Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How I Did Not Save Christmas

I didn’t draw anything this past week because of Christmas. I did get to climb in a dumpster at work today, though. If this sounds like fun, you need a more stimulating job.

See, a couple of weeks ago I borrowed my roommate’s plastic Christmas platter to take a bunch of cookies to work. The cookies lasted about three hours, and the platter got repurposed for a swanky executive event in another part of the building. I figured it would turn up eventually. A single fried chicken thigh can spend six months in our office fridge unmolested, so nothing terrible could happen to a heavy plastic tray in the ten days before Christmas.

As it turns out, that is not the correct answer.

This morning at work I remembered that I should retrieve that platter before my roommate gets back from her Christmas vacation, so after a cursory but fruitless search, I sent out an inquiry to the staff.

Ten minutes later, a coworker came over to inquire how much the platter cost and where it was purchased.

Apparently, in a pre-holiday cleaning frenzy, the tray was mistaken for a disposable one and purged. And then the trash went out.

Luckily for me, the garbage truck doesn’t hit our neighborhood until Tuesday. All I had to do was fish around a little in the dumpster we share with a few nearby buildings. I was even a little bit excited, since my job does not include a lot of field trips.

The good news is that now I know what the neighbors got for Christmas. The whole top layer of the dumpster was Barbie playset boxes and sacks of wrapping paper, all of which I could reach from the outside. Last week’s office trash was farther down, though, so I glanced at my open-backed shoes and jumped in.

I knew that one of our neighboring businesses dealt with large, feces-rich birds (it seems they board parrots). I did not know that Monday is cage-cleaning day. The shoulder-high mound of discolored, dribbling newspapers convinced me to get out of the dumpster and call my roommate to confess.

She says the tray is not emotionally irreplaceable, so I will not be returning in the wee hours of the morning with hip waders. And my pants should be okay after a couple more washings.

Ultimately, I have emerged with further validation for my policy of never throwing anything away without watertight evidence that I will never need it again. Also, I’m pretty sure I don’t want a parrot.


  1. Awww. And I was considering getting a parrot for the apartment! :P

  2. How about a Dead Parrot? Not one that was resting, mind. One that's kicked the bucket. Pushing up daisies. Gone to meet his maker. Shuffled of this mortal coil, that sort of thing. They've got lovely plumage...

  3. Maybe if it's been wired to the perch.