‘The man urgently needs shelving!’ the ambulance man offered – which I thought was a particularly harsh judgement from a medical man in the mercy business. I checked my dictionary – shelve; to abandon, to cancel, put an end to. What could he have done to deserve so harsh a judgment?
The crew had had to remove the door of his apartment by the hinges and clamour over mountains of magazines to rescue Patrick Moore from his paper tomb where he had been trapped for three days.
‘He is an obsessive collector of pornographic magazines with tens of thousands of publications stacked to the ceiling. He’d made a corridor through so he could get in and out. Finally he unbalanced the stacks. I’ve no sympathy with him.’
So he had required him ‘shelved’ rather than the apartment!
Had he met a similar case before? ‘Harlem brothers Homer and Langley Collier were crushed to death by their collection of encyclopaedias and clutter in 1947. It took 18 days to find the bodies under the debris which included a Model T Ford, an antique motorbike, a collection of stuffed rats and ten pianos.’