November 5, 2008 7:00 am
Every Tuesday night, we drag our recycling bins to the curb so the garbage truck can wake our kids up at 5:50 on Wednesday mornings. The county offers two bins each and was even nice enough to deliver a replacement recycling bin after one of ours mysteriously went missing. I like doing my part by recycling and the kids have even learned to fall back asleep after the bi-weekly abrupt wakings. They like doing their part for the earth as well and don’t mind a little sleep interruption in the name of being green.
A few months back, we were in Graham’s room for the nightly wind down and getting ready for bed. The trash had already been taken to the curb and something caught my eye outside. I looked out into the cul-de-sac to see a man on an electric wheelchair/scooter driving up to our trash. He began to rifle through our recycling and put several things into the bag he was carrying. I continued to watch as he did the same at two of my neighbor’s homes, rummaging through their trash and took several items from the recycling bins. Call me crazy, but I don’t really like letting a stranger rummage through my trash. It’s like letting someone into your home before you’ve had time to tidy up, I don’t like it. A couple of days after my first sighting, I spotted the guy in a different neighborhood scouring through their trash. Smart, I thought, he knows when each neighborhood’s recycling day is and goes in for the loot on the appropriate day.
The guy in the wheelchair is well known around our area. He looks off somehow and is frequently spotted driving in the road (vs the sidewalk) and slowing down traffic. He looks mean, he’s always wearing a scowl when I see him. If I had to guess, I would say he’s a disabled veteran. He lives about a mile from me in a tiny house with tons of junk in the yard (old appliances, toilets, furniture). My babysitter has lived in our neighborhood all her life and she told me that the guy has always been there and been a grouch and growing up, the kids were all scared of him.
Tonight while we were getting Graham ready for bed, I spotted Oscar the Grouch digging through our trash again. The more I think about it, the more I don’t like having him go through our trash. Sure, he’s probably harmless but what if he decided to go the identity theft route? And also, it just plain annoys me that he thinks he has the right to just dig through our garbage without even asking. Am I overreacting here or should I put a stop to this guy?