Monday, April 14, 2008

Ever Been Dumpster Diving?

Well, I still haven’t found my car keys. I swear I’ve checked all the usual suspect kinds of locations. Since I’ve never lost my keys or (knock on wood) my cell phone or anything else somewhat critical like that before – unlike my husband who recently lost my credit card – I probably don’t know all the good places to look.

I keep coming up with new places to look – actually, as I typed this I realized I hadn’t looked in the heat vents – but so far, no dice.

I also realized that my purse, which ostensibly is where my keys should be, lives on top of the microwave in the kitchen. Which is at the end of the counter. Which is next to where the garbage can is. And my purse sometimes falls sideways. And when I’m at home, I frequently am lazy about zipping it up since I’ll just need to get my car keys out again (anyone want to take a guess as to whether or not I make my bed in the morning?).

So this morning, I started thinking: What if my keys fell out of my purse at the same time that someone was putting something into the garbage can. And maybe that person didn’t notice. And maybe the keys are sitting in the bottom of a garbage bag in the big garbage bag in the garage just waiting to take it away to the landfill forever this morning.

Unfortunately, keys to my screen door and bike rack are also with my car keys. And so is the remote unlocker thing. (But as someone once taught me, don’t put lots of things on your car key rings because the weight of them over time damages ummm the starter, I think? Someone help me out here!) So I really can’t lose them permanently.

What’s a girl to do?

Yep, this morning after Mister Man got on the bus, Little Miss and I played "garbage man" outside. Please, stop snickering at me.

I brought the kitchen garbage can into the garage and got the big garbage can up from the curb. I rolled my sleeves up as high as they went, took a deep breath, opened the top and peeked in. At least we don’t accumulate much trash. Even though we have an 80-gallon drum for our garbage, there were only two garbage bags inside for the whole week. Thank God for small favors.

Then I had to figure out how to get a garbage bag out from the bottom of the giant garbage can without touching anything. Yoga comes in handy once more, and I managed to pull out the first one.

Then I began the archaeological dig. Ahh, yes, that is the plastic that encased the NU flag I put out for the first time yesterday. Here comes the mango peels from dinner. There is the ribbon leftover from wrapping the engagement party present. And so on it went. It did help that we don’t tend to throw away a lot of leftover food, since I insist on eating it. As I took out each item, I placed it in what had been a near-empty bag in the kitchen garbage can and took a deep breath to see what was coming up next.

As I got to the bottom of the first bag, I could tell there were no keys. Of course not. That would be far too easy. I peered in the big garbage can again, I envisioned how to pull out the bag. The trick with this one is that it hadn’t been tossed in with the strings facing up. I somehow had to finagle a way to pull it out without dumping the contents into the big can. That would have caused two problems. First, YUCK! I’ll leave it at that. Second, if the keys are in this bag and they fall into the bottom of the can, I’d have to … as this train of thought continued in my mind, I gagged mildly and shuddered. Determination to do this right renewed, I successfully removed bag number two.

The same excavation process continued, and again I found nothing more interesting than an old birthday invitation. No keys, and nothing that even gave me the remotest bit of hope by jingling.

I’m still missing those keys, and now I’m getting more paranoid every day that I’m going to lose my spare set and not be able to go anywhere. In the meantime, I had my first – and hopefully only – dumpster diving experience.

Now Little Miss goes around telling people that we play garbage man. Thank God so far everyone’s just smiled and nodded at that announcement and no one’s inquired further.


morninglight mama April 14, 2008 at 8:37 PM  

Oh man... I was reading along and thinking, yeah! She's going to find those keys!! Ugh... trash man for nothing...

Good luck!!

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