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Let’s make our bed and lie in it. February 22, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Some things really push our friend Ben’s and Silence Dogood’s hot buttons. For example, when some idiots raise a wild animal as a pet, and then, when the animal acts like what it is, a wild animal, with tragic consequences to innocent victims and itself, other people make fun of it. Uh, folks, an innocent animal was killed. An innocent human being was mauled and horribly maimed for life. Is there something funny about this? We think not.

But we digress. What we’d like to talk about today is waste, not of human (or animal) life, but of human abundance. Yesterday, our friend Ben and Silence were speeding to our vet’s to pick up more medications for our most-beloved golden retriever, Molly, who is fighting a very brave fight against liver cancer. (So far, Molly feels fine and is doing fine as long as she takes her meds, which we serve up in a peanut butter sandwich, to her delight.)

Our vet is quite a distance from us, and as we drove along, we passed a discount furniture store that had apparently gone out of business. Its gaudy roadside signs were gone, there was no seasonal schlock piled up in its parking lot, and yellow “do not cross” tape was up where we used to see cars. Normally, we’d have thought, “another quiet little tragedy” and driven by with heads lowered in sorrow and shame. But not this time.

That’s because one feature that caught our eyes was a huge dumpster at one side of the defunct business. The dumpster in question was piled high with brand-new, plastic-wrapped mattresses. There must have been dozens of mattresses in there for the pile to reach that high.

Silence and I were, frankly, horrified. Mind you, we’re horrified when we see that people have dumped perfectly usable furniture, dishware, appliances and the like at the curb for trash pickup rather than making the extremely minimal effort to take them to the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, St. Vincent DePaul Society, or what have you. Would it really have killed them to give their so-called “trash” to people in need rather than adding it to our landfills? Grrrrr. But compared to a business dumping dozens of unused mattresses in a dumpster, this is chump change.

Without giving it more than a second’s thought, our friend Ben and Silence came up with these possibilities for those mattresses: Homeless shelters, battered women’s shelters, orphanages, hospices. We’re sure there are many, many more we haven’t thought of. Why not donate them and get a tax writeoff? Why throw out perfectly good merchandise when our country is on the verge of a depression, and unemployment levels are skyrocketing? Why, why, why?!!!!

The owners of the business were obviously not there as Silence and I passed by. Nobody was. So our friend Ben supposes we’ll never get an answer. But we still think it’s a good, a very good, question.



1. Jen - February 22, 2009

Not far from here is a place called “Hudson Valley Materials Exchange” where builders and other businesses can take their extra stuff to be given (or sold very cheaply) to nonprofits and individuals. I wonder if there are other places like this? Most of the charities will pick up, especially for a large donation, so it is baffling and infuriating!

I’ve been thinking about you and glad to hear that Molly is hanging in there. Big hugs to all of you.

Hi Jen! Thanks for the kind thoughts (and a big tail wag from Miss Molly)!!! Sometimes, you’re so frustrated you just want to call a press conference and get a bunch of cameras rolling, or at least we are. But then we think of the bankrupt business and try to drum up a little pity. But still! We think they could at least have done some good in the face of misfortune, and gotten at least a little payback from the government for their efforts.

2. Deb - February 22, 2009

With waste like that it is now wonder they went out of business. Who ever owns the property can still give the stuff away if it is not ruined from being outside. This kind of stuff just makes me crazy.

That’s what we thought, Debbi! Since the mattresses were plastic-wrapped, we were sure they’d still be usable. It was SO tempting to call the nearest homeless shelter! But of course we wondered if they’d be breaking the law if they came over and “liberated” those wasted mattresses from the dumpster…

3. kerri - February 22, 2009

Like you, Ben and Silence, I hate waste of any kind, and this is particularly outrageous.
As for the woman with the now deceased chimp (I assume this is the story you’re refering to)….well, I’m at a loss for words on that one. Mind boggling stupidity, isn’t it?
I hope your dear Molly continues to delight you with her presence for quite some time. So sorry to hear of her illness.

Thanks, Kerri, and thanks for the kind wishes re: Molly! For a dog the vet wanted to put down two months ago, her comeback has been truly remarkable. We’re making the most of every single day. And yes, I was indeed referring to the chimp incident. I hope Connecticut outlaws keeping wild animals as pets as a result—at least then that woman’s (and the poor chimp’s) ordeal would not have been in vain!

4. Benjamin - February 22, 2009

Shoot, I could use a new mattress (though I’d rather see it go to any one of the places on your list). Waste, and pets, made me recall a recent story out of MN where over 100 cats were rescued by the Humane Society from a trailer. The couple who lived there were, obviously, living in bad condition but most of the cats seemed fine. What happened? Though the HS said they’d all get careful review for adoption, within 24 hours all but a few were put down. Not even given a chance. I detest the HS, but won’t go into that here. Fire in my beer belly.

Yow, Benjamin, isn’t this the usual outcome when someone’s unspeakable number of pets (usually, alas, cats) are, ahem, “rescued”?! Aaarrghhh. I have a feeling both owners and cats would have preferred to keep the status quo…

5. fairegarden - February 22, 2009

So sad to see both businesses go bankrupt and anything go to waste. You would think a simple phone call could have rescued the mattresses. Add my good thoughts toward Molly also. I am sure she is happy just to be with her humans, who care so much for her.

Thanks for the kind thoughts, Frances! It’s a hard time for us, we admit. Molly seems fine—enjoying life, pretty much her old self—but we’ve seen for ourselves that it’s all because of the tons of meds she’s taking, so of course it’s just a matter of time. With her seemingly doing so well, it’s awfully hard not to keep hoping for a miracle. But it’s just the price we all pay for the joy and love our pets bring us, isn’t it? It’s always hard to see them go.

6. shibaguyz - February 23, 2009

Just fyi… as long as something is in the dumpster or set out as “trash,” it is fair game to the public. We have a friend who “dumpster dives” for all of the wood he uses in his garden and buildings. It’s amazing what he can glean from construction sites and behind businesses.

Ha! That’s a good point, guyz! We’ve actually seen a pretty wonderful dumpster-diving T-shirt, if memory serves in the Northern Sun catalogue. You might want to check it out and get one for your friend to wear as a badge of honor!

7. Gail - February 23, 2009

Those are hot buttons for me, too. Another one is laziness about recycling. Our city has recycling and still folks load the trash cans with materials that could be recycled. Please give Molly a gentle rub on her sweet head and about her ears…cats seem to really like their people to rub their ears. Gail

Thanks, Gail! I’ll tell Molly you suggested it—she loves being rubbed! And you’re right, our cats enjoy a gentle ear rub, too!

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