Daily thoughts by a guy that doesn't like to think deeply too often!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Dumpster Diving

I just finished reading a book where one of the characters was a dumpster diver-- she would go out at night on her bicycle (complete with a rickshaw), and go through her neighbor's trash. She'd find treasures (including a frozen turkey) and load them into the rickshaw and bring them home. I thought she was so funny, until I realized that she's me. I don't ride around at night going through dumpsters or trashcans, but I occassionaly I do peruse through other people's "curbside leftovers". For example, this week I was in Candler Park and I saw two perfectly good toilets sitting in a parking lot beside a sign that said "Free". I looked them over and, although my toilet is fine, I couldn't pass by the opportunity of getting something for free. I loaded one of the toilets into my trunk and started trying to figure out how to replace my current toilet with this new one (which happened to be identical to the one I decided I need to replace, but at the time it made sense). I drove around for a couple of days with the toilet in the trunk-- I didn't want to unload it because that would mean there would be an extra, nonworking toilet in my house and I was afraid I might get confused and use the wrong one!
On the way home last night, I drove by a house on my street where the residents have recently moved-- maybe evicted, maybe a foreclosure, who knows. They left a truckload of stuff on the front porch-- I've been eyeing a headboard there for a couple of weeks. Well, last night I realized that the pile had moved from the front porch to the street- so it was fair game! And the headboard was still there, to my surprise. I got out of the car and looked it over. It had a couple of rips that I thought I could hide, but it was in okay shape, so I loaded it into my backseat since the trunk was full of toilet.

Today I was in that Candler Park parking lot again and I saw someone hauling a huge fan to the dumpster. My first thought was- that would be great to use in the garage during the summer-- it would keep the dogs cooler and it'd be a great back up inside the house in case the AC fails again. I asked the guy if it worked and he said it did- he was just throwing it away because it was rusty and he had a new one. I decided to take it, but then remembered that my trunk was already full with the toilet in it, and the back seat was full of headboard. I had to make a quick decision- which did I need the least: a toilet that was identical to the one I already have, a ripped up headboard or a fan for the dogs. I opted to chunk the toilet and keep the fan. I returned the toilet to the same spot that I found it- the "free" sign was gone, but I guess they'll put it back up again tomorrow when they realize that the toilet had returned.

I unloaded the car tonight and took the fan into the garage. I plugged in the fan and found that it didn't work afterall. Damnit! I sacraficed my new toilet for a rusty old broken down fan. I felt like one of the contestants on "The Price Is Right"-- I should've picked curtain number three! So, tomorrow the fan will go back to the dumpster it was originally intended to go into, and hopefully the toilet will still be there. The headboard was beyond repair, so it was delivered back to the foreclosure house today.

Dumpster diving: it's right up there with EBay in my book- lots of adventure, some disapointments, but always a good story to tell!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That story is a hoot -- loved it.
"Dumster Diving" isn't one of my bad habits but I do remember a time when I was first married and, much to the humiliation of my parents, my husband and I furnished our apartment with their neighbors cast-offs.

7:06 AM

Blogger Matt ATL said...

OMG - one of the best snippets I've read in a long time. Too funny! Dustin and I have done our own share of dumster diving, especially when Trading Spaces first started airing. We truly believed that there was nothing that a can of spray paint couldn't fix.

8:34 AM


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