The Recurring Chair

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I will share with you the true story of The Recurring Chair.  As you know, besides being a writer, I’m also a professional photographer (which means I am always on the lookout for interesting props).  About two years ago, my sister Michelle and I were driving along an out-of-the-way road, when we saw what appeared to be the most perfect red chair in someone’s garbage.

One of our favorite spots to take a posh chair is out to the woods near our house for some “elegant grunge” style portraits such as this:

Now, please keep in mind that we were both extremely embarrassed to garbage pick in broad daylight, but a find like the red chair was too good to wait for dark.  We just knew that if we came back later, that chair would be gone.

Anyway, the red chair seemed perfect… until we got it home.  Once we got it home, we noticed it had a certain funk to it, and one of the legs was wobbly.  We considered repairing it, but in the end, we decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.

In our neighborhood, if you garbage doesn’t fit in your can, you have to call the sanitation department and make arrangements for them to do a non-scheduled pick-up.  Furthermore, these are only free twice a year.  So it’s not uncommon for us to save our big garbage until we’ve amassed enough big stuff to make the call worthwhile.  When you schedule a pick-up, they have three days to actually come get the garbage from in front of your house.

About a month later, we had a few other pieces of furniture and some large boxes to toss, so we scheduled a pick-up, and the red chair made its way to the curb.  After we took everything down to the road, we left to run an errand.  When we returned, we noticed that the red chair was gone!

We chuckled that someone else had garbage picked it as we had, and by the next morning when the rest of the garbage was picked up, we forgot all about it.

Fast forward a year.  Last year, we had a friend who had stored a bunch of his stuff in our garage for nearly eleven months, and we had another friend who had kept a few of her things in our garage for almost two months.  Additionally, my son Jeremy did a month-long (quite messy!) project in the garage where he made soundproof panels for his recording studio.  Furthermore, we had amassed some more large, bulky furniture that we wanted to throw away.

The point is, our garage had reached capacity, and it was so gross, we hated even setting foot in it!  It was time to reclaim our garage.

So over the three-day weekend for Memorial Day 2014, Michelle and I literally spent morning, noon, and night clearing crap out of our garage.  We pre-arranged a pick-up for after the weekend, and Friday evening, we started hauling stuff down to the curb.  Besides things that were just plain garbage such as a ton of cardboard boxes, we tossed several items of furniture, games, electronics, gardening tools, photography props, over-sized picture frames, and other stuff we no-longer needed.  Among the items we discarded was a large, heavy, outdated entertainment center.

We were amused at the inordinate number of people who were just ballsy enough to stop their cars and actually garbage pick our stuff right in front of us as we worked.  One man who took our terra cotta flower pots actually walked into the garage where we were working and asked if we had any more!  It seemed as soon as we took something to the curb, someone stopped to pick it up.

That Saturday night, while we had only just made a large dent in the work to be done, our rabbit died and we had to leave to go bury him.  When we got home, the only two items left by our curb were the entertainment center… and the red chair we had thrown away the year before!  We both laughed hysterically, and were happy for the levity to our sad situation with our pet.

By Sunday morning, the red chair was gone again, but by Monday afternoon, it was returned!

Monday afternoon was also when we were finally done cleaning the garage, and it is still just as clean today without any items that belong to anyone else who doesn’t live here.

The garbage truck came Tuesday morning, and by then, the only things left for them to take other than broken down cardboard boxes were the entertainment center… and the recurring red chair!

Time to talk:  How clean is your garage?  Have you ever garbage picked anything?  If so, what?  Would you ever have the nerve to garbage pick something, then several months later put it back?

29 thoughts on “The Recurring Chair

  1. I have noticed a very old man walking up and down the street outside the place we have moved to picking up rubbish and stuffing it in his pockets…he does it all day long, everyday inc. Sunday’s. I asked him if he fancied a red chair but he told me to go forth and multiply!

  2. I really don’t garbage pick but I think furniture is a little different since it’s not actually in the garbage and because it’s a more expensive item so if you need it, you should take it. Funny story…I once bought a little fur coat in a vintage store. My cats thought it was a long lost relative and used to claw at it to the point that I finally had to throw it out. This was in NYC. Later that night, my friends were doing this joke bunny band thing they did every Easter at one of the clubs and all of a sudden they were praying to this thing they called their ‘long lost mother’. Yep, it was my jacket!

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