Monday, April 14, 2008
Anyone who spends even a few minutes perusing the Free Stuff section will quickly notice the many "Free Dirt" and "Free Broken Concrete" posts. In the early, heady days of Vintage Microwave, I shied away from commenting on them. First, I wasn't really inspired to say anything about them (even when the headline was "Free Rubble"). Second, I harbored fears that I might not adequately understand the free dirt/concrete/rubble economy, and any mocking ("ha, Mister Man, no one wants your rubble!") might be misguided. Perhaps for every pile of dirt, there is a hole waiting to be filled.
Then I saw this picture, and my confidence was restored. This is not some sort of useful "fill" or ballast or the basic building blocks for the pylons of the new Bay Bridge. This is 600 pounds of garbage in the back yard that the wasps have started nesting in. After 28 years of looking at the pile, and watching successive generations of dogs use it as a urinal, the owner has finally decided "my life doesn't have to be like this. I can wash the floors. I can recycle the pile of twine-tied newspapers filling the downstairs bathroom. And I can get rid of the pile of piss-rubble in the backyard."
But when the cost of hauling is discovered, alternate plans are considered. And like so many resourceful Free Stuff reverse-entrepreneurs, the owner decides to "give away" his burden of a quarter-century. We are the "beneficiaries."
Vintage Microwave odds of unloading? 1 in however many people live in the Bay Area. Maybe there's a charitable organization devoted to helping reclusive hoarders better their lives.