The joys of duplication

En route to the DMV to get my duplicate “I-hate-driving license”, I passed a very likely dumpster (hmmm need photo) in Greenbrae, land of the totally silent suburban sidewalks, yards and houses. Between 9 and 3 pm this land is the sole territory of hispanic gentlemen like Joel Chavez, perfecting the already perfect topiary on the shrubbery.

Stepping on the saddle of the Breezer leaned against the box to get a good purchase on the lip of the huge orange metal box, I vaulted in, ,

First thing I saw was a restaurant caliber aluminum stock pot with its lid half-buried under some nice fluffy bathtowels.

Then: a fine white spaghetti strainer.

Conveniently close by, a lifetime supply of soba, vermicelli and even somehow damp but vacuum preserved fat wheat noodles, like albino worms on steroids.

I dug in, carefully avoiding the nails projecting from the 2x6s laying in among the towels, clothes, pots & pans…there were sample hoisin sauces, versions 1-5 of sesame oil, coconut milk, etc.. This person worked for or owned an all-natural asian convenience food company… and loved her faux chanel and vuitton bags (barely used, I want to write FAKE all over them but I doubt anyone would want to use them then…). A mysterious tiny wooden box with a jar of “Heaven grade Korean Red Ginseng”…unused, but very hard, like silica, to the touch. Old?

Wait’ll CC gets a load of that! It’s easily a $300/oz jar of the Good Stuff. Why so dear? Well, ginseng has “properties”.

Just as I was hoisting the last of the many cloth shopping sacks left in a bundle, I grazed a solid glass object with my metal shoe cleat.

Lo! A magnum of prosecco conegliano valdubbiadente ‘sogno di annibale’ (hannibal’s dream cheap white sparkly)

O, scoro mio….
Hauled these to DMV, got a license in no time (surprise!) and ran into dear neighbor Cam getting HER license….

“If I’d’a known you were coming, I’d have given you a ride!”
“Nah.. I like riding…”
Two minutes later I realize she could haul my “score-age”, and I could go back and get morage!

Of course she agreed to it. She’s read my story on gleaning..

Went back, the gardener was still there, and I tackled the clothing bags alongside the dumpster…this too was treasure. Three cashmere sweaters and the nicest mohair sweater with little soft curled turtle neck , I feel (and look) like an orangutan/yeti hybrid. Thing weighs nothing, warm as heck. Which means I’d work up a good sweat headeding home wearing all of them at once (why do you think they call them “sweaters”?!)

On the other hand, in the UK they are jumpers.

The gardener was admiring my agile diving in and out of the dumpster, so I put together a sack of noodles, sauce and some great towels and flower vases “for the little lady”.

As can happen, that comment elicits a visible inward wince.
But he said nothing…just admitted he wasn’t much of a chef, worked too much to cook, seven days a week, trying to ‘keep everyone hoppy”.

“But what about yrself? ” I asked reflexively. “Too much looking after others and not enough ‘selfish team’ leads to an ulcer”.

“Had one of those since I was thirteen”.

“How many kids you got?”
“FIve, plus a crazy old lady..”
“My husband has one of them too. Tough, eh?”

He didn’t grok.

At least he doesn’t have to work indoors. Or as he put it, all day at a boring hotel… I guess hotel maintenace is his alternative.

I pedaled home wishing I could fix the ulcer, but at least he knows he can have tea anytime he’s in our neck of the woods.

He sez he’s in Fairfax daily.

Before too long, I’ll be running a real Tea Room and a certain private citizen is going to uh…hmm.. can I get back to you on that?

At home, I have a message. Friend in SFPD has my wallet (and I assume my license). Guess I can keep one in the car, like I always try to (but the photocopy would probably not impress a cop) since Purse Carrying isn’ t a natural instinct and I often drive without money or identification.

Such a brat.

~ by jacquiephelan on April 25, 2008.

3 Responses to “The joys of duplication”

  1. Where on earth do you live, exactly? The dumpsters I’ve peeked into NEVER have stuff that fine, or fascinating. What is Planet Fairfax and why do they throw all the crazy-fine stuff away?
    ..::shakes head in disbelief::..
    (Envious though I may sound, I will admit that up here in Rainville I’ve scored a fair amount of Carhartt, just hanging on nails and fenceposts at the side of the road or out in the country. Seriously. If memory serves it’s something like six jackets, two pairs of work pants and a pair of coveralls in the last three years, all of them washable and wearable. I’ve ended up selling most of them — coveralls just aren’t me and the jackets were all huge. Happily, the latest find, saved from a bridge railing last fall, is hanging in my closet, bleached and laundered, frayed at all the edges and a tad big for me, but otherwise totally fine. I think I’m a carhartt magnet or something. But that is my biggest claim to scavenger fame. I’m a rank amateur compared to you.)

  2. CK was here, and all he left was…

    …he left.

  3. jacquie I have another wombat gift for you.. you packratty you..
    love jax

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