Sunday, September 30, 2007


It's garbage week here in Fanwood! I don't know if you have garbage week in whatever normal place you live, but it's a semi-annual event down here. We celebrate by throwing all the old, useless crap in our homes out on the curb, so the whole town looks like it was overrun by smelly, toothless hicks. Now I'm embarrassed to say that, when I was younger, I used to dig through my neighbors' trash piles, hunting for treasure and usually coming away with a torn-up mattress housing a dust mite colony or a decades-old radio missing its antenna, and being so excited because I was actually going to make good use of other peoples' shit. Hah! All that crap just got recycled into the curbside pile for next year's garbage week.

I don't get the appeal of other people's used junk — not the antiquities, the rare stuff with real value — even used bookstores leave an unpleasant ether, the combined musk of a hundred bibliophiles' bookshelves, surrounding me. I can understand the appeal of literature for a dollar, but you bring a used book into your house and all I see is you introducing a new species of mold to the environment. But at least that's still usable; garbage week stuff is (kind of the whole point) garbage. I don't care what sort of nostalgic Victorian taste you've got — what the hell are you planning on doing with a wicker chair the cat clawed all the way through? Someone took our record player — You know how the kids today don't know what a cassette deck is? This thing plays 45's, okay? — and somebody took it. If you're scavenging for old record players, maybe you should sell your LP's and use the revenue to buy an iPod.

What really pissed me off today was some old guy picking through people's trash, then taking this termite-rotted set of dresser drawers and putting them in his Lexus. Cheap motherfucker! God gave us Ikea so that old crappy furniture could die a natural death and be reincarnated into new cheap furniture. It's the circle of life: department store, family room, guest bedroom, attic, curbside, Sweden, department store.