Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Garbage Gnome

Over the years of blogging, networking and making friends a few people have mentioned that I have nice skin. I'm pretty sure that totally and completely jinxed me because around the time of my 30th birthday I started getting zits all over my face. I've tried a bunch of different shit and it seems like nothing works.

There's this avocado mask thingy though that doesn't really get rid of my zits but does make my skin feel very soft, so about 30 minutes before I take a shower I apply the mask and then my kids all go crazy about how funny I look with green shit all over my face. It never gets old for them either. I only shower a couple times a week, so maybe that's why it remains hilarious.

Regardless, last night I applied the mask, sat and talked with Jeremiah for a bit, withstood the children's taunts and then locked the door behind Jeremiah when he left to go skate. I settled the kids into Olive's room with the Wii and apples, got my favorite towel out, undressed and got ready to start the shower. There are two large tall windows in our bathroom facing the street and something behind the blind caught my attention.

Jeremiah had put the garbage out the night before but because of the holiday the garbage collectors were running a day late. A white minivan was crookedly parked in front of our garbage and inside the minivan I could see many, many garbage bags filling the interior.

"What the fuck!" I was kind of startled and ran into my room to grab my robe. Back in the bathroom I peek out the window again and now found the driver of this trash laden minivan going through our trash cans. The perpetrator's appearance was almost as shocking as her actions; heavy and wearing a plum purple sweatsuit, brown hair in a perfect bowl cut, of an indeterminable age somewhere above age 35 and one arm and hand much smaller than the other. I stared in wonder as she began to actually tear open bags and pull out trash.

I don't know if this is exclusive to families with children, but our trash is freaking disgusting. Maxine still wets the bed and there are often urine soaked pull ups in the trash, not to mention Jeremiah's recent sardine fetish and Elijah's recent stomach flu which resulted in two shopping bags full of vomit. And this lady is ripping open these bags and sticking her hand into them.

I could not rip myself from the window but felt I should do something. My avocado green face mask and threadbare robe (which I've had since Rosey's birth 11 years ago) made it impossible to go out and confront my Garbage Gnome. And yes, I very well could have put some clothes on and went out anyways but I am most assuredly a coward.

Instead I called our neighbor and buddy Donnie to go peruse the situation. I see him exit his house and talk to her in low concerned tones. From the window I could see her wipe her mouth with her good hand, the hand that has been rooting through our disgusting filth. Donnie leaves her at it and he calls me a minute later.

The Garbage Gnome has given him a very sad story about how her back was broken, her husband left her and she had no money. She was going around trying to collect cans to hand in for money. She assured him she wasn't an identity thief and he warned her about how potentially dangerous garbage could be. This worry for her was made even more serious by the fact that he espied maggots crawling on her arms. MAGGOTS FROM MY TRASH!

Although I felt some sympathy and at one point even considered running her out some cash, I was still concerned that this was happening. I mean an identity thief wouldn't admit to being one. But my cowardice prevented me from doing anything other than calling my Daddy to tell him what was happening and watching her throw cans into her car madcap. *do not yell at me for not recycling this month, it's a long story*

My Gnome finally finished thoroughly soaking herself with urine and vomit from my garbage and painfully spent another two minutes just getting into her minivan. The car literally lurched off into the distance and I was left with mixed feelings.

She had put the garbage back so it wasn't strewn everywhere, but there were still open garbage bags sitting out in front of our house. I'm pretty sure she wasn't trying to steal information and considering I did see her taking cans kind of confirms this. Also, her minivan was fairly new and in great shape. Except for the mountains of trash inside, of course. This further confused me.

What would you have done? When I told Jeremiah about the incident he half jokingly said I should have called the police.

But then the police officers, my neighbor and the Garbage Gnome would have joined my children in mocking my green face mask and my late onset acne.


Elly Lou said...

I just filled another shopping bag of vomit to add to your pile. Blech.

And honestly, I dunno what I would have done. Maybe tell her what days people put out recycling so she could avoid maggots? Honestly, I dunno.

Ali said...

OMG... just found your blog and this is alarming..but amusing all at once. I would have gone out with a shotgun and fired it in the air... or not... I don't have a shotgun.
maggots seriously gross me the hell out. messy girlfriend said...

i really dont know what i would have done... it must be so weird to find someone looking through your rubbish..

SherilinR said...

gross! i can't imagine what kind of place i'd have to be in my life to go digging through garbage in broad daylight. maybe a mentally ill place.
btw, i had great skin all my life til i turned 30 too. then i broke out like a nasty stressed out, chocolate & pizza eating teenager. i'm now 36 and it's still bad & makes me sad to look at my own face. thank God for makeup!

Megs said...

I think it says something about me that you tell this whole crazy unbelievable story and the only thing I can think is, "I have to tell her about my sulfur mask!"

Because it helped clear up my weird sudden skin freak out.

Also maggots. Ohmygod. If you want to protect anything from me cover it in maggots.

Jody said...

So gross... the lenghts people will go to when they are desperate eh? I probably would have done just what you did.

Good call on ringing the neighbour ;)

You're Lucky I Don't Have a Gun... said...

I live in southern CA and I see this all the time. In both my previous house, and now at this one, there are always people who go through the recycle bins the night before trash day. I guess over here it's not such a big deal bc we have a separate bin for recyclables, so really all they're rooting through are cans and bottles.

But considering the situation a person would have to be in to be willing to sift through a stranger's trash? It must be very difficult and probably embarrassing enough as-is without having the cops called or a shotgun fired at them.

Petit fleur said...

That is a strange story indeed! Not sure what I would have done.

Retin A is the only thing that I have ever used on acne that works. You need a prescription and it's wicked expensive... but it does work.

I've also heard Proactiv works for some folks, but I've never used it.


Logical Libby said...

I don't know what I would have done. Life is so weird.

Oh, and try steaming your face. Fill a bowl with boiling water and throw a towel over your head. Only thing that worked for my adult zits.

nova said...

EW! I guess a good solution would be to put your cans in a seperate bag or box so she doesn't have to tear into your garbage.