the happiness vortex

I can’t explain the pleasure I get from visiting the local dump.

Pretty sure it started with weekend jaunts as a kid when my dad would take in a load of old lumber and then nose around for wotnots, spare parts, a hubcap. It was like a free garage sale. That was when you could still nose around and the junk really was mostly junk. Treasures were rare. Now there are fines for scavenging.

Oh the irony.

Because it’s not just plywood that people are dumping anymore. Now the bins are heaped with treasure. You could open several stores daily with the amount of quality goods being pitched.

A woman with a load of furniture tells me she’s a professional recycler, she’ll come to your house, pick up any junk you’re getting rid of, sell what she can, keep what she likes, and take the rest to the dump. She says she’s furnished her whole house this way, including appliances, and makes a decent living on top of it.

I watch a guy toss in two whole bikes.

What are the odds both are broken? And anyway, didn’t people used to fix bikes?

While I’m considering this, another guy tosses in another bike, a tiny one, so tiny it was probably ridden exactly three times. And okay, so the kid’s grown out of it. You’d think there might be someone it could get passed on to… like maybe dear old Sally Ann?

It’s staggering the amount of crap we have in our lives and the ease with which we toss and replace it. In the few minutes I’m there I see more than a few bins replaced or the contents squashed to make room for more. There’s always more. The bulldozers and bin movers and squashers are busy everywhere you look.

Despite all that, I’m oddly happy here.

And it’s not just me. The staff are consistently cheerful. From the guy in the booth when you arrive, to the one who tells you what dumpster to use, the woman in the building that takes cardboard or the guy in hazardous waste, the people you pay on the way out… everybody’s so friendly, so pleased to see you. It occurs to me that I’ve never met one cranky employee at the dump. Ever.

Sure, it could be drugs.

But I have another theory. Isn’t it just possible that all those people letting go of all that stuff, all that purging, creates a giant cleansing vortex? And who wouldn’t be happy in a spanking clean vortex?? By which reasoning it can be assumed that a shopping centre, a place where stuff is accumulated, would be one of the less therapeutic places to work. [It’s starting to make sense isn’t it?]

Anyway—not that anyone’s asking—given the choice, shopping centre or dump, I’d pick the dump.

For the vortex, obviously.

Plus I’m pretty sure they get dibs on the loot.

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2 thoughts on “the happiness vortex

  1. I love the photo of the bathroom ceramics.
    Have you read Alissa York’s Fauna? It features an auto-wrecker’s yard with accompanying characters.

    1. She was out here at the library doing some promotion last month — Fauna is a local Pass the Book selection. And no, I haven’t yet read it but you’ve got my interest with ‘auto-wrecker’. I have this fascination with what people throw out. I love scouring thrift shops, not always with acquisition as a goal, but simply to see what people give up. And to wonder why.

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