Hoarders Scam!

I spy a Hoarders Freeloader

As you all know, I love me some Hoarders.  I watch it religiously and come here to comment on the episodes that are really foul or interesting in some other way.  Well, this week I think I saw a series first.

I think Hoarders got scammed.

This week had one relatively routine (though seriously nasty and in need of major therapy) hoarder and one eccentric gentleman who at first reminded me a little bit of season 3’s Sir Patrick – lonely and surrounded by mountains of things he loves.  Randy is a collector of arcade games – a hobby he has pursued since childhood.  His 20,000 sq. ft. (!) warehouse is packed full and he would love to open an arcade or museum to make some cash and show off his collection.  Unfortunately his warehouse is not in an area zoned for such an establishment.  Randy needs help sorting through his treasures and bringing some to a new space that he can open for the world to see.  Or at least that’s how it’s all presented at the beginning.

My first impressions likening Randy to the super-lovable Sir Patrick were horribly wrong.  Randy is no Sir Patrick and his warehouse filled with arcade games is no Camelot.  Let’s look at the evidence and see if you agree with me that Randy is really looking for free moving service.

Clue #1.  Randy acts like a jerk.  Fine, that in and of itself is nothing we haven’t seen plenty of in the past.  But his sad delusion that he’s somehow the King Of The World rings strangely false.  He sure does try hard to convince us that he isn’t stable, but when push comes to shove he seems mostly just egocentric.

Clue #2.  Nobody appears on Randy’s segment but Randy.  No family or friends who are concerned for his well-being or mental state.  Nobody who wants him to get help.  Nobody.  So who called the show?  Methinks it was Randy.

Clue #3.  We never see Randy’s living area.  This is all about his warehouse and his arcade games.  We never have any idea if he lives in clutter, if he hoards anything else, if his “affliction” carries past those walls.  Not one glimpse.  I smell a rat.  Or rather, I don’t smell any vermin at all – and that’s suspicious.

Clue #4.  Randy never admits to being a hoarder or having a problem (other than not having as much money as he would like).  That isn’t unusual, but the lack of any other evidence to the contrary certainly is.  Instead of addressing the basis of the program he’s on he cavorts around acting like a fool (doing things like pretending to eat his collection of his own hair).  But that’s a distraction.  He isn’t going to admit he’s a hoarder – I don’t think he’ll admit a falsehood that he thinks makes him look bad.  The irony being, of course, that his prattle makes him look far worse than any hoarder.

Clue #5.  Randy never agrees to get rid if a single thing.  Not one.  The sad part here is that at this point I think the show knows they’re being had – Dr. Suzanne Chabaud doesn’t even push him or insist on looking past the machines into the rest of the cluttered space.  He’s got his free ride and the show is now forced to try and make the best of the situation.

Clue #6.  And this is where Matt Paxton comes in.  Matt is not always the most patient guy in the world, but I’ve never seen him get into this kind of pissing contest with a participant on the show.  Randy is all over Matt’s extreme cleaning crew, calling them incompetent because they don’t want to risk moving a huge, heavy machine.  When they go to lunch he moves it himself.  When’s the last time we saw a hoarder remove an item themselves if the crew hesitated?  Answer: never.  Because that’s not what hoarders do – they hang on, they don’t have to prove themselves superior to the experts by taking risks with their own belongings.  Matt has a tantrum about the way he’s being treated, which is very strange.  I think he knows exactly what’s up and is rightfully resentful of having to put his crew at risk because this guy wants someone else to move his crap. Both Dr. Chabaud and Paxton are in the end gracious and professional, but in Paxton we can plainly see frustration.

Clue #7.  Randy gets his machines moved and gets rid of nothing.  The warehouse has fewer things in it but has not been cleaned or organized.  Randy decides what gets moved and has no trouble choosing.  There’s not one hint of anxiety in this process for Randy.  Only arrogance – not the cover of arrogance over a core of upset and turmoil – just pure, unprocessed arrogance.   Hoarders have trouble making decisions – that’s an absolutely consistent attribute on the show.  Randy has no trouble, in fact he seems to relish his role of ordering the crew to do his bidding.

Clue #8.  Randy refuses any and all aftercare funds and services.  He gets what he wants and then he’s done with the show.  If he was really so smart he would have taken the organizer services and gotten even more from the show by having them clean up his warehouse, but he doesn’t think that far ahead.  He’s only concerned with getting his new business set up and publicized for free, then he wants to be done with these pesky inferiors.

I feel for the makers of Hoarders.  They got used by this guy and by the time they figured it out it was too late and they had to make the best of it.  Matt Paxton repeatedly insists that this guy has a disease, he just doesn’t specify what disease.  I don’t even want to hazard a guess.

I’ve never seen this happen to Hoarders before, but I think they got taken by Randy.  It doesn’t make me like the show any less, it just makes me sad for the one less person they can now really help.  He didn’t deserve the help of the people who make this show – we’ve seen so many desperately ill people benefit from the therapy and organization Hoarders offers that watching this guy take advantage is kind of sickening.  What kind of person takes services away from the mentally ill?

You can see full episodes of Hoarders at the A&E website.  As of this writing, the full Randy episode was available – catch it while you can and see if you agree.  Did Randy abuse services he knew he didn’t need?  My verdict – yes indeed.

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