Saturday, January 12, 2008

Mr. Trashman

Last Monday evening after work, I stopped off at my friend Loren's house for a visit. His wife and one of their neighbors were in the garage when I arrived sorting out clothes and other items for a garage sale they are having today.

Off to the side was a pile of items they deemed unsuitable for sale and had decided to throw away. I pawed my way through the clutter and found several things to interest me. Loren's wife is a doctor, and in the pile, I found several things related to her field. There were several books from her pre-med days at Rutgers that I snapped up. I also found an old suitcase on wheels that didn't look too bad. The last thing I grabbed was a hospital gown that was wadded up on the bottom of the pile. I threw the books and gown into the suitcase and put them in my car before going in the house.

So last night, I go out to my car to retrieve something and spy the suitcase. I had forgotten all about it. I brought the suitcase in the house and started examining the items more carefully.

It turns out, none of the items held my interest after all. The suitcase was frayed on the inside and there was a large hole near one of the wheels. The books were filled with anachronistic taxonomy, the likes of which will never mesh with my lifestyle or worldview. And worst of all, the hospital gown had a large stain on it in the groinal area. (Yeah, I made that word up.)

I tossed everything. The suitcase was too big to fit in my trash-can, so I leaned it up against the fence.

So this morning, I let the boys out in the backyard. I am at my computer enjoying a cup of coffee and scanning the news when I hear vociferous barking from both of them. I look out the back window and see some guy pulling the suitcase up and over the back fence. I was about to phone 311, but decided not to. That was trash after all.

But the dogs continue to bark. I look out again and I see him changing into that hospital gown. I bang on the window to let him know he is being watched and for him to leave. He takes his sweet time in leaving. In the meantime, I grab my camera and go out the front door to the side of the house just as he is walking away. I didn't get a good shot, but this will have to do.