Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thirty Dirty Birds

Due to the fact that drinking the tap water here would cause me to grow a third ear, we've been drinking bottled water. Not really in bottles, but in those suitcase-style plastic containers with the little spigot at the bottom. Seems to make more sense for us than getting water delivered or drinking the tap water here and growing a third ear.

But after a while those empty plastic suitcases start to pile up, and Judah likes to use them as cars that he pushes all over the apartment. So to prevent that, I take the plastic suitcases and put them in the hatchback part of 'Lil Brown (our 1990 Honda Civic that appeared in LLMB 7/6/06). That works until the items in the hatchback part of 'Lil Brown overflow into the back seat, and any co-workers who happen to see my car wonder what the hell is going on.

I was feeling crowded out of 'Lil Brown enough that I finally decided to take the empty suitcases to the plastic recycling center nearby. When I pulled up to the trailers outside Albertson's where they collect plastic, three homeless men were sitting on the curb passing around a lighter lighting cigarettes.

I grabbed a couple of the handy big plastic garbage cans to throw my plastic suitcases in, and one of the homeless guys yelled "Make 'em count 'em". And another one said "Ya get more money" while the third guy took a drag off his cigarette and nodded and winked. The two people working the recycling center - a woman with thin penciled eyebrows and a small man with a moustache and trucker cap - moseyed off the car they were sitting on and reluctantly assumed work mode.

The woman asked "How many?"
"I don't know" I replied and then started counting the suitcases as I filled the garbage can. I got to 19, but I wasn't finished emptying 'Lil Brown of all of the suitcases.
"Please smash 'em next time" the mustached man said while smashing the suitcases. What? So I can save him the time so he can go back and sit on the car again? Like hell I will.

The total was 29. The woman gave me a receipt for $2.90 to take into Albertson's to redeem for cash money. I walked by the three homeless guys on my way inside. "How much did ya get?" one of them asked.
"2.90" I replied.
Another one chimed in "You'd get more if ya made 'em count em instead of weighin' 'em"
"I did count 'em" I said.
Another one of the homeless guys said "Buy a power tie" as he noticed I was wearing a tie (this was on Thursday before work). The other two guys cackled. I locked my car so they wouldn't steal any of the highly valuable items in 'Lil Brown. Like the melted cassette collection in the glove box.

I got my $2.90 in mostly quarters so we could do laundry. I came back outside, headed toward the car and realized those homeless guys were gonna ask me for money. I tried not to look at them, but I couldn't resist after I heard "Hey!"

I looked over.
"Can I borrow $2.90?"
The three guys all laughed.
I smiled and said "You guys have a nice day."