Every Spring, Saint Charles does a junk-day in which they pick up (for no charge!!!) all household materials/crap hidden in the unused part of your basement that you’ve been saving for God knows what. I don’t know if this is more of a universal thing, it probably is, but since I am quite boring and have never REALLY lived anywhere else, I don’t know.
The week before the stuff is collected, people tend to start putting their stuff out on the curb. When I was younger, this made for some most excellent garbage picking. The neighborhood gang and I would traipse around the blocks looking for, well, stuff and things. I’m not sure that my parents were overly thrilled the years I brought home an earwig infested dog-house or the gallons of paint I found, but to their credit they never said a whole lot about it.
Once I hit the teenage years, the prospect of garbage picking was deemed “lame” mainly because I’d discovered this really neat thing called “money” which you could use to exchange for goods and services. My allowance was hefty so I had no need to rummage through other people’s stuff anymore.
This is not to say that I don’t like scouring thrift stores: I totally do, but there’s something different between standing in full view of whomever threw the stuff you’re looking at out and being able to examine it on your own. As with most of the stuff people tend to leave on the curb, there’s always the wonder of WHY they threw it out in the first place that makes me not really want it.
Guess I’m becoming an adult.
So, last Sunday Alex, The Daver and Benny were playing outside with the throng of neighbors that I am fortunate enough to have and love and I decided to get a start on moving our crap to the curb. I really only put out the bigger stuff because the bags ‘o’ crap get shuffled over to the Salvation Army (pretty much weekly). I do most of the manual work around the house, which includes checking for critters that may have made their way into our garage. I don’t actually have a penis, but this sometimes surprises even me.
Our junk day is tomorrow (Saturday) and this must be marked in the datebooks of each and every junk collector within a forty-mile radius, because by that time (last Sunday afternoon) the scads of pickup trucks with makeshift sides on their truck bed were out in full force.
This pleases me me greatly, of course, because I am somewhat of a recycling nerd. I’m thrilled by the green aspect of all of this (and I was long before it was hip to be green) and I love knowing that whatever I put out will (mostly) go to good use.
No idea what the use is, but I’m sure it’s better than sitting in my garage night after night. Pretty much anything is better than that.
While I am in the process of hauling stuff out of the garage and onto the curb, some dude missing most of his teeth and genes (mayhap the missing link?) comes screeching to a halt at my curb and starts vigorously going through our stuff. I have no problem with this, save for it being mildly uncomfortable because here I am, teeth and genes intact, dropping my crap on the curb for someone else to take.
What annoys me the most is that while he is shuffling through some of the boxes I put out (electronic stuff that even I don’t understand) the papers and plastic that are in these boxes drift lazily down to my grass where they remain until he leaves and I pick them back up. I’m cool with you taking my stuff, Mr. Missing Link, I’m not cool with you spewing the trash about RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE.
I’ll never really know where these people come from although I’d guess either Middle Earth or Aurora (made famous by Wayne’s World), and while I’m glad that they are saving stuff from rotting (or not) in a landfill, there’s something about them that makes me sure to lock my car at night.