Once a year, the city where I live has a Bulky Item Collection Day. The city mails out flyers to all the residents, letting them know when that special day will be and listing the items folks can and can't put out at the curb for pick-up.
People are allowed to start putting out their bulky items 3 days ahead of the actual pick-up day. And when those items start piling up, that's when the fun begins. Every year, you'll see people trolling through neighborhoods in trucks or with a trailer hitched to the back of their vehicle, checking out the glorious treasures that may await them.
A couple of years ago, Jason and I had a defunct vacuum cleaner that we put at the end of our driveway for that year's upcoming collection day. Before Jason even got back in the house from putting it out there, it was gone. I swear, some of these people are like ninjas! That same year, one of our neighbors told us they saw one of these prize hunters take an item from another neighbor's house... and then later that item was returned to said neighbor's house! What the hell?
This year when Jason and I got our flyer in the mail stating our collection date - May 7th - we decided to clean out our garage and see if we had anything we needed to dump. And we found quite a bit. Seriously, does anyone else randomly store useless crap in their garage??
We also decided to get rid of our couch. We have never had a new couch in our living room. We've gone through quite a few couches/chairs over the 10 years we've been married, but they were all hand-me-downs. The latest couch was given to us by Jason's brother, Alex. Alex had moved and no longer needed this particular couch. Since we hated the one we were currently using (given to us by my mom when she was getting rid of some of her furniture), we dumped that one and took Alex's. We've had Alex's couch for about 5 years and over the last year or so we decided we were sick of it. When we got our flyer in the mail announcing our upcoming collection day I used that date to convince Jason this was a perfect time to get a new couch - we wouldn't have to worry about getting rid of the old one. The city would take it for us. Perfect!
Since tomorrow is our pick-up day, Jason and I decided to put our treasure trove out today. As a joke, we noted the time (11:25am) to see how long it would take for stuff to start getting taken. We were in the process of putting stuff out when the first truck stopped... As in I was at the end of my drive way, putting something down when Cleetus pulled up and had his lil' lady, Betty Sue, jump out to check out our stash. I offered a "hello" before I turned to hurry back up our driveway and into the safety of my garage. Wanting to finish cleaning out our garage, Jason and I took the final item - the couch - to the end of the driveway, where Cleetus and Betty Sue were waiting with anticipation to see what else we had for them. Upon seeing that all we had was a couch, Betty Sue asked [insert deliciously redneck accent here], "Hey, ya'll got any scrap metal?" With our disappointing answer of "no," Cleetus and Betty Sue took what they considered worthy and continued on their way. As Jason and I were sweeping out our garage, two other trucks stopped, one after the other.
Now, Jason and I are sitting on our new couch, keeping one eye on the window, watching for people who stop. As of 11:45am - just 20 minutes since we put out this stuff - we've had 6 people stop by to pilfer through our junk and we've had 3 things taken.
Ah, the excitement of Bulky Item Collection Day. My favorite time of the year.