Friday, April 20, 2007

The Phone and the Dumpster

Last night, I decided to clean out the car. Regan tends to leave junk and garbage in the car for months on end, while I tend to try and keep the car interior a bit more tidy. The typical routine is that the amount of junk in the car builds up for a month or so before I get frustrated enough to angrily put it all in a bag and throw it away.

As I was throwing papers into the bag for trash and Oprah magazines into the bag of Regan’s junk to bring upstairs, I was also juggling my backpack, my cell phone, and my telescope (which was in the car because I had just returned from a canceled star party). I closed up the car, tossed the garbage into the dumpster, and carried the rest of the stuff back up to the condo.

That evening I couldn’t find my phone in the house. I knew it was somewhere at home because I had called Regan from the car on my way home, so I figured I must have left it in the car. I figured I’d just get it in the morning when we went downstairs to leave for the day.

So, this morning, we get to the car and the cell phone is nowhere to be found. Confused, I went back up to the condo to look around again, with no success. Since I couldn’t find it in the car OR the condo, and I knew I hadn’t left it at school, I started to retrace my steps. As I was trying to remember everything I did last night, my eyes fell to the dark catacombs in the corner of our garage where the dumpster is kept. . . oh crap.

I didn’t really think I’d thrown my phone in the dumpster; instead, I figured it would turn up somewhere I hadn’t thought of in the condo in a day or two, but I figured I might as well take a look, just in case. I asked Regan (who was getting impatient sitting in the car waiting to leave while I took one last look around for the phone) to call my phone. I opened the big metal door that quarantines the dumpster dungeon, and peered over the rim into the dank, vile pit of refuse.

And there it was. Vibrating in the bottom of the dumpster was my phone, lit up and crying out to be rescued. I climbed into the great clangy trash-box, making sure I stepped only on large pieces of cardboard and newspaper, and retrieved the little fellow. It was only a bit dusty, but I made a note to wipe it off with a damp cloth later on.

Getting back in the car after emerging from the trash room, Regan asked if I’d found the phone. Yep. A pause. Regan narrowed her eyes and smiled slightly.

“Was it in the dumpster?”

I know that this event will end up on a list of dumb things I have done, which will probably also include the time I locked myself out of my own house. But it’s important to remember the moral of this story: Keep your car tidy.