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Pair O’ Eyeglasses Lost At Dirty Gig – Blog About Nothing

August 24th, 2013 · Tags:Satire


Dumpster diving … ever do it?

Years ago, a friend of mine – a pastor no less — took the plunge into a trash receptacle on my behalf. A baptism by garbage, you might say. It’s a little complicated. Stay with me. At that time I had a PR firm and one of my new clients was an electronic banking service. The bankers had sent out news releases about their company, but had never gotten any media attention. In my pitch to land the banking client, I said we needed to do something attention getting to deliver their message … something that says “banking,” yet fun and iconic. (Ha, then I had to figure out how to do that.)

My idea was to rewrite their news release and to send it to the media via FedEx, but in special carriers. Special? The idea was to send the releases in some of those carriers that customers use at the drive up banking center … the carriers that shoot up through the pneumatic tubes, from curb to cashier.


So, I drove around to several banks asking if they had extras or even broken ones. Repeatedly I heard, “Ha, we can’t keep the around. People drive off with them every day.”

After a little more digging, I found out that fortunately there was a manufacturer in Texas, about 70 miles away. I called them and they had no extras, but they added, “We throw the bad ones away, when we replace a bank’s system.” Yes, they told me where the dumpsters were located. But they also mentioned the containers were due to be hauled away.


My friend — good friend that he is — agreed to go and sample the wares in the trash bin, before the truck came to haul them to the landfill or wherever. Pastor Jim snatched up several of the plastic containers, and a few vintage metal ones as well. I still have one of the metal ones on my desk in the Ping office today. Well … the releases went out. The carriers were also stuffed with those little suckers that bankers used to give out, and a roll of coins for effect. The media loved it … and yes they called back this time. AND … no newsrooms were ever evacuated because of the suspicious packages:)


Well Jim … I too now have dumpster dived.


The other day at the Dirty Gig, a colleague and I traded rental vehicles for a day. He is a carpenter and had a compact car. I am a blogger and had a huge Dodge Ram pick-em-up truck. “What’s wrong with this picture?” So we swapped. In the process, all of his junk accumulated and all of my junk were transferred quickly, co-mingled, juxtaposed, forgotten, mistaken, etc.


Next day … I couldn’t find my prescription sunglasses. So, I “turned both vehicles upside down.” Nada. I put out an APB (as they said on Dragnet) looking for the somewhat expensive  shades. I even offered the labor crew enough money to buy a case of beer, or whatever. (Ha … I think a case of beer was seven or eight bucks when I quit … I found out this was a pretty good reward, in today dollars.)


No glasses. I went to The Safeway store in Dillon, Mont., where I sit each evening to blog and to complain that their Wi-Fi doesn’t work. No sunglasses. I called the Baja Fresh restaurant (no Wi-Fi) where I ate in Bozeman, Mont., one day, which is several hours away. No sunglasses.


I searched the hotel. I checked ALL of my suitcases, multiple times for good measure. I searched around the parking lot. I went in to work at the Montana ghost town where we have been working for a month or so … retraced my steps around the old saloon, the bank … even hiked up the side of a mountain where we were building rail fence the day before. Yes, no glasses again.


Wracking my brain, I remembered gathering up some items in an old grocery bag during the car/pickup swap. Oh my gosh … “I bet the sunglasses were in that bag.” Had I thrown them away?


I got on the walkie talkie to one of the state park employees to ask if they had gathered trash around the park. They had, but they put it in a horse trailer before it is transported elsewhere. My buddy at the park got on his walkie talkie and checked the ETA on the trash run (or would that be ETD?) … doesn’t matter. It was gone, but they said I could go check the trash dump. Immediately, I was envisioning one of those mega landfills that encompass acres and acres of land … that stink to heaven and have a flock of misguided seagulls circling overhead. I thought, “pass.” But, it continued to haunt me. Had I done all that I could do to find those $X00-shades?


“Let’s do this!”


The park guy drew me a map to the place. “Wait a second, I know this place.” There is a backroad nearby, that runs to Taylor Creek … I have done this road on a photo tour … a total coincidence .. and yes, I remember seeing two large dumpsters. “That’s it?” Ha … piece of cake so to speak.


After work, I high-tailed it to the dumpsite, near a branch of Grasshopper Creek. As dumpsters go, it was not the worst I had ever seen or smelled. I figured it would be easy to locate my prey, since we use large, black, industrial trash bags on the job.


When I looked in the dumpsters, about half of the bags were black. Again, I told myself I could do this.


Ha … being in deer hunting country, to psyche myself up, I told myself that it could be no worse than gutting a deer, so then by gosh, I can gut trash bags. So for the next hour I was balancing on the ledge of the dumpster, wielding a utility razor knife (against all OSHA safety guidelines, I am sure … but off the clock) grabbing up garbage bags “by the ears” and slitting them head to tail. Ha … I have never gutted a deer, but if it is anything like those foul bags … sheesh … the more pleasant things were pungent beer bottles, lots of wine bottles, all sprinkled with a light to heavy glaze of coffee grounds. It got worse.


But it wasn’t the worst thing ever. I mean, no one could see me in my humiliation. … Until some guy drove up to dump his trash. He never said a word, and I didn’t even look up … just tried to look like I belonged at the dump and/or in a dumpster:) I bet he was quite sure I had lost my mind, rather then my shades.


I decided to just dive on, and that is when I mentally compiled a list of the things that I thought could have been running through the other trash guy’s mind, as he saw this 6-3 guy in work clothes, long, long hair … scraggly beard, digging through the trash, knife in hand. Did he think?:


  • This guy is data mining for used deer hunting licenses.
  • The guy is a reformed horder who had second thoughts.
  • This guy is disposing of his latest victim.
  • This guy is a picker and he puts the two TV dudes in their luxury van to shame.
  • This guy knows all of the “hole in the wall” buffets.


Well … about 40 black bags were filleted, but no glasses. I went home, smelling quite ripe I am sure, very disappointed. On the way to work the next day, I grabbed my backpack and a duffel bag for computers and cameras and such. “That’s strange …” Either there was a foreign object in the duffel, or it was happy to see me. I looked inside … nothing, but once again could feel the object. Ha … something was wedged up inside the lining of the duffel. I dived in with one hand … and yes, there they were in a little metal case.


… Feeling dumb by that point, but for the record, I was glad I looked in almost every conceivable spot.  Had I not, imagine the dumpster diver’s remorse.


Know what I sayin?