovering a discarded part that now holds the key to an existing technological problem. 

Of course, we’re not talking about the entire electronic devices themselves. Holy Dungeons and Dragons! No, we're talking about the individual components that support these devices. For example, there is no place in the sacred drawer for a Palm Pilot (because who really uses those anymore?), but its charging stand does have some interesting parts that will definitely find alternative use at some point.  

In fact, every new computer, router or TV tuner comes with plastic wrapped kits full of colored cables that no techno punk in her right mind would ever throw out.

The need to hoard spare parts already finds expression in childhood, when the young techno punk returns home carrying nails, magnets and piles of nuts and bolts gathered from a bin on the side of the road.  Over time, that tendency matures into the need to disassemble electronic devices and make well-intentioned attempts to "fix" said devices or others that have been broken. The special drawer that safeguards these techno crown jewels eventually accompanies its owner from the parents' house to student dorms to bachelor pads and eventually to the family home where they raise little techno punks of their own. Spouses will always try to convince techno punks to give up the drawer, throw out its contents or, most vilely, "create some order" in it.

Whoever submits to such a request will regret the decision for the rest of his life.  In an incredible demonstration of Murphy's Law, you will be asked almost immediately by a friend or family member for a rare part that you just happened to discard.

Trust us, the sense of loss and failure is simply not worth the risk.

The drawer is like an evolved form of the ancestral toolbox.  Back in the pre-computer age the cave men would gather their trowels, screws of different sizes, crooked, several adjustable wrenches, a voltage current tester, and of course a rusty old hammer of the optimal weight whose handle perfectly fits your grip.  These pre-computer age Neanderthals squeezed out of their treasured, archaic tools the same joy that a techno punk of the 21stcentury expresses upon seeing a new cell-phone app or when he unlocks the challenge of connecting a new HD screen TV to an even newer streamer.

Dear ladies and significant techno-others, you should know that within every man dwells a little boy who wouldn't empty out his treasured drawer compartment for the world. That drawer constitutes his entire electronic life. The fate of these treasures is to be re-discovered one day by their owner and, if lucky, hear the sweetest words spoken by a techno punk to his salvage: "How lucky that I kept this."