Tuesday, October 14

Dumpster Diving Pt. 1

I love trash, is the title of a documentary I recently viewed during the '08 BendFilm festival. The production quality of the film was not great but the anti-consumption message had some resonance with the crowd.

For me, it brought back a faded childhood memory, that of dumpster diving. It was back in the 80's. I was just a wee lass visiting Bellingham, Washington along with my two younger sisters. Our favorite hippy Aunt T was responsible for us girls while our parents were on their own vacation.

During our stay Aunt T, a professional musician, had a scheduled performance. In order to take time to prepare for her concert, she left us in the care of her former flame, Otter (in truth, his nick name).

Otter was a capable but less than traditional care provider. He told my two younger sisters and I that he'd like to take us on a hike to pie land.

Pie land? We were intrigued. He led us on a trail down to the Bellingham Bay where he perched on a rock and rolled himself a cigarette. We watched him intently, afraid to ask if we had arrived at our destination.

Finally my sister Melissa, always the brave one, served as our spokesgirl. "This isn't pie land is it?"

"Right, pie land...Actually, we will have to return to the car to get to pie land."

Ah, the old bait and switch.

We soon hurried along back up the trail carrying hope that our trust in this Otter character was not misplaced and that we would indeed arrive at our magical sounding destination.

After loading into the car, Melissa asked "So, where is pie land?"

"Oh, not far from here."

Otter turned up the Simon & Garfunkel and sang off-key cruising along Chuckanut Drive. A few minutes later he pulled into a grocery store parking lot.

Oh, I get it, I thought. Now he's going to buy us a pie. Cute.

Instead of parking in front of the store, Otter pulled around back to the dumpster area.

"You see girls, a lot of good pies, cookies and donuts get thrown away every day. Hop out of the car."

Code red
in my head. Yet, ever the obedient child I stepped out, as commanded. My sisters also followed and the three of us lined up facing the dumpster a few feet away.

Otter beckoned us all to join him as he lifted the dumpster lid up and pushed it back. He then began searching and sorting. Sure enough, he began showing us his prizes. Donuts indeed but without the pink box they usually lived in. He dusted off a sugar donut, took a bite and smiled.

"Yummy!"he proclaimed.

I remained frozen in my spot. Could we get in trouble for this? Maybe thrown in jail? What if our Aunt T had no idea where we were and we got stuck in jail?

"What will you have?" Otter looked at me directly, "Maple bar?"

"Um, no thanks, I'm okay." I made eye contact with my sisters non-verbally suggesting we get our asses back into the yellow VW.

"Oh, I get it. You think there is something wrong with this food because it's in the bin here. Well, let me tell you, it's perfectly fine." He made the statement simply and calmly, then returned his focus to the search.

Time passed slowly as I turned my attention to play the role of the lookout, just in case.

"Here we go girls!" Otter turned towards us raising his treasure high up in the air. It was a shiny-black-bottomed-hard-plastic container. And within it, a whole cherry pie.


psss said...

oh my god i love it....who would we be without our stories? thanks for sharing. i will wear this smile on my face all day.


cassondra said...

aww, thank you! I hope today is full of smiles & celebrations. Miss you.

Amy said...

That is fabulous. I was so small back then but when you describe it I feel like I can remember that day and it makes me laugh. Thanks for being our look out girl and always an amazing big sisters.

jamie said...

Cass! Such a superb telling of a great tale. And, am loving this grin you've brought to my face!

cassondra said...

thanks for your comments! They are more valued than gold boullion. For reals!

highdesertsultan said...

fer sure

Horton Brothers said...

Worthy of all the comments!!!

A Children's book in the making... Now you just need the art...

Your nonverbal look was "classic" in my imagination of the story...

Thanks for the laugh!