Quality Control

By Jim Hagarty

Note to all serious junk collectors: Here is a sign you have the sickness bad.

You are parked at the far end of the second-hand store parking lot enjoying a coffee in your car. Your eye catches, in the distance, the store’s big green garbage bin. The lid is open. The bin is full. And sticking out atop that pile of refuse are four perfectly good plastic lawnchairs.

“What the hell?” you exclaim to no one.

Briefly, you consider driving over to the bin and loading those tan lovelies in your car. These are chairs someone didn’t want so they gave them to the second-hand store. And the second-hand store didn’t want them! But you want them.

Somewhere there is a hotline, or ought to be one. Sadly, you leave, remorsing over what might have been. Your quality of life will have to remain in the moderate position for another day. But take heart. There is always the local dump. You are still fond of the perfectly good bookshelf you retrieved from a bin there one day, right from under the massive sign: Absolutely No Scavenging Allowed. You assumed, maybe incorrectly, that what was meant was it was illegal to steal that sign. You even thought at the time, “I could use a sign like that.”

Author: Jim Hagarty

I am a 65-year-old retired journalist, busy recovering from a lifelong career as an unretired journalist. This year marks a half century of my scratching out little fables about life. My interests include genealogy, humour and music. I live in a little blue shack in Canada and spend most of my time trying to stay out of trouble. I am not that good at it. I also spent years teaching journalism. Poor state of journalism today: My fault. I have a family I don't deserve, a dog that adores me, and two cars the junk yard refuses to accept. My prized possessions include my old guitar and a razor my Dad gave me when I was 14 and which I still use when I bother to shave. Oh, and my great-great-grandfather's blackthorn stick he brought from Ireland in the 1850s. I have only one opinion but it is a good one: People take too many showers.

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