Sunday, April 03, 2011


Did some more work on my Jeep today. More details on that at the Moto-Tux link, it's way too technical for this blog.

Today is "clean out your garage" day in my neighborhood. This is when you take all the junk that has accumulated in your garage over the past year that was too big to put into the garbage bins and put it out by the side of the street to be picked up by the city. I put the crappy plastic chairs and table plus three pallets out by the street. The gleaners were out in force, in old trucks, in vans, and in crappy old cars, going through all the piles and grabbing anything that looked useful. The plastic chairs lasted about 5 minutes. The table was ignored until I put the legs on it and turned it upright, it lasted about 2 hours. The pallets are still there, I guess the gleaners have plenty of wooden pallets.

Most of the gleaners were of course Hispanic, this being California. But there were old men and women. There were younger middle aged men. There were all sorts. An elderly man and woman pulled up to the next door neighbor's pile, and extracted a pair of worn-out dress shoes. The old man tried them on. They fit. He walked off in them.

It makes you wonder about the story of how this elderly couple ended up going to piles of junk by the street looking for shoes. Unfortunately, in the current economy, I suspect it's an all-too-familiar story...

In the future there will be two kinds of people: The filthy rich (the top 1%), and the rest of us, who will make our living as gleaners upon whatever junk they've thrown out. Perhaps I should have been making an effort to talk to some of the people gleaning stuff off my street and get some tips, given that I was looking at the future of America, and indeed probably my own future at some point, right outside my front door...

-- Badtux the Ruminant Penguin

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