August 25, 2004

I Call 'Em as I See 'Em

I saw Rich tonight after work and thanked him again for his help with taking away the tree carcass. He let us know that he had gotten our note and the Blockbuster card and insisted that it was completely unnecessary, but very nice of us. Then (wait for it) he said, "Besides, I like going to the dump. It's the great thing about having a truck." I had a feeling... although, could it be that the only reason that Rich has a truck is so he can go to the dump?

Well, this led to a discussion with Dima about the whole concept of the dump. What's the big deal, really? Apparently the Montgomery County Dump is a huge maze of organized chaos. When you get there they ask you the nature of what you have to dump and then direct you to the appropriate dumping ground. Couches vs. tires. Yard waste vs. metal. He also believes that it all somehow goes back to being a little kid and liking big trucks. He could not explain this in more detail. He then suggested that we go to the dump so I can see for myself. I'm looking forward to it...

On a final note, related to my own childhood experience with the dump, I do remember going to the Prince William County Dump with my dad in his old Jeep. (What a great car!) I can't remember exactly how old I was but I know I was still young enough to be playing with Barbie. The landscape—one of huge mountains of sour trash—was seasoned with first-rate cast-offs that, as far as I could tell, were still good to someone. Weber grills, bikes and other toys. I just couldn't understand what most of this stuff was doing at the dump. I was fascinated and had a vague sense that we'd hit the jackpot. The real crown jewel was a Barbie Camper that someone had just "dumped." I was appalled and elated. It was just what I wanted, and in fact had been asking for, and it was free! I immediately asked my dad if I could have it and he promptly said, "No. It's trash." What a blow and a defining moment. All at once the treasure chest of cast-offs became what it was, a pile of junk. Not even junk, but Trash with a capital 'T'. Even at that age, the whole experience was one of waste. A waste that people would throw away what looked to me like perfectly good stuff and a waste that I couldn't have it. Who knows, maybe the Weber grill only had two legs, maybe the bike wouldn't peddle, and yes, maybe even Barbie’s camper was missing a wheel and smelled of beer and wet garbage but man was I depressed as we drove out the gates of the dump.

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