Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Thursday, March 02, 2006

20060301 Diary of a Desperate Dumpster Diver

Diary of a Desperate Dumpster Diver.

March 1, 2006 By Kevin Dayhoff (1072 words)

Warning: Because the following humor column is intended for human consumption, the Food and Drug Administration wanted it to be tested on animals.

However, the animal rights activists protested, forcing me to abandon testing and release the distressed critters. I released them in the lobby of the animal rights office. I figured those friendly folks could best take care of the mice and we all shared a common goal – that the mice be free.

Nevertheless, the long-term effects of reading this column remain uncertain. Please proceed at your own risk.

I enjoy folks, who in the past exhibited no interest in being human; who have contacted me recently, feigning a genuine interest in my well-being – and then casually ask: “Oh by the way, what are your future political plans?”

To which I would like to respond.

Thank you all, for your recent inquiries as to my well-being. I am touched.

How’s my day?

I’m having a great day.

Yes, I’m still overweight. Are you still mean and ill tempered? I can go on a diet and lose weight…”

Am I still unemployed?

Yes, I’m still writing for a living.

Of course, now that I am no longer in political office. I have no meaning in my life. I must be unemployed and homeless.

What am I doing with my days?

I’m so happy that you asked…

Today, for example, as I continue slouching towards dementia, I will investigate the haiku of dumpster diving consciousness and the real meaning of life. The Kabuki Morals Play of day-to-day existence in contemporary Maryland, when you are homeless and hungry, like most successful writers and artists.

I've reached the zenith of my existence. A 52 year old artist and writer; I consider being unemployed a badge of honor. I wear it proudly in humor, err, I mean honor, of artists and writers everywhere.

In a few minutes, I was about to go out and see what soup kitchen to visit. Put on my best clothes courtesy of the dumpster behind Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has been heaven-sent for those of us who are otherwise, road kill, on the highway to prosperity and plenty. Are you still trying to put it out of business?

I've developed dumpster diving into an art. Bet ya never knew that about me.

Ya know, the best table scraps are behind the pizza place… over at the shopping center, where I see you so frequently.

Yes, that one – the one you fought so aggressively commenting that it would be the end of civilization, as we know it.

Yes, it was a great farm, completely surrounded by new developments, the farmer went bankrupt. Shame isn’t it. The farmer reneged on a public trust and financial responsibility to maintain that property so the new residents could have a scenic view.

I understand the new development, on the land of that great farm, really supports your efforts to stop growth.

Oh - that neighborhood development that fought the shopping center now wants a sidewalk from their neighborhood to the shopping center. Didn’t you fight that sidewalk when it was proposed? I read recently where you are winning over the hearts and minds of the new folks by supporting the sidewalk and rebuilding the street in front of your house – with taxpayer dollars.

You use the word, “outrage” a lot. You should get help for that. Try eating more friendly vegetables. Go see “Brokeback Mountain” a fourth time.

Recently, I've been scouting a new place to live. I was living high on a hill, in the wooded area in the middle of the Rte 140 and Rte 27 interchange.

From there I monitored the comings and goings of so many folks like you… like so many busy ants, running here, then running there and then back again. It all seems so purposeful. So meaningful. The interchange of accomplishment. The crossroads to the future. And I observed it all, from my hilltop hide-away perch.

Anyway – I had to leave my Shangri-la, on top of the hill. One day, I gathered my meager belongings and traveled down river on a raft to a great place on the bank of the river on the other side of the old Westminster Power Plant.

It is a great place to continue my studies of the political-sociological development of benthic macroinvertebrates, phytoplankton, and echinoderms.

The real challenge to dumpster diving these days, is the thrill of breaking into locked dumpsters. I mean, isn’t it amusing that we have evolved so far as a sophisticated society, that some folks have elevated the art of supreme narcissism to the extent that they actually lock their trash away.

I guess I find the idea of sifting through office trash distasteful. The diving into the abyss of our oppressors is devoid of vision and creativity. It also involves an investment into personal protection gear.

Diving into a restaurant dumpster is not as hazardous to your health as diving into the dumpster of say, the liberal legislative offices in Annapolis. One might emerge, thinking thoughts of world domination or terminal narcissism.

My real goal in life is to dive in a dumpster some day and find a "Power Ranger."

The local college is the nirvana of dumpster diving. Just yesterday I traveled there and came away with a mother lode of great things that wasteful college students have tossed into the dumpster. I got an entertainment center shelf thingy-ma-jiggy. I'll put my TV, DVD, radio, and computer on it.

I do all my holiday shopping for my family up at the college.

When I was young, we used to go the county landfill on Kate Wagner Road. Oh, the good ole days. I once witnessed two pillars of the community fight over a cream and burgundy colored Victorian sofa.

Actually, the lure of dumpster diving is the thrill of the hunt. The quest for buried treasure and personal responsibility. The call of the wild in an increasingly civilized society that has taken the life-on-the-edge, life and death struggle out of our day-to-day experience.

Bet you didn't know that I could be quite so passionate about something. Did ya?

The coat you loaned me for last winter… I've dropped that in the mail. To save on postage, I cut the buttons off and put them in the pockets, in accordance with the latest law passed by the Maryland General Assembly.

Bye for now. Hope to talk with you again soon.

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. E-mail him at:

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