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Shrine Of Trash

I have a neighbor, a great big man that could make a person walk the opposite direction just based on first impressions. He towers above the 6 foot fences. When I've sat in my backyard and watched him walk down the alley, I've often thought of him as the floating head man. Once in awhile I see him attached to his body while I'm taking my trash out to the alley. With an unobstructed full body appraisal, I notice he walks with a swagger that could export him right onto the pages of some dusty old western book.

He wears faded denim overalls, with one brown patch on the right knee. They earn the label of 'high waters' because they land a good 2 or 3 inches above the top of his boots. Clunky black combat boots that pound the dirt in the alley to the rhythm of his swagger. If I can't see him yet, I can usually hear him coming. His hair is always wildly sculpting his face, a piece flying this way, a chunk flying that away.....and if it wasn't for the fact he always grins at me from ear to ear when he meets me in the alley, or when he's peeking over the top of my fence, I'd probably call the cops and rant about a crazy man (although, I should anyway).

Here's my problem with my gigantic grinning neighbor. He goes through my trash. I believe he goes through every one's trash since the things we dispose of are cleverly taken out daily (we never have to worry about missing trash day) and hidden out of sight, out of mind, in the alley behind our homes. Seven day a week standby style.

So, if your a trash pickerthrougher, the alley is a smorgasbord of delights to be sifted through on a daily basis. And knowing he does this gives me a case of the heebie jeebies.

I know they say, "One Ladies trash is another Mans treasure." But seriously, there are certain things that go into a ladies trash that another man has no business discovering. I never buy white trash bags anymore, I'm all about 3m, black contractor bags now. But, he has a pocket knife and my bags are no match for a trash sifter with blade.

Perhaps I shouldn't care and look the other way, but these days every single thing I throw away I have to pause, and think, "Hmmm, will he keep my worn out undies as a souvenir if I throw them away?" If you think I'm being dramatic here, just think for a moment about what YOU throw away and if you had to bear the knowledge someone was going through your trash I promise it would give you pause............

And when he grins at me, my overactive imagination flares up and I think, oh shit, he must have saw....blank my trash last week. The man knows what I eat, what I read, when my period is, my shredded bills and discarded writing papers. He knows how many diet cokes I drink a week and when someones been sick. He goes through my discards and mayhem, he touches the wasted and used side of my life.

As for him, well I did my own 007 spy work, I walked the alleys until I figured out where he lives. Through the holes in his fence I could see the compilation of years of trash sifting. Piles and piles upon PILES of peoples discards. You name it, I could see it. Pack rat heaven. I could see MY old broken lamp, a blue tent that I had burned a big hole in.....and although I didn't see a shrine of discarded women's underwear, there certainly could have been in the layers and layers of stuff.

Pause, think about it, what would you do?? A curious mind wants to know~~~

32 Additional Thoughts:

I just spent the morning watching the snow gently fall and my three dear (Yes, mine they've been around all summer and fall, beautiful graceful creatures) in the yard and woods next to me...

Now to wrap my mind around strange, weirdly tall trash/shrine collector...

I'm afraid I would be ugly about the situation and make my trash so humanly disgusting he thinks twice about it. Any clothing items, would be cut into tiny shreds. Cat litter, food would be immersed among shredded papers. Definitely go for the smell quotent. If you go to a hunting store, you should be able to find something (heck if I remember what the name of it is) anyway it's made to hide human scent, and attract deer, animals to you for hunting. The stuff smells putried, horrible. I would spray it literally all through my trash.

At this rate trash/shrine collector won't keep it in his home. He wouldn't be able to tolerate the smell.

He does give me the heeby/jeebies though so be careful. (Hugs)Indigo

October 29, 2008 10:28 AM  

Ewww... I think I would call the police, or confront him when you have a witness and backup in case he goes nuts. Ewww.

October 29, 2008 11:31 AM  

I think I'd be checking into any and all city ordances about yards. I'm not sure it's exactly sanitary for him to be going through and then saving parts of other people's trash in his yard. This has got to be a health hazard.

October 29, 2008 12:00 PM  

Ewwwwww.... Creepy!

October 29, 2008 12:47 PM  

Well, now... This is indeed something to ponder... The man obviously has mental issues, and that has to make you wonder. I agree with the comment concerning health hazards. And I LOVE Indigo's idea about spraying it with that nasty scent.

I'm perplexed... I don't know what on earth I'd do.

Mouse traps maybe?

October 29, 2008 1:54 PM  

Well, I'm a bit of a "gotcha" type of gal. So I would probably do something wicked. Like put something he might find "tempting" out, but I would cover it with something icky...maybe some dog doo-doo, or chocolate pudding, or something that will make it stick to his hands.
Or maybe just post a "You are being recorded on camera" sign near the trash.
Also, if he has all that trash piled in his yard...I am sure it violates your city code. That is a rats nest waiting to happen, if it hasn't already.
Good Luck!

October 29, 2008 2:06 PM  

Hmm, this is a dilemma. While he's obviously got some mental health issues, he sounds harmless enough. However, this really is not normal behavior, and it is leaning towards the creepy side. I think Jill Marie might be onto something here--if he has piles of trash in his yard, this could be against city codes.

Keep up posted, and good luck!


October 29, 2008 2:51 PM  

I would make an anonymous report. Really, that's just gross and an invasion. *M*

October 29, 2008 4:11 PM  

That is creepy! I don't even want to think about it. Confirming your concern by seeing some of your OWN stuff in the yard makes it worse.

October 29, 2008 4:37 PM  

I think I would start burning as much of my trash as I could LOL.

If someone was going through my trash, I think I would find another place to put my trash. It is just creepy.

October 29, 2008 5:29 PM  

Be happy you didn't see inside his house. The last time I ever helped anyone move I helped a friend move a friend that was a pack rat. The guy had 5 broken toaster ovens. He had multipes of everything, mostly broken. He had peg board on his walls to keep more stuff. It was truly sick.

October 29, 2008 8:29 PM  

I have no idea what I'd do. I would try not to be paranoid of him knowing too much about me but if I had things I didn't want others seeing I'd probably take it and dispose of it somewhere else. That is a tough one and I can understand why you would be disconcerted with this. I hope this guy isn't up to no good. Be careful. Have a happy Thursday. : )

October 29, 2008 9:16 PM  

Not sure what I'd do, but I know it would make me feel quite uncomfortable to say the least!

October 30, 2008 1:10 AM  

When Ilived in Louisville proper we had an alley in the back. When it was "junk" pick-up week that alley was busy with the trucks coming and going, sifting through your stuff. The pile would go up and down, people taking and then people who did not have "junk" pick up would throw their stuff on your pile! No I think it is against the law (how are they gonna enforce it?) to go through the trash around here!! Guess it's all about recycling and someone is going to get their panties in a bunch if someone gets the aluminum cans. Good writing/story as always.

October 30, 2008 2:45 AM  

Hmmmm, I never thought about that, but your right....there are things I don't wish my husband to see in the trash. Buying black bags from now on.
And I love the mouse :)

October 30, 2008 9:15 AM  

My last client had a home just like that - Now I'm wondering if they were'nt dumpster divers as well. That is just way to creepy. Sorry you and your trash are being invaded. Can you put your trash cans/bags behind a wall or in the garage until just before the trash truck comes? Hoping this situation works it's way out.
Take care,

October 30, 2008 1:36 PM  

I'm thoroughly disgusted right now. That is GROSS. Unhealthy, unsanitary, and just CREEPY. Not to mention, again, GROSS.

i'm with jill marie. i'd post a sign or something, or find a way to keep my trash in the house until trash day.

<---is shuddering.

October 30, 2008 4:27 PM  

: x


I think the grinning at you is probably the worse part.


October 30, 2008 8:23 PM  

Okay! ::shiver:: Kind of creepy!
We don't put our cans out by the road till the morning of trash day and we're one of the first ones picked up. But I do know people who haul it out to the road early. All kinds of stuff for browsers.
:) Leigh

October 31, 2008 12:38 PM  

My initial thought was that with the high level of identity theft, this man would pose a problem. But I thought better of that and feel it goes beyond that; this man has a strange fetish, and as I'm not doctor I wouldn't know what his exact problem is. Having said that, he has a problem and I'm heebying and jeebying right alongside you!
I agree with Bucko, burn the stuff. That, or you can wait until the early morning hours and take the garbage out right before sanitation comes.
The fact that he's sporting a permanent grim makes the whole scenario especially creepy. Could you imagine what he's finding in the garbage, and what he may be doing with it?! Yikes!!
Be careful.

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