Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Door

When I bought the crappy eBay truck from the nice farm boy in Indiana (not to be confused with the one I bought from the nice farm boy in Nebraska), it came with a bunch of extra parts...a fuel pump, a stick shift knob a few pieces of trim...and a door.

It was, in fact, the original driver's door that had been nailed in a T-bone collision and was caved in pretty bad. But it had good parts to cannibalize for the new junkyard door that replaced it...A mirror, a door handle, a window crank and the piece of red pleather vinyl-ette that matched the vinyl-ette of the rest of the interior.

So I cannibalized all the parts I could use, and then I was left with an old, stripped, caved-in door. So I threw it in the back of the truck, fully intending to keep my eye out for an unprotected dumpster and pitch it in. But an unprotected dumpster is harder to find than one might imagine. Dumpster space is valued at approximately the same level as extra room on the space shuttle...and who's going to want to take an old Ford pickup truck door into orbit?

So I drove around with it. Occasionally I'd see a dumpster that met my criteria, but then I felt guilty. Who knows how many starving Malaysian babies had to work 20 hours in the factories to import cheap knock-off clothes so that Wal-Mart could afford to rent that huge-ass dumpster? Or how many PETA-worthy rats were making their home in that dumpster, and might be unknowingly crushed under that door? Better to keep driving.

So...what? 10 months later?...it's finally Southern Illinois' most anticipated and revered holiday: Big Pickup Day. That's day that the garbage haulers will take anything you can drag out to the curb. If I tell you this has been the sole topic in town this week, on par with VE Day or the Kennedy assassination, I'm underreporting it's magnitude.

Neighbors stop in traffic to remind each other, "Hey! Don't forget it's Big Pickup Day this week!" Fliers are posted on light poles and store windows. I think there might be a Big Pickup Day Festival and the crowning of the Big Pickup Day Queen.

Our Big Pickup Day celebration included, inevitably, the Door. And as I dragged it's rusty battered carcass to the curb and leaned it up against the sofa that John killed Jody on, I felt sort of nostalgic. The Door's been my runnin' buddy for the last year. Me and the Door were tight, man.

I thought about popping open a cold Schlafly's and leaving it out with my pal, the Door. But instead I drank the Schlafly's and composed a little ode to the Door:

Door, Door, we were never at war.
No matter how rainy,
your love never waney-ed...for me.

I'll miss you, my Door,
Laying on my truck floor,
Way more than I'll miss
My last 15 girlfriends.

RIP in peace, Door.


Anonymous said...

In NE Indiana, we too know the value of an unlocked dumpster. I am blessed - truly blessed - to have over 15 of them on my way to work. All unlocked, all as empty as the day they were off-loaded behind our local outlet mall, and all mysteriously emptied by the time I head by w/my next load of junk. It's a wonderful life we lead up here! Robin

Suzanne said...

You know what's ironic? There's a version of big pickup day in Winnetka (a fancy northern suburb od Chicago for anyone unfamiliar with it, in which case you should consider yourself lucky, but I digress). On that day, all the rich people throw out mostly and perfectly good items that other people really want. What winds up happening is that people drive by in their vans or pick up trucks and take the stuff home with them. The garbage companies come later, and generally there's no more trash than usual. It's a sad statement on haves and have-nots.