Lame Adventure 334: Lost and Found

Losing stuff is a daily occurrence in New York City and this is not just in reference to the propensity of subway riders losing their tempers in this congested metropolis.

An outraged response to MTA cheery self-promotion.

New Yorkers lose their cats.

Anyone seen Chester? Did you look under the sink?

New Yorkers lose their socks.

Sock Monster by the kids at PS 9. (Nice to know where the tubes I lost in the 80s went.)

Sometimes I draw the short straw and I’m the loser on the subway.  Once on my way home from The Grind, I did not lose my temper, but I did lose my umbrella.  This happened while I was sprinting across the 14th Street subway platform to transfer from a local train to the uptown express.  While doing my anemic Usain Bolt impersonation, I unwittingly dropped my umbrella, but speedy me did manage to hop onto that express train just before the doors shut.  The reward for my victory was reaching my stop three minutes and seven seconds faster and arriving home a helluva wetter.

Recently I thought I had lost a book, but fortunately, my pet puppet goat, Bill E. had it.

“I’m on page 103.”

Last week, I sliced my right index finger.  I have no idea how this injury occurred, but I realized that I have now lost my chance to seriously pursue a mid-life crappy-hand modeling career.

“Let me see.”

More often, I’m the one that finds another’s loss lying in the street. Sometimes someone’s loss is my gain, such as when I found a dollar entering the 72nd Street subway station.

It pays to ride the subway.

I applied it toward my replacement umbrella.

Just this week I noticed a tie, a pair of gloves, and a potato.


Gloves (flattened by cars).


I am sure the rightful owners wondered:

Rightful owner:  Gee, what happened to my [tie, gloves, potato]?

Then, there is stuff that someone no longer wants so they purposely leave it out in an act of passive aggressive charity.

One of a kind combo — microwave in chair.

Recently, I saw a sofa complete with detachable feet, a pair of men’s boots (people in New York are big fans of leaving shoes out), and some mats that I first thought might be for yoga, but upon closer inspection I ascertained better suitability to absorb car grease, or possibly candidacy for residence in a landfill.

Sofa with feet detached.

Leather boots going elf-toe route.

Mats. Next stop can to frame left.

I kept a close eye on the sofa.  First the detachable feet went missing, then the entire sofa itself.  I suppose what is one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, especially if you’re someone that treasures bed bugs.

I agree.

Considering the recent epidemics of these pests in Gotham City, I steer clear of street swag.

There are also some distinct intentional dumps of stuff, stuff that the former owners have decided must go so they just toss it in the street willy-nilly to sound as irritating as former Secretary of Irritation in the Shrub Administration, Donald Rumsfeld.  In this case I have seen chair casters and last year, a movie-style popcorn popper filled with greasy unpopped corn kernels.  It was as if this machine got ditched in mid-use possibly because the original owner has severe A.D.D. or was just a typical Type A orifice – no, not thinking the ear canal.

“I feel detached.”

Degrading departure.

Another New York City specialty is wild trash.  Wild trash is trash that is not in a bag that’s deposited in a trash can awaiting pick-up. This is untamed garbage at its most feral. Newspaper is a popular breed of this type of refuse.  If sidewalks could read, New York’s would be the most literate in the country.

Public health announcement courtesy of the pavement.

Although this has yet to make the evening news, urban wildlife out here is suffering an obesity epidemic.  Who wants to peck at dry seed out of a feeder when the pizza is so abundant in the street?  That would really be bird-brained.

Pizza party!

Notice how both the pigeons and the sparrows completely ignored the pencil — not a writer in the flock.

Finally, there’s what I call the hit and miss style of dealing with wild trash.

Side by side.

NASA can fly a vehicle to Mars but we’ve yet to equip a banana peel with a spring mechanism allowing it to bounce off the eater’s head into the trash can.  Now that would be progress.

132 responses to “Lame Adventure 334: Lost and Found

  1. It’d be hard to pass up that popcorn machine even though I read somewhere the artificial butter leads to Alzheimer’s.


  2. It’d be hard to pass up that popcorn machine even though I read somewhere the artificial butter leads to Alzheimer’s.


  3. Suburbia has such lame street garbage. Although, there was that one time we found a Wal-Mart shopping cart on our street. No, forget it, even that was lame.


  4. It’d be hard to pass up that popcorn machine even though I read somewhere the artificial butter leads to Alzheimer’s.


  5. I have always depended the acts of passive aggressive charity of others for my livelihood.



  6. I was wondering where I lost that potato.


  7. Gotta love a post about trash being turned into potential treasure. That’s sort of my life story, I suppose. And LOVE that you were able to apply that dollar to an umbrella replalcement. Has the purchase yet been made? Have a decent day at the Grind, my friend.


  8. Someone could open a second-hand shop with all those finds! I don’t think they would make much money….


  9. To bad Barbie never made it to your neighborhood. She is gone now. I will let you know whether and wherever she pops up next .


  10. There are so many more awesome lost things in NYC than there are in the small town in North Carolina where I live! People around here are mostly losing used syringes and McDonalds wrappers.


  11. I usually lose single gloves, not both at the same time… verrrrrry suspicious.
    How one goes about losing a tie?


    • I boneheadedly lost a pair of gloves in a cab. I was in a hurry so I put them to the side while paying my fare, and then left without them. Also I did not get a receipt.

      Good question about how the tie went lost. Any clever thinking LA readers care to hypothesize?


  12. Only you can make street garbage into an interesting post. Here anytime you put anything decent out to the curb, it’s gone before the garbage truck passes.


  13. ahh interesting spectacle on how the other half lives.. no wild trash around here– only bears and raccoons scouring around.


  14. “Banana peel with spring mechanism,” Ha! Yeah NASA get on that. Yeah street swag is something I tend to avoid. I think pigeons got dibs on that one. But I love how you ran across a random spud on the street and your “anemic Usain Bolt impersonation,” but sorry you didn’t catch the closing doors.


    • In my next life I hope to return as a New York City pigeon. This is an all you can eat town plus you get to fly and crap on anyone. What charmed lives they lead.


      • Looking at the masthead of your blog it would appear that you have the flying part already mastered. For the crapping on everyone might I suggest a simple alteration in the angle of your your tushie? Once you’ve got that fixed I think your crap will land where you most likely intend it.


  15. Snoring Dog Studio

    I tend to walk with my head down scanning the sidewalk and the area around me for goodies. Shiny things will always catch my eye. You can tell a lot about a city by the crap you find lying on the ground. You won’t find that info in a travel guide, however. Thank you for this assemblage. I now know a bit more about your neighborhood.


  16. The few times I’ve visited NYC, I found myself looking up. Maybe I should be looking down…


  17. The remaining trash that you missed photographing blows into my flower bed, landing beneath my walnut tree.

    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog. I have replied. I set it up to notify readers of my replies. I don’t know if you are notified or not. My friend R says he is.


  18. This made me chuckle. It’s amazing what people will discard, and you inventory had the most perfect timing.


  19. It sounds like Baltimore is a lot like New York, except, you know, smaller and sadder.


    • Except New Yorkers are New York-ers. Not New York-rons. Like in Baltimorons.


    • Don’t knock Baltimore. It is the birthplace of that national treasure and my spiritual leader, John Waters.


      • I realize there is rich history there as it is the final resting place for E.A. Poe and H.L. Mencken. But in terms of modern culture all we have is Strohs, Ho’s and Nattie Bo’s. For those of you haven’t lived in Maryland, I apologize for this digression.


      • Supposedly, John Waters picks up his mail at a bookshop in my neighborhood. I’ve never seen him, though.


        • Huh. If you can hear the sound of the wheels in my head turning, I’m now wondering why he doesn’t just have his mail delivered to his house or held at the post office? Do you know? Mike G, if you’re out there, maybe you’ll weigh in.


          • As a member of your federal law enforcement bureaucracy, AND an aficionado of John Waters’s work, my supposition focuses on what it is that he’s receiving. I have a few friends with the US Postal Service in their criminal investigations/inspections unit. You want me to find out?


            • That’s a tempting offer but can I raincheck it and save your Fed skills for the next time I get shit-hammered and lose something personally valuable like my favorite leather jacket? That hasn’t happened yet but I’m not getting any younger and all arrows are indicating that I am growing dumber.


              • I’ll have to take that one under advisement. You see, unless your getting, as you say, shit-hammered on the border or it’s taken by an undocumented alien I cannot intervene. Now, I do have a few contacts at NYPD. So we’ll just have to see.


          • I think it’s fan mail. I also think he likes having local neighborhood cred with an indie bookstore, but I may be reading into it.


  20. Found your blog through your comment on the NYTimes “50 Objects” article. I’ve worked in NYC many years but have never found a potato. Needless to say, I am very jealous. I need to start hanging out in different neighborhoods, I guess. Also, I’m intrigued by the microwave oven with its own chair. Is the idea to heat up the seat? Or is the microwave sore and in need of its own padded chair? The possibilities are endless. OK, not endless, but there are a few interesting ones, anyway.


    • First of all, thanks for taking the time to visit Lame Adventures Dave B! Running into that potato on the street was just my great good fortune on par with choosing the faster check out line at Trader Joe’s. You raise great LA-type questions about that microwave. I actually saw the owner put it outside. I wanted to ask him if it works for I’ve never had one, but he seemed cranky so I kept my yap shut. And you know, once something in on the streets of Gotham, you have to keep it there. I don’t want to be the first to get bedbugs from an appliance. I hope you visit again. It can get pretty silly over here.


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