My junk is just as damn nice as the next guys’, that’s all I have to say.
I looked at my neighbor’s piles of junk, and I’ll say this: It’s nothing special. So I don’t want to hear anything from another of you hoity-toity junk pickers.
We have this odd little tradition where you take all of the junk that you’ve been tripping over in your basement for the last 12 months, all the old construction junk in your garage plus the limbs that fell off your trees this winter and pile it in front of your house. City crews roll buy eventually, pick it all up and take it to the dump.
That is, if there’s anything left. First, your junk has to be sorted and gone over by the junk pickers. Apparently, there’s big money in sidewalk junk. People leave out old TVs, freezers and computer monitors all the time. But I imagine there’s a few pickers hoping for big pay day or an “Antiques Roadshow” find. They expect someone will leave Grandma’s silver out by the curb, or decide they just don’t want that signed copy of the Gettysburg Address any more.
Anyway, I spent the weekend cleaning up and putting my junk out for the collections. I was hauling a big pile of brush out and this guy pulled up in a rusty truck:
“Is that all you got?” he yelled. No, I said, I’m just getting started.
“Well, hurry it up. I haven’t got all day.” I dragged my feet a bit after that and he finally rolled up his window, muttered some junk picker’s epithet and squealed his tires.
I eventually did get to the bulk of my junk: some left over pieces of the deck I demolished last summer, a rusty pipe, some old pieces of aluminum ductwork, two broken snow shovels, a dead vacuum cleaner, a broken DVD player and an old electrical heater that stopped working.
There were two “ladies” waiting for me when I finished. They looked at me and sniffed, wondering if I had anything better. Nope, this is it.
They convened in whispers briefly, then scowled at me as the put my old DVD player into their dented Plymouth Duster. I think one of them gave me the finger as they pulled away.