Supermarket Dumpster Diving

WH VaseSometimes you have to do what you have to do.

I was coming out of our Whole Foods in Mountain Brook, Alabama, when  I saw something unusual: a woman being held by her ankles, rummaging upside down through a giant dumpster in the parking lot. Actually, only her top half was upside down: she was bent over the top edge of the dumpster, and was digging like crazy. If her male companion had let her go, she would have literally dived head first into the dumpster.

Fortunately, I was parked right next to the dumpster, and would have a close up seat to this enterprise, never having seen a well dressed woman dumpster diving before. I paused to savor the sight, when a Whole Foods employee passed me with buggy load of galvanized pots, headed toward the dumpster. They were throwing those away? I had to know.

Me: Are you throwing those away?

WFE (Whole Foods Employee, a young woman): Yes, we’re getting all new displays for the floral department.

Me: You don’t mind that woman dumpster diving out there?

WFE: It’s that, or the landfill.

Hmmm. I thanked her for the info, and headed to my wife’s Prius Eco to unload my goodies. Then I had a brain infarction: I could use those flower displays she was throwing away as growing containers for my favorite fruit, the pomme d’amour, the love apple, aka, the tomato. Wild Galapagos, Wild Cherry, Cherokee Purple, and my favorite, the deliciously ugly Purple Calabash, was all I could think about. By the time I had finished my mental catalog of what I could grow, the lady dumpster diver had hauled off a carload of really nice galvanized pots. Now it was my turn to become a dumpster diver.

I had no one to hold me by my ankles, so I took a more cautious approach. Looking over the edge of the dumpster, I saw a big stack of practically pristine galvanized flower holders, with copper handles, perfect for growing tomatoes. Bingo, that’s a goody, as Bear Bryant used to say. I grabbed nine of them, and loaded them into the Prius. My first dumpster dive was a complete success.

One corporation’s trash is another man’s . . . 

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