Monday, October 22, 2007

Endangered Trash Can Hoods

Vandalism has always fascinated me. Take this garbage can. At first, what intrigued me about this garbage can so much that I felt compelled to photograph it was that the lid had been cable-locked to the can (see the cable on the back of the inside?). That alone was interesting. I thought, "Surely public trash can lids are not in high demand among thieves. That must be cabled on to keep the lid from blowing off in the wind." But on closer inspection I noticed that the front panel of the lid, or the lid's hood, was ripped apart on one side.

Have you ever tried to rip fiber glass with your bare hands? Try it some time. It's not easy. Nor is it easy to rip it apart with any tool that I know of. Yet some desperate person wanted this trashcan lid so badly that he (or she? let's not be sexist -- girls can be strong too) ripped it apart while trying to remove it from its granite trashcan base. Even though I didn't myself witness this act, I've seen enough other weird behaviors at these transit stations to be able to actually picure some deranged lunatic hunched over this trash can, snarling and drooling while yanking away with all his might trying to remove its hood.

OK. That was Oct 5th. Seven days later, I see the same trash can, and now the lid has been comletely removed. Here it is on the evening of Oct 12th, the trash translucent in the glow of the sunset behind it. Apparently the garbage can lid thief, having failed in his mission the first time, returned to finish it off and collect the booty.

That means that besides having this idea in the first place, the person had to hold the idea in his head long enough to go somewhere else, procure the appropriate tool, return to the site, remember what he was doing, and complete the task. That's a skill set worthy of a resume. Too bad about the other stuff that goes with it.

I wonder if this is really what happened. Is there an underworld use for trash can hoods that I don't know about?


At 2:48 PM, Blogger Jeff Moser said...

I got the lid up for sale on eBay if you're interested.

Sorry, I just had to have it. I could think of nothing else for days. Once I acquired this treasure, I hid it under the floor for safe keeping. Everyone stared at me everywhere I went. They knew I had it. They wanted it for themselves. They would never take it from me as long as I was alive though.

But today I woke up and couldn't remember why I wanted it so bad...

At 3:51 PM, Blogger kate gawf said...

See, folks? There you have it. The truth comes out. My, what a little blog-nudge will do!

But wait -- before you get all smug thinking about THIS guy's crazies, take a look in your own closet - or under your floor boards -- and see if you can remember why you wanted all THAT stuff so bad.

One guy's trash can lid is another guy's treasure. And let him who has never coveted another man's trash can lid cast the first stone. So there.

(Jeff, you are DAMN funny.)

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Jeff Moser said...

Stealing and hoarding trash can lids as a metaphor for Consumerism... I like it!


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