The Tale of the Missing Family


If you live in my area, do not be alarmed if something like the following appears in local news. And if they withhold our names while they contact my brother in China, be assured, it is us.

A local family met a tragic end this week when they were buried in their home’s clutter. The family of four were found by one of their neighbours and her husband three days after they were overtaken. The neighbour described finding them:

We realized we hadn’t seen them for a few days, so we went to check on them. When we got no response to our repeated knocking we opened the door. We couldn’t believe what poured out – church bulletins, school calendars, birthday party favours, take-out menus, toys, books, clothes, and the drawings and paintings. Oh my. It was just endless.

Her husband added: “The size of the dust bunnies just blew my mind. You can’t even call them ‘bunnies’. I’d say they were dust bears”.

Police officers at the scene were not suprised at this incident. They see it as a growing epidemic.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity in this ongoing investigation, one officer shared how common this scenario is, “Oh, yeah, we see this kind of thing all the time – not always with this tragic result, but it’s a real danger. This is just the normal amount of stuff generated by a household of this size”.

The officer went on to say that in a time when technology should be allowing for a paperless society, what they see is the opposite. There seems to be more and more paper clutter for a family to deal with. He also blamed the busyness of families and the pressures of modern parenting with creating a perfect storm of a lot of stuff acquired, a lot of things to do and a lack of time to do it in.

And then you have all these parenting magazines, books and websites insisting on making time with the family a priority even if it means neglecting the house a bit, and well, you can see, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. We lost another family about a year back — they were having Family Boardgame Night in the basement and were overtaken by toxic mould.

Area residents realized that this could have easily occured to them. Many at the scene commented on how close they are to experiencing the same tragedy. The local Home Hardware ran out of blue boxes as people picked up supplies on the way home, vowing to clear the clutter once and for all.


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