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Monday, February 9, 2015

MY SON THE SCAVENGER - a cranky re-run


This weeks cranky re-run is from February 2012

My middle child, if you can have a middle out of four, is a scavenger.  He is not a hoarder; he knows how to sell stuff or to throw it away.  He just can’t pass by anything that someone is trying to throw away if it appears to have value.

While other parents demand brand new toys for their children, The Scavenger has no problem rehabilitating broken or old toys that neighborhood children have outgrown.  It has now reached a point that neighbors don’t throw toys away without first checking with the Scavenger.  The Crankettes have bikes, trikes, plastic tables, wagons and construction toys of all kinds; all rescued from the dumpster.  They even have a giant wooden swing set that was outgrown by the neighbors.

The Scavenger has rescued and sold carpets.  He has a basement full of tools and ladders that were all previously unwanted.  He passes slowly by neighborhood homes on pick-up day, eyes peeled for unwanted treasure. 

On the way to work one morning, the Scavenger passed a wrought iron bench with wooden slats that was left close to the curb.  He had just the place in his yard for such a nice piece.  He could not believe someone would throw out such a bench.  He had seen similar benches at Home Depot for over $150.  On the way home he saw the bench was still out by the curb.

The next day he again passed the bench and vowed if it was not picked up by the time he returned home he would save it from the garbage truck hopper.  On his trip home, sure enough, the bench was right by the curb, unwanted and unloved.  The Scavenger would give it a proper home.  He pulled his car over, popped the trunk, and proceeded with much difficulty to load the bench in the trunk, carefully tying the trunk lid down over the bench as the bench was too big to allow the trunk to be closed.  When the Scavenger was about to pull happily away he was called out by a very aggravated lady.

“Hey you, what the hell do you think you are doing?”

“Ah…er…I was just going to take this bench before the trash men do.”

“That’s not trash, it’s my bench!  I use it every day while waiting for my son to be dropped off from the school bus!”

The Scavenger quickly pulled the bench out of the trunk and returned it to its position by the curb.  Slightly embarrassed but un-flustered the Scavenger simply commented, “It IS a very nice bench”, and drove off home.

He still has the perfect place for a nice bench.  He could afford to buy one at Home Depot, but I think he would prefer to wait until an unwanted bench turns up.  


  1. I wonder if that is really him half in and half out of the dumpster.

  2. LOL :) I love it :) Good thing the lady was home, can you imagine her coming home and seeing the bench gone?

    I admire your son for his scavenger tendencies. We got rid of a lot of things we were trying to get rid of by putting them out on trash day and 9/10 times they were gone within a half hour of putting them out. I think a lot of other people share your son's desire to rescue unwanted items :)


  3. Well at least she didn't call the cops! Lol

  4. I know people like this. It's a good thing. Why pay for new stuff if you can recycle old stuff. I think he's very wise.

    Have a fabulous day Cranky. ☺

  5. I still have that habit, of hoarding......
    Like the episode on the bench.

  6. oh, gosh! so glad the woman was home in time to stop him! hahaha!

  7. Great story and well written, Joeh!

  8. Hi! I'm visiting from Grandma's Briefs. Your post made me chuckle! I could see this happening, as some people throw away things too easily. I guess next time your son should ring the house bell and check before taking a curb find.

  9. My Sweetie, the archaeologist, is like this. That's what an archaeologist does, dig through people's trash!

    And in this neighborhood, you better not leave anything too close to the curb!

  10. I used to be quite a dumpster diver in my younger years. People do throw away some fabulous items. My sister-in-law was once driving to work and saw a woman rolling a 1900's player piano out to the curb. The woman even had twenty rolls of music in their original boxes. Needless to say, my sister-in-law grabbed it.

  11. Ha ha, that is priceless. I'm surprised no one else had tried to take her bench.
    Gotta love a recycler.

  12. Haha! BUSTED!

    I haven't dumpster dived since college, when I jumped in head-first hoping to find the the mimeograph stencil of our science final exam. Did you know horticulture is about plants? I did NOT see that coming! ;)

  13. One man's trash...another man's treasure. I wonder how much money he saved over the years by getting freebies!

    Two thumbs up for your middle son, if there is such a thing with four kids.

  14. Just so long as he doesn't dive for food, and whip up a free meal for unsuspecting friends, like folks on that Extreme Cheapskates show. I almost wanted to vomit from their nausea when the host revealed the source of their meal. But I'm empathetic like that.

  15. The bench needs a little plaque that says property of No.- or Mrs -

  16. I would have been so embarrassed but what a great story!