Dumpster Diving

December 27th, the day that we returned from California, the Puget Sound area experienced a day of unusually high winds. In fact, when we woke up that morning, it was even quite windy in Ashland, Oregon. unusually high windsThis time, the drive was, fortunately, quite uneventful (see Tire Blowout Fun). Arriving in Woodinville shortly after dark, something seemed slightly awry as we drove the streets between the freeway and our apartment. Although Woodinville is not known for having a very exciting weekend nightlife, usually the streets are at least lit up. Yes, once again God’s creation proved its supremacy over man, with high winds knocking out the power in our beloved township.

Being the well-prepared citizens that we are, the lack of power did not dampen our spirits. We got out the flashlights, lit the candles, and then decided that we were bored, and would go to bed. In order to know when the power came back on (crucial information, of course), I left the light switch in the ‘on’ position in the bedroom when we went to bed. Therefore, I was woken up by a fully lit room at approximately 2:00 AM, at which time I stumbled across the room, flipped off the switch, stumbled back to bed, and fell immediately back to sleep.

Strangely, the knowledge of exactly what time the power was returned to our place of dwelling bears no further consequence in this story.

not ashamed to dig perfectly good food out of a dumpsterOn the next day, my brother Matthew came over in the late morning to trade back tires with me (again, see Tire Blowout Fun). Shortly after he arrived, a vicious knocking came at our door. I say vicious, because it wasn’t just one, or two, or ten knocks. It was a constant, frantic knocking on our front door that did not cease until I opened the door to reveal… J.R. and Micah.

So excited they could barely complete a coherent sentence, they managed to sputter out enough information to get across their main point: A certain local grocery store was throwing out ALL of their frozen food. But here’s the catch–it was still frozen. Perfectly good food was being tossed, simply because it had spent a few hours thawing the day before. Upon making this discovery, they did what any other self-respecting just-barely-no-longer-a-college-student would do. They raided the dumpster for all it was worth, and packed their freezer so full of food that they had to hold things in with their hands while closing the door. They had come to our apartment to share this good fortune with us, and invite me to dive for a freezer full of my own bounty.

I would of course have been a fool to pass up an opportunity for armfuls of free frozen goods. So, Matthew and I went with them. Sure enough, the dumpster behind this particular local grocery store was quite a find. It was almost as though it had been arranged specially to be raided. This giant dumpster was nearly full of non-smelly trash, on top of which was laid a layer of cardboard, upon which, at the very top of the dumpster, sat two solid feet of all sorts of frozen goods.

seriously look at all that foodGrabbing all that I thought our freezer could hold, I piled on the Toaster Strudels, frozen juice concentrates, boneless skinless chicken breasts, and cheesecakes. Sadly, Matthew was unable to join in the fun, since he was not to travel back home to Vancouver (a three hour drive) until Sunday. Occasionally, a car would drive by, and all four of us would jump down from the dumpster, and walk around aimlessly, as though we were attending to some important, legitimate business behind the grocery store. I think now I know what a crows and raccoons feel like. Or maybe not.

At any rate, once I had what I believed to be a freezer-full, we drove back to the apartment, bid farewell to J.R. and Micah, and packed it all in. Our freezer was filled nearly to capacity, although we did not have to hold it in to shut the door. In fact, two months later, and we still haven’t had to buy frozen chicken again. Or juice. Or Toaster Strudels. Okay well maybe we never bought Toaster Strudels to begin with. Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is, free food is good. Yeah. In fact, that’s today’s moral. Free food is good.

– Tim

Always accept an opportunity for free food. Always.
Always accept an opportunity for free food. Always.