Dead Man's Tools

Anne Tyler is great at describing all sorts of humanity, including (in "A Patchwork Planet"), old men who leave their tools to surviving friends and relatives.

 Old men who imagine, before they die, that their precious collection of useful objects will be gratefully received by other people. And then she goes on to say that the tools are usually ignored, then taken to the dump.

I don't intend to die any time soon, but I think about that occasionally when I look at my collection of stuff. "He'd like that spanner!" I think. And "He'd like that power drill". And so on. Anne Tyler, even if she has never never met me, has my type down to a tee.


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