Only on Television

We live in an up-scale condo on the main avenue of town with ocean and mountain views and a mini-forest back yard.

All is good until our sixteen-year-old dog, Tio, dies. She was a six-month-old SPCA special when we got her in Edmonton. She’s spent winters in Mexico with us traveling, without complaint, for the seven days it takes to drive there. She’s made the move to Comox with equal calm and acceptance.

We come back from the vet’s office where she’s been euthanized and in an agony of grief we toss everything of hers into the garbage dumpster in the enclosure in front of our building.

A couple of hours later, calmer, we realize that Sally, the dog our daughter has rescued in Mexico, will be coming to Canada in a month and could use that lovely new dog coat we just bought for Tio. She could also use the almost new collapsible water dish.

I beetle on out and see all of Tio’s things at the bottom of the dumpster. Right, today was pick-up day. No way I can reach them. I find our two-step ladder and the barbecue tongs. That should do it.

Back at the dumpster, I prop the gate open, set up the ladder, lift the dumpster lid and reach for the desired items. No go. I survey
the situation. If I go to the top step of the ladder, and lean over the dumpster edge, I should be able to reach far enough to grasp the coat and dish.

I maneuver into position, and realize that I’ll have to let the dumpster lid rest on my back as I reach in. No problem. I can do this. Aha! Success. The coat and dish firmly grasped in the tongs, I lift the lid with my other hand, ease off the dumpster edge and make my way down the ladder to the sound of snickers. What!?

I whirl around to see a couple of workmen descending from their truck parked in our visitor lot.

Good grief. They weren’t there a minute a go. Where did they come from? I’m sure my face is red. “Something you only see on television?” I say as nonchalantly as I can.

“Or on Comox  Avenue, ” one says. Muffled laughter.

I tuck the coat, dish, and tongs under my arm, pick up the ladder, and say, “I… um…” Do I try to explain? No. Best leave them with a story to tell.

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3 comments on “Only on Television

  1. I know that feeling – not from dumpster diving but from falling into the lake after using lawn chairs in a little boat. It’s the same embarrassing feeling of having been caught doing something unusual. You want to say, “Let me explain…” but you know it’s going to sound lame no matter what you say.

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