Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dumpster jockey gets driven

It was fun being broke and hopefully brilliant-- until what was left of the money died.

So I'm out here beside a supermarket dumpster that they have now sealed because they knew that old moth-eaten Ivan would be there one day holding vigil over the opening that had spewed out all the stale- dated steaks that had somehow escaped the whee-thump! of the automatic compacting process.

No longer can I stand beside the big dumpters and catch my steaks like the late pitcher/outfielder Satchel Paige.

They sealed it with hard rubber and one of the employees of Metro came out to tell me, "If you keep poking inside that machine, you're going to lose a hand."

Migod, I knew that Newmarket was now full of unemployed former camel jockeys, but what is this--the Middle East? Lose a hand?
I am a pilferer, not a thief. I usually poke the open hole in the dumpster with a stick...You can hear the rustle of the plastic as you snag a day-old T-bone. I am trying to avoid losing a hand. I am a stick man...Maybe that's how I got to be the way I am in the first place. Stick anybody. Sure peed off the poor ole lady.
Kicked out like a dog."Out, damn Spot!"

And now virtually kicked out of the Metro Dumpster area.

Rejection--even at this-- failure. Pain.

Migod, I'm going the have to hitchhike to Aurora, the next town south of here, where they have an open dumpster.
And along the highway, the cigarette trees.

What's poor hobo to do?

"Trailers for sale or rent.
"Rooms to let fifty cents..."

"I'm a man of means
and by all means
King of the road."

Ah, old Roger Miller.

And this morning, to paraphrase an old Hemingway book title,

"The Bum Also Rises."

I'm off to Aurora this morning.

The early bird gets the worm.

...Or I might get the worm from all that dumpters fare.

Ah what the hell. I seem to have the immune system of a starfish.
"You been chewing on rocks?" asks the dentist.

"Nah. Just a tough roast.

"They were so much more tender when I got them from the Dumpster in Newmarket.
"There just ain't no quality control any more."


To which, Tom Pearson adds:

You Are Invited! ..........Calling all Musicians and Performance / Artists!!

Oct 17 is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - a day recognized by the United Nations and marked through events held world-wide on that day giving a voice to those in poverty.

York Region has been hosting an event since 2005, most recently at Fairy Lake Park in Newmarket where a mobile stage is brought onsite to the stone amphitheatre and used for the purposes of communicating messages to end poverty.

The event opens at 1pm with free hot food in an atmosphere of drumming and info tents followed by various speakers, including those with lived experience - using an "Open Mic" to voice their concerns. The event runs until 7PM.

At 5PM musicians & performance artists are invited on-stage, with "plug-n-play"for acoustical players and CD play capabilities available. Musicians and performance / spoken word artists are encouraged to create / perform original works that touch on the theme or pieces that reflect it. This is a growing and potentially door opening venue for original artists particularly.The event's design also lends itself naturallyl for "street performers" to set up along Fairy Lake's path and we encourage artists who do so to donate half the proceeds with the organizing group - Poverty Action for Change Coalition (PACC) to help defer event costs.

Thus far 2010's Int Day Showcase features Singer / Guitar/ Composer Glenn Marais - soon to be performing a concert in Africa - as well as Fred Joly, Brenda Bakos, Rappers Krhyme Syndicate, & Hip Hopper' Testament" - who are leading the way in creating an exciting new annual venue for artists to showcase original works - and at the same time help keep the message -to end poverty now- alive beyond the day through them.

If you have an original piece or would like to perform something that reflects the theme onstage contact the talent coordinator at by Oct 7 2010.

Tom Pearson
Organizer, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Day , York Region.


To which I reply,

What, you didn't ask for me by name, God's chosen?

I'm the bum with the fastest mouth in town! I am always talking about the poverty of the artist.

Anyway, I'll be there!


Charles Gramlich said...

I remember King of the road with fondness. Man they are getting serious when they seal up the dumpsters so folks can't get at the throw aways.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Stick Man? ... Or Shtick Man? But you're not Yiddish. Enjoyed the peace, oops, the piece. said...


There's some schtick,too.

I think I'm a frustrated stand-up comedian.

These fershlugginer dumpster diver stories sell like crazy. :) said...


Oh what a wealth of not yet "best before" gourmet food there is in those dumpsters.

Could feed so many, many Calcutta Pavement dwellers.

...Maybe that's what I was in my past life, a Calcutta pavement dweller....I am certainly good at it.
But sometime, in a snit, I do a Bart Simpson. "Don't have a cow, man!"

Mona said...

I guess, what they dump in Canada gets beamed to Indian shops. That kinda trash is 'sold' here. The rest best, if any, gets exported to the foreign markets....

You see, we Indians can survive eating trash. That is why there are so many of us still alive!

ivan said...


I have grown too lazy to be an investigative reporter, but there must surely be a middleman between the supermarket and the compacters of trash. Surely, all that protein and packaged goods cannot just go to landfill.
I used to go to writers' groups and introduce myself as a pig farmer, and not a writer.
Soon ladies gathered about my as I talked of swine urisipe and other medical problems that beset my pigs.

Short stories? Forget it. "In classt today, I met a pig farmer...More exciting than you, statistician husband. I took Greek in class too. You're just a peri-oink-oink."

Anyway, for a while there were indeed pig farmers getting all the stale dated stuff...I used to fight with them for the still sealed steaks.
Now it's all automatically compacted right at the dumpster.
But where does it go now?

There ain't no justice.

the walking man said...

You know 007 if you just dress in trench coat with secret pockets you could just go into the Piggly-Wiggly and steal fresh meat. If you get busted then at least you have 3 hots (well 1 actually) and a cot.

Or if you look around the compactor you may find an access door about midway down that would need to be unbolted to gain access to the marvels inside. then you take your super secret spy clothes to Lowes or home Depot and steal tools.

What do you call a compacted steak?---Tenderized. said...

Sounds like a plan, Mark.

Those steaks.
I know from experience that a steak is nor really tender till it's a little green on the edges.
You've seen those old hillbillies hanging beef hips outside by the junipers for a couple of days. That's just to get those cuts tender.

You've got me thinking. That's just a hard rubber skirt between the chute down from the store and the big compactor at bottom.
Ah. Good old Grade 10 Science...Law of the lever. :)

Donnetta Lee said...

Oh the trials and tribulations of dumpster diving. And the unfairness of it all. Try Kentucky Fried Chicken. My brother used to be a manager of one. He always put the left over chicken in a special clean spot out back of the building so that those who wanted it could get it easily and safely. Well, those were the days. D said...

Those were up times, Donnetta,

When I was sleeping in my disabled car, the Chinese manager of the competing Swiss Chalet came to my window with a complete dinner.
"Ya ever try our ribs?"
I will never complain about too many Chinese immigrants again.

Who was the wetback sleeping in that old wreck of a hatchback?

ivan said...


I have put this info into the bottom of my blog today.

And what...You didn't mention me by name as an artist/writer?

Wounded vanity.

Outrage! :)

Mona said...

Party away :)

ivan said...



I did party it away.

You see, I found some money in the streets... Found a bottle as well.Saw no reason now to attend the anti-poverty meeting

Missed addressing the masses.

Tom Pearson, the organizer will probably kill me now.

Oh well. My speech was to have been about becoming a hobo.

Object lesson?

Anonymous said...

A friend of Roger Miller's remembered sitting and watching a glorious sunset with him. As the last light of day faded, R.M remarked to his friend, "Imagine what God could've done if he'd had money."

JM said...

Great point from Roger Miller,
Jeff...I think he knows.

And welcome back!

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