Yesterday, there was an entire story on the local news here about dumpster diving. Okay, maybe not JUST dumpster diving, but the fact that this time of year, right now, is ideal for finding great stuff that’s being thrown away, as all the local college students are moving away for the summer. Personally, I have never been one to climb into a trash receptacle, but I know LOTS of people who at least used to make a habit of it. When I worked at the restaurant there were always discussions around mid-May about which dorm dumpsters were best to hit, and what could be found. The prevailing sentiment was that students would throw ANYTHING away just so they didn’t have to deal with it, i.e. working lamps, sofas, good lumber from dismantled lofts for DIY projects, etc. On the news last night, they had footage of stuff piled up at the curb in front of local apartment complexes: they showed one guy loading a mattress into the back of his truck. The reporter informed us that the man had said the mattress was not for him, but a friend who needed one.
Okay: I can understand a lamp or a sofa: but a mattress? Isn’t that a little…personal, to sleep on something you picked up off the side of the road? (Then again, I guess people sleep on sofas, too.) The truth is, there are people who will always pull over to check out stuff piled up at the curb, and people who won’t. Years ago we lived in a rental house on this pretty busy street, just up from a bunch of apartments, and EVERY time I put anything I was getting rid of out for the trash people to take away, someone would nab it first. Sometimes in broad daylight, as I watched: they’d slow down, circle back, get out, and go through what was there before taking what appealed. Others, it happened in the dark of night: put a lamp/box of books/old coffee table out in the evening, it would be gone the morning, poof! This always intrigued me. I mean, the idea of someone driving around in the middle of the night, happening upon a coffee table, and grabbing it…well, there’s a story there. If not several. Now, our road is a dead end, and pretty quiet. I think if I put a coffee table at the end of my driveaway, the most that would happen is some animal would make a home under it. DIY, indeed.
Before I go, I feel compelled to comment on American Idol last night. I’m going to make a prediction: I think Anthony will not go home this week (as I think he should) and someone else, someone everyone thinks COULD and should win it all, will go instead. Yes, I’m going out out a limb. Yes, I’ll probably be proven wrong and shamed in a lime-in-the-Coke-you-nut kind of way. But I have my various conspiracy theories about this show, and I think they like an uproar during sweeps. So we shall see….