Picking 101: Big Trash Day

It is March! Finally February had melted away and spring is right around the corner. For college students, visions of sugared daiquiri rims and sandy beaches dance in their heads. For Boyfriend it’s the Kansas City Royals home opener. For me, though? There is one thing this weather means. Big Trash Day.

Big Trash Day is the mother of all trash days. It is an inspiration for people all over the city to bust out of that winter funk, throw open their windows and clear their houses of junk and the dust it collects. Spring Cleaning was never really a concept I embraced. (When we had to spring clean at the sorority house, I checked in and then made my self scarce. As long as someone at least saw you down there for a minute…) The Spring Cleaning phenomenon culminates in one glorious day where the city allows you to put TWO PICK-UP TRUCK’S worth load of trash at the end of your drive way. Appliances, furniture, rusty old water heaters and all kinds of stuff! The garbage man will take it all…

…Unless I get to it first.

There is a certain art to gathering one mans trash to transform into your own treasure. What we call “picking” is a concept I believe I learned from my precious Granny. Her house was a maze of picked chairs and trinkets she lovingly spray painted gold. She picked for the good of others, always having a couch or bed frame available for someone in need. Taking things off of the end of people’s driveways takes guts and requires no shame because, chances are, the nosy homeowner is peeking out their window and wondering why the hell you want their crap. They are most likely imagining the new home for the drawer-less dresser you are struggling to stuff into your car… and it ain’t pretty.

This course on “picking” (essentially taking awesome pieces of trash to transform into awesome stuff) centers largely around Big Trash Day, simply because it is the easiest of picking opportunities. A successful pick is one that is discrete and quick. Even though picking is totally legal (I think), there is a certain rush associated with the grab-and-go. When you are cruising through a neighborhood and a forlorn lamp with no shade catches your eye, it is easy enough to screech to a halt, jump out of your car grab the lamp and Go! Go! Go! No one saw you and even if they did, you were quick enough to leave them wondering, “What just happened?” Small picking is easy.

It is the big stuff that, unless properly handled, can lead to pulled muscles, scratched bumpers and (most importantly) a damaged ego. It is important to know your limits, which is why I am devising a “How-To Pick” for all you wannabe Big Trash Day Treasure Hunters.

Stay tuned for this How-To because, baby… It’s Pickin’ Season!

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2 Comments to “Picking 101: Big Trash Day”

  1. I was unaware that the was an actual “Big Trash Day” Sounds fun! Let me know if you want a partner.. We could listen to “Vindicated” at full blast

  2. This sounds perfect. And just so you know… Each individual city has their own Big Trash Day! We’ve got our weekends booked! (And soundtracked, thanks to Dashboard Confessional)

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