My mother is moving out of her apartment soon and so my sister, bless her heart, is doing the bulk of packing.
I’ve been supplying her with boxes from work and she’s picked up a bunch from places herself. But you never have enough boxes when you’re moving, do you?
We learned today that my mom’s apartment has to be vacated sooner than we thought, so our need for boxes just skyrocketed.
I told my sister I’ll just go drive around and dumpster dive. No problem.
Problem, meet Kathy. Kathy, meet problem.
1. It had just rained. Hard.
2. Stores and businesses often flatten boxes to reduce the room they take up in the recycling containers. That means unless you’re Stretch Armstrong, you’re not getting at them.
3. Many places put their bins behind security gates and so they’re inaccessible.
But I was undeterred. I should have quit before I started.
At one place, I found a good-sized box, unflattened, lying right on the top of a heap. Except it was comingled with regular garbage.
I put it in my car anyway.
I drove ten feet and the stinkage punched me right in the face and I had to put it back.
At another location, I found a giant unflattened box, but it’s too tall to be helpful, has no lid and it’s stupid and my sister probably won’t want it.
I put it in my car anyway and now I have to get rid of it because I’m dumb and don’t know how to shop properly for boxes.
I thought I hit the mother lode behind a strip mall, where I found boxes sitting under a roof. They are dry!
Except they turned out to be thick, wax-coated boxes used for produce and they were heavy as hell. They also had fruit and vegetable pieces stuck to them, which I’m sure I didn’t want to touch.
I did find a medium square box with handles (!!!!) in one dumpster, but I had trouble grabbing it out from under other things because the bin lid was too heavy and I needed a third arm.
I don’t have a third arm, so I used my head to hold it up.
And then rainwater from the lid splashed down upon me and right into the box. I had to let it go.
And now I’m wet. Wet dumpster diving is even less fun, I assure you.
Another dozen stops with no box to be had, I’m fed up and decide to go home.
On the way, I had a glimmer of hope when I approached a college campus where I thought there might be office paper boxes, computer boxes or any other freaking kind of box.
I instantly realized I was in the wrong place at the wrong time because I hit serious traffic, half of which were cops.
Because Michelle Obama is giving a speech at that college.
Of course she is.
On my dumpster diving night.
Even if I did try looking in their dumpsters, this is exactly the sort of thing that’d make CNN with a headline like, oh, I don’t know, Woman Suspected of Hiding Bomb in Dumpster Arrested Minutes Before First Lady Speech.
That’s it. I’m done. One and half hours of fruitless labor.
It could have been great. I could have had a thousand boxes. It could have been a Box Miracle.
So many, so tidy, so hands off.
You know what I’m going to ask now, don’t you?
Anyone got any boxes? I’ll come pick ‘em up. I swear I don’t smell like garbage anymore.