July 19, 2007

I'm apparently a jersey-chasing scavenger.

“Well, you’re all set”, landlordlady said, handing me the extra housekeys. “Let me know if you have any questions about the place, otherwise, welcome home!”

I was giddy. A new house! With roommates! And a yard! I was already planning my first three parties: BBQ housewarming, a “naughty” party for the girls, then a Beer Pong and Paper-Scissor-Rock tournament, complete with Manny’s keg.

“Oh,” Landlordlady’s voice snapped me out of my party-planning reverie. “…and sorry about that,” she said, gesturing to the overflowing recycling bin at the corner of the garage. “That was left by the previous renters, but they’ll pay for garbage pickup this week. He was a Seahawk, so they had a ton of stuff to throw out when they moved.”

My ears perked up.

“A Seahawk, huh?” I tried not to sound too eager for details. “Who?”

“Oh, well… if you look around, I’m sure you can figure it out. But I don’t want to say, you understand…”

Well, I didn’t understand, but as she droned on about “privacy” and “out of respect”, I was scanning the house and tapping my feet, waiting for her to leave so I could really apply my brain to this new, fun mystery: Who used to live in my new house? And as a football fan, was there any possible way I could parlay this into free tickets? Or paraphernalia? I can’t explain it, but I suddenly morphed into an insta-jersey-chaser. As LLL left, the recycling bin again caught my eye.

Maybe just a little peek inside…

I was actually considering digging through a stranger’s recycling bin like a homeless lunatic, hunting for “clues” as to who lived here before me, as if that mattered in the slightest.

I knew it was wrong. I even found myself whistling and shuffling around a little, nonchalant-like, trying to pretend I wasn't thinking what I was thinking.

But the bin beckoned, and it was the not-knowing that was killing me.

I needed help.

I whipped out the blackberry. In the absence of an actual human, perhaps I could recruit some rational support electronically.

I texted the new boyfriend, who we’ll call Jim for reasons I plan to eventually explain, but just not right now:

So a seahawk was the last renter of my new house!

15 second delay, and then:

Liar. Who?

Well, that’s the question that has me considering digging through his garbage.

Delay… delay… delay…

Me again: No, seriously: I want to climb into his recycling bin and snoop. I need help.

Radio silence. No response.

Next thing I knew, I was surrounded by a flurry of cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, children’s drawings and old newspapers – the contents of the paper recycling bin strewn around me like the edge pieces of some giant puzzle, and me in the middle of them, examining each piece like a bag lady inspecting a shopping cart. I had succumbed. And then –

“Aha!!!” a box with the label still intact:

Lofa Tatupu.

Only my very favorite Seahawk linebacker – everything about him appeals. Big USC career, pegged as too small to play MLB but played the shit out of it for the Hawks last year with some seriously impressive plays, and…um…yum. I have a Tatupu jersey. I’m not kidding.

And then, while crouched on the floor of the garage, giggling insanely and clutching an empty shoebox with a wrinkled label (proof!!), I was again interrupted:


I dug down a layer or two in the paper to find my blackberry buzzing. New text message from Jim.

Please tell me you didn’t.

Response: Um… I didn’t.

You did.


Jesus, you crazy person.

Delay… delay… delay…

But that’s awesome. Do you think we can parlay this into tickets?

I think I love this man. Also, if you happen to want an old shoebox of Lofa Tatupu’s, lemme know. I’ll sell it to the highest bidder.

And Lofa, if you’re reading this, I am not as crazy as I sound (only partially a lie) and have nothing else of yours…. Except maybe one thing, which I’d be willing to return to you in exchange for a signed ball and some kick ass tickets. Oh, and another thing: would it have KILLED you to mow the lawn and fix the fence?

Not that I'm complaining...

Thank you.


Chuckles said...

If I remember my Law & Order correctly, police do not need a search warrant to go through trash. Something about property rights being voided once you put it out for pickup.

Also, cool beans!

neil murray said...

Hi Liz,

Adam was just in town and encouraged me to revisit your blog, which I did. Impressive. Your writing is zippy and personal. Nice going.

Of course I couldn't resist reading the one about my Dad's painting. I quite agree with you about his limitations with portraits and I thought the piece made a nice remembrance.

Before his house was sold I had asked your mom and dad to set aside three items to which I had a sentimental attachment. But that wasn't done. When I read your piece I found myself wondering if you would know anything about their whereabouts. They are the wooden burl turtle, an electrical clock in the form of a fireplace, a pseudo alabaster relief of a little girl, just out of the bathtub. If someone else has these and feels strongly about them I guess I wouldn't say anything, but otherwise, I'd like to track them down.

Thanks. Hope all is well and that our paths will cross in the future.


Trebuchet said...

Thanks, Neil, and nice to hear from you.

Sure, I'll look into them for you -- I actually don't remember any of those items specifically. I wasn't overly involved in the cleaning out and selling of the place -- I was traveling when all that was going on -- so I don't have a huge mental storehouse of all the items that came and went.

I'll check with my brother, though -- he might remember better than me. Sorry to hear you're missing those items. I definitely understand the attachment to things, however small. I'll let you know if I turn anything up.