Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lesson No. 1: People Like Free Stuff, It Doesn't Matter What It Is


A few weeks ago my father finally finished dropping off the last boxes of "my crap" from his house. Which isn't to say that I or my brother aren't welcome there anymore, just that he's been re-doing a lot of the house and needed to get rid of this stuff, so he boxed up most everything that Andrew and I had left there from our childhood, put it in giant boxes, and left them on our door step. Awesome, right?

Of the three giant boxes of crap I got, half of one was Andrew's, two of the boxes were sorted through and disposed of, and i kept about half of one box which will soon find it's way back to his house to be re-hidden somewhere that's not my house (I just don't have room for it). The contents of the boxes was an interesting mix of things from my youth and extra stuff my dad dumped into them just to get rid of it. You know, like 5 wine decanters (to be fair, I did sell one for $100 on ebay), 2 champagne buckets, and a set of dishes of which he broke most of in transit. Also in the boxes; several dozen high school love (and non-love) letters (including a few from people I have no recollection of at all) that made for a nice trip down memory lane, some porn mags from ~1997, old issues of Rolling Stone, Hit Parader, and Spin, reference letters for college, some old tapes from my days as a failed drummer, old show flyers, look-it was mostly just crap, and now trash.

But also included in the boxes was a big plastic crate of children's school supplies. And while this is something I've obviously got absolutely no use for, I didn't see any point in just throwing them away. I mean it had paper, colored pencils, pens, markers, regular pencils, a hot glue gun, folders, dividers, binder pouches-it was like an entire years worth of school supplies for a couple of kids, or for someone into crafty things. And I'm pretty sure that stuff is expensive, or atleast it adds up. Thing is, I called most of the teachers or crafty people I knew and no one really wanted it. And so it's just sat in my house for the past month or so, until I just couldn't stand looking at it anymore. So in the midst of cleaning yesterday I picked it up and took it out to the curb along with a cardboard box and a sharpee, and the picture above is the result.

Drew up a sign on the side of the box advertising free school supplies, and left it on the corner next to my house facing Matilda Dr. Then I walk across the street to return the neighbor her sharpee (mine was dry), and when I'm walking back-it hasn't even been 3m yet-there's already a guy pulled over looking at it. He asks what's in the box, I tell him school supplies, and he starts to take it-then I ask him if he has kids, he says no, and I ask him to please leave it for someone that does. He moans a bit, but he does, and 2m later another car pulls up-this time a Mexican woman (so we know she has kids.....) gets out of a minivan and picks it up, and voila-they're gone.

Moral of the story? Put a sign that says Free on the side of the road and people will stop and look to see what it is and probably take it even if they don't need it. Seems to me like this would be a great means of disposing of biological and nuclear waste, while simultaneously taking care of natural selection.

1 comment:

Southwick said...

True Blood premiered on HBO this Sunday. Its about Vampires, and a new Fake Blood drink. Basically they can now drink fake blood instead of people, and are joining society. The first episode was okay, and involved some somewhat creepy soft core. I will prob give it a few more episodes.

As far as people taking things, I have to say my place in Denton was very strange about that. People would not take ANYTHING. We literally had Sanford and Son living down the block.

I would put things out, sure they would disappear as all refuse (and non refuse) did in Amarillo.

No. No one would take shit. A scrap guy would sometimes knock on my door, and ASK! I left out a working Dishwasher. I put a big "It works take it," sign right on the front of the washer. Nothing, ultimately like 3 weeks later some scrapper showed up and asked if he could haul it off.

In amarillo anything left out would be gone in the morning. By the time I moved from 412 I never had any fear leaving gardening tools on my front porch. It was a strange feeling.