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Memorial Trash

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Another Trick-or-Treat for adults?

I am referring, of course, to the semi-annual trash pick-up in the village—not to be confused with the weekly services provided (paid for on an individual residence basis) to dispose of our pitch-worthy household detritus and garbage.  Garbage Eve is observed every Wednesday night; no carol-singing or candles in the windows that I know of.

The Trash Pick-up is a more abundant affair.  Piles of stuff begin appearing by the end of September. Some of it lasts out there for ages, clearly, this is its last hurrah and it’s headed for a landfill future.  Other items are just getting their second wind and get discovered by discerning pickers who are circling the town looking for possible treasures.  The paper and a news clip on the internet were both going on about a photograph that some guy bought(slightly different  from  trash picking but in the same spirit) for $2.00 at a thrift shop.  Seems that the picture may turn out to be only the second authenticated picture of Billy the Kid and his gang, The Regulators; they were playing croquet.  The fellow who bought it spent years having it declared the real thing and now reckons that it’ll be worth about $5,000,000; the only other one sold for $2.3 million in 2011.  Not too shabby for poking around in people’s junk.

A certain gentleman of my acquaintance has such classy castoffs that they regularly disappeared overnight.  He’s now thinking about taking his things to re-sale.  It’ll be a major disappointment to some refurbishers, I’ll bet.  Nobody hangs around my heap looking for  upscale items, that’s for sure.  My throwaways usually look as though they deserve their fate.  They’ve come to the end of the road, and a bumpy one it was too.

Right now there’s a toaster oven that’s getting the boot.  It was serving up small batches of biscuits and    heated-up leftovers just fine until one day I noticed that the bread was warm but not toasted.  Further inspection showed that only one of the four elements was actually getting a glow on and even it was sort of reluctant to do this.  Warm bread from the oven and underdone toast definitely do not have the same appeal.  Same ingredients, maybe, but certainly not as toothsome.  Out it goes.

A feather comforter will also be in the collection…not something  that I would ordinarily throw out but this one has survived several unfortunate encounters with cats, ending with Bob’s last adventure with  “the collar” after his butt got stapled together.  I was instructed to NOT allow him to lick or chew  the   afflicted area, so, of course, that was the first thing that he wanted to do.  We chased that cat all over the house, through the closet (The closet—only one in the original house–goes from the living room to the bedroom; it’s a long story), under the bed, through the shoeboxes.  Finally, the only thing that slowed him down was neighbor par excellence, Mark Witte, and son Matthias, wrapping Bob up in the comforter and holding him still long enough to get the dreaded device around his neck.  Was Bob bleeding during this whole pursuit?  He was, and the frantic episode caused me to decide that the long-suffering coverlet had reached retirement age.  As it turned out, he still got the collar off, after running down the basement stairs and heading for a hidey-hole that I might never have gotten him out of, had I not blocked it off ahead of time.  I finally just said the heck with it, if he dies, he’ll get full military honors.  The comforter would never be the same. It goes out.

I’m hoping to do the same with an old set of shelves in the basement.  They came with the house and I suspect that they are made of the same lumber that made up the flooring in the upstairs , tongue-and-groove stuff.  Nothing really wrong with it, I suppose, but it’s reached terminal grunginess and I just want to replace it.  The old carpenter or handyman who built it was very thorough, though and it’s likely to require major demolition work to get it out of the downstairs and around to the take-away in front.  It could be worth more to someone else all-of-a-piece but I’m not sure that I can manage that without using language that might set such old, dry wood on fire right  there.

The trouble with throwing things out, at least in my case, is all about memory.    Not  fond thoughts about touching events featuring these things but failure to remember that they’re even around until they’re heading for the rising stack in front of the house, then the impossibility of recalling that  they’re gone the next time such an item is called for and the frantic search all over the place to locate something that is NOT THERE anymore.  “I know that I’ve got one of those,” you say to yourself while putting off getting a new one or scrabbling through your collection of oddments in futile search mode.  No, you don’t.  The best way to locate a lost article is to go out and buy a new one.  This will cause the missing item to magically appear in the exact place which you searched through earlier.  Guaranteed.

Craig Moser, bless his heart, used to feel that it was his duty to put SOMETHING out for the trash pick-up, his civic duty, so to speak.  I look upon my contribution to the collection as a memorial tribute to good government.  Providing that I remember to get it out there.