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.
New Yorkers lose their cats.
New Yorkers lose their socks.
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.
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.
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.
I applied it toward my replacement umbrella.
Just this week I noticed a tie, a pair of gloves, and a potato.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.