The Economy Of Illusion.

Mark Spearman
4 min readOct 24, 2022

Revelations Of A 25 Year Cleanout

Clean out your house at least every 2 years. Every cleanout will still have leftovers of things you think you may still need. Most of the time, you’re wrong. At about 25 years since a major cleanout, you realize you must throw all even the things there may be some remote use of needing.

My 25 year cleanout has me reflecting on life. The kids are grown and moved out. The realization of what you might need again becomes strikingly clear. The reasons of why you bought those things then make you think. The thoughts move to the way things were 25 years ago and how they are now.

The Particle Board Lifestyle

Have you ever handled 25 year old particle board furniture? As I tore down an old TV stand, the process looked like something out of a Bruce Lee movie. My chops and kicks made the faux wood fly apart with ease. What caused us to purchase this stuff.

We could not afford proper furnishings or even a proper home. We lived in a mobile home and furnished it with second hand furniture and this particle board stuff for cabinets, side tables, TV and microwave stands, etc. It looked and worked like a functional home. Good enough right?

We felt far less poor than we actually were. It was less depressing for two skilled and hard-working young adults to at least seem to be living in a home as functional as our parents had. The illusion worked for a while.

We didn’t realize that the mobile home was full of formaldehyde and who knows what other chemicals. Who knows what holds the particles together in the furnishings. It kind of looked and worked like a home, so we went with it. Things would improve, right?

We watched the fake lives of the Seinfeld characters unfold on our TV when there was enough time. The sets of the fake TV shows were built better than our real homes.

When the Internet cables need to be routed from the outside walls, my cousin took a hammer and screwdriver to put a hole clean through the outside of the wall to the inside. I was shocked. I asked him how people burn up in mobile homes. Do others know that you can just knock the walls down to escape?

The Work Paying For The Particle Board Lifestyle

Inside another particle board cabinet to be thrown out, I found the evidence of the labor…



Mark Spearman

I hail from Central Ohio. I have a diverse background and enjoy writing to the fullest. See more at