This weekend, my buddy, Coco, celebrated her birthday, a relatively innocuous one since this year’s ended in a three, not a digit from the trinity of dread — zero, five or nine. We settled on a plan to meet at 6:30 at an Italian restaurant we frequent in Greenwich Village. This gave me time to run a quick errand before hooking up with my pal.
When I returned to my sanctum sanctorum to pick up Coco’s birthday gift* and head downtown, I noticed that The Trash Phantom had visited my building while I was out. The Trash Phantom is That Wily One that leaves junk prominently displayed within close proximity of the trashcans without putting said junk actually inside the trashcans. The Trash Phantom must deem this junk as having value to some schnook passing by in this neighborhood, where the average resident earns $80k. I do not earn anywhere near $80k, but I also have standards and an immense fear of athlete’s foot. Therefore, this pair of purple plaid rain boots from The Eyesore Collection stuffed with an umbrella near my building’s trashcans had zero appeal to me.
Considering the massive bedbug scare that plagued Gotham City in 2010, I’m very skittish about most junk I see on the street. Yet, I suppose if it was a pillowcase stuffed with gold doubloon, my skittishness would instantly evaporate and I could easily access my inner pirate.
Regular readers of Lame Adventures, all three of you, may also recall that The Trash Phantoms have left outside my Casa de la Shangri-La fedoras, office furniture, and my personal favorite, an odd looking stuffed fish that reminded me of a tennis ball, possibly because when it was put out for grabs the timing coincided with the US Open tennis tournament and I had tennis on the brain.
As usual, I wondered about the mentality of someone that would leave a pair of rain boots and an umbrella out for the taking. Did this person think they were being altruistic, were they ambivalent about chucking rain boots that they knew were still in decent or possibly never worn condition, or were they someone with such advanced attention deficit disorder, they were distracted by a low flying sparrow, and completely blanked on their intended task, dumping the rain boots in the trash?
A few years ago a Trash Phantom left a vacuum cleaner out on West End Avenue.
They attached this note that I thought was responsible.
Possibly The Trash Phantom of the Rain Boots could have done something similar:
Umbrella – like new. Rain boots. Woman’s size [whatever]. Never Worn. Have strong purple plaid aversion. Please rescue.
*Coco’s practical birthday gift from me — a harmonica and a Mars candy bar – obvious useful objects my fashionista cohort would never think to give herself.