Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Question of the Day #14

For the last couple weeks, a bunch of glass tabletops have been sitting out by the garbage at one of the houses I pass on my walks. And yesterday, after seeing them yet again, my couch surfer, Todd, and I drove back up there to get them.

Once he saw them propped up just inside this person's gate, behind the garbage cans, Todd said, "We can't take those. That's stealing."

"What do you mean 'it's stealing'? They've been out by the garbage for weeks."

"But they're inside the gate." He pointed. Like five times.

"Would you leave them here if you wanted to keep them?" I asked.

"I don't know." He shrugged, then sighed loudly. "I don't think this is right."

I laughed. If you knew Todd, you'd laugh too.

"Then let's ask them." I rang the doorbell.

He shook his head.

Nobody answered. Then I noticed the lockbox on the gate and pointed at it.

Todd instantly grabbed the table tops and stashed them in the car. As we unloaded them at home, we brainstormed about how we'll use them to make the perfect coffee tables for my deck. All we need are some supercool bases.

What are some treasures you've found in somebody's else's junk?



  1. I used to love when my old room-mate Mike came home from being on tour. He would just have bags and bags of swag that he accumulated along his journey: hats, t-shirts, hockey jerseys and all kinds of stuff with radio station logos on it. It was like Christmas!!

  2. I love bulk pickup day. All the people in the 'burbs put their junk out on the curb, and people shamelessly drive around the neighborhood picking through people's "trash." My best finds have been 1) a baby gate to keep my pet bunny from going downstairs, 2) a fertilizer spreader, and 3) a chair I reupholstered myself. Man, I gotta get a life... again, I think I need to move to Cali. :-)

  3. An old light brownish-yellow barn coat with holes in the pockets and a silky lining that still smells a bit like moth balls. It's at least two sizes too big and I got for $3 at a yard sale in LA. Yup, still have it and love it.

    Oh and the chair I got from a crazy chick across the street from Mansfield, that was reupholstered with Elvis-like, deep red velvet. It's now my kids "time-out" chair. Who wouldn't want a cool time out chair like that?!

    Man oh man, I wish I got some kickin' swag from Mike....

  4. Dude! LD, I love that chair!!!

    That just reminded me of another one. The red puffy coat! I got that thing at Jet Rag for $1. And almost everyone I know has worn it at some point during late night porch talk. Even my mom!

  5. There was a crappy desk down the street, but it had a custom fit glass top. That piece of glass was worth money. So I took my utility hand truck, rolled it down there, strapped the glass on and rolled it home. Wound up using it as a desk until it cracked. A bit too much weight in the middle. Ah well.

    Your find sounds awesome. Can't wait to see what you do with them.

  6. I love that puffy red coat!!!
    To all the junkies out there!! Junk is in the eyes of the beholder. Apparently they miss the potential of their discarded "stuff". Too bad for them. I have learned from experience not to miss a "pickup" opportuntiy for it never comes again. I hestitated on a beautifully carved pedestal bottom of a DR table once. Turned around just 5 blocks later and someone else had it in their trunk!! : (

  7. I'm a total trash picker. I also live in the burbs and LOVE bulk pick up day. I got 2 Britax car seats that weren't expired, a house plastic playhouse that is now in my playroom, a train table and sooo much more. My neighbor goes out for 3 days prior to pick up. Sold it all on craigslist and made $1000. Recycle stuff, save the landfill, fun toys for kids, and make some cash.

  8. I almost forgot about the time I made my gf stop so I could pick up a fallen branch. Had the idea of making a curtain rod out of it. But then I had to strip it and stain it and that never happened. She was rather mortified to be there while I examined my find.

  9. A low set of mega-heavy bookshelves, strong enough to hold a TV and components on top of them.

  10. I *just* got back from the garbage dump, and you would not believe the awesome find I now have in my clutches! I have been looking for a suitable fireplace screen for my naked fireplace, and lo and behold, in the take-it-or-leave-it shed (usually full of nappy-haired barbie dolls, broken vases and moldy paperbacks) I found this full-on brass-framed glass-door fireplace front, complete with mesh screen. It's actually so classy it almost doesn't work with my decor (thank goodness I do the eclectic thing). And it fits, too! Looks like I need to actually attach it somehow to my brickwork, and that will take some thinking, but hey! It was FREE!


Don't be shy! Please join our game of Questions.