Monday, December 3, 2007

Dumpster Diving -The Free Market System at Work

I generally don't have enough ambition or inspiration to write more than one blog a week (if that), but an event occurred that was worthy of a narrative:

Early one morning, I was throwing a bag of garbage into the dumpster and accidentally flung my keys with it. Looking into the dumpster I could see the keys on the floor, far out of reach. I did not know if I could physically climb in and out of the dumpster, but I knew for sure that I was not going to try.

There were three middle-school aged boys standing not far away waiting for their school bus. I walked over to them and asked “one of you want to make five bucks?” The look on their faces revealed I had made a poor choice of words.
I quickly recovered and as soon as I assured them that I was not asking them to perform any altar boy duties, they walked over to the dumpster to have a look. To be honest, I would have performed a reach around on the Archbishop of Canterbury before I would crawl into that stinky, slimy, container.

As we discussed my predicament, I realized that many elements of the free market system were at work here. It was determined that no one was willing to dumpster dive for five bucks, though I know that everyone has their price. Then the negotiations began. The larger of the boys, Bryan, volunteered that the smaller of the boys, Eric, would do it for $10. So Bryan was acting as Eric’s agent, or if a priest would have been present, his pimp.


What Bryan and Eric did not know is that the market would have supported $50. They could provide a service that I was in urgent need of. I had a tee-time in 30 minutes and their bus was due. The third boy, Ned, who looked neither agile enough to perform the task nor intelligent enough to negotiate, just watched the proceedings with mouth agape. He actually looked like a Ned. I did not think he was a stranger to dumpsters, but the size of this one baffled him. After all, this one unit supports a 50 unit condominium. It is quite cavernous. I believe that if Ned had entered the dumpster, the quality of the dumpster's contents would have been reduced significantly. But, I was secretly hoping for Ned to do the dumpster diving as he was wearing a Boston Red Sox hat, causing me to instantly dislike him, and question his lineage. But the irony of him entering a green monster was not lost on me.



So Eric climbed in and retrieved the keys. Before he could climb out of the dumpster the school bus arrived and Bryan and Ned ran off, leaving the third Musketeer (or Stooge) deep in the bowels of the dark, green, maggot-infested cave. The intense heat of the south always seems to make smelly, nasty stuff moreso. He yelled at them, but the walls of the container returned his voice to him. After a few slips into the fetid mire, he ejected himself from the dumpster. I thanked him and handed him $10. He looked at me and said, “great, how am I going to get to school?” I would have given him a ride, but he stunk to high heaven, and had streaks of unknown substances all over him. No way was he getting into my Beemer. He had completed the contract and received compensation. Our business was done.

3 comments:

Lucy said...

Rick! come on! middle school kid stranded, filthy and with only a 10. fee! I'm shocked! ( but as always entertained) haha :)

Pinehurst in my Dreams said...

Ewwwe! Poor kid. Probably learned his first lesson in negotiation and prioritizing responsibilities. You proved there's a sucker born every minute. Guess Ned was the smarter one afterall.

Just Jen said...

oh my goodness! thats all i got! lol