Friday, January 31, 2014

Dumpster Diving

This story ends with me head down ass up in a trash can.  But, we'll get to that later.

Yesterday was a shit day.  I wasn't feeling good, Hogan McSmalls was being a fuzzy little terror and I kept hurting myself in small ways, you know like stubbing my toe or running into door frames with my shoulder.  I also dropped pretty much everything I picked up.  I was feeling super super cool yesterday.

About a week earlier, Tim and I had gathered around the computer screen to stare into the wonderous world of Amazon's game section and pick out some new games.  We used the gift cards he got for Christmas (the only things he'd asked for) to order three new games, one of them Settlers of Catan, a game we'd been wanting to play for some time.  We were excited.  We ordered them and that was that. Tim recycled the $100 gift card so he wouldn't get it mixed up with the $50 one that still had some money left on it.

The next day a big heavy box arrived.  I called Tim and said, "Our games are already here!"  He said, "No way."  I said, "You're such a cynic, why couldn't they be here, we haven't ordered anything else."  He said, "No way."  I said, "Just wait," and then I opened the box and discovered three boxes of special trash bags made to fit our special trash can which I had indeed ordered.  "Okay, you were right," I said, "but I bet they'll be here soon."

Yesterday Tim asked if we'd gotten our games yet.  We still hadn't.  I checked my email and realized I'd never gotten a confirmation, which was weird because Amazon likes to send at least 387 of those for each purchase.  I went to the site and discovered the order had never gone through.  This was presumably all my fault since a)I've never had a problem with them before b)We'd had a couple of cocktails before our game ordering binge and c)I was the one working the laptop.  I probably just forgot to hit 'confirm.' Oops.

The total of my cart was the original total, no gift cards anywhere to be seen. That's when I started saying, "Fuck fuck fuck" like I had Tourette's.  I realized two things simultaneously:  Tim had recycled a $100 Amazon gift card -ALL HE WANTED FOR CHRISTMAS- and the recycling was going out in the morning.

So, I did what anyone would've done.  I freaked out.  I put on yellow rubber gloves with my short dress and knee-high boots.  (I tell you what I was wearing because it is important, people.) I went outside and saw, to my dismay, that the recycling and trash cans had already been brought out to the curb.  I walked out and, after stacking pizza boxes and (ironically) Amazon boxes on the curb, I fished out our bag (I could tell it was ours because of the 63 Coffee Bean cups and the empty bottle of Hendricks) and brought it into the kitchen.  As I trudged back up the driveway, I saw my neighbor's head quickly duck away from the window.  What he thought I was doing, I have no idea, but I really hope he thinks I'm stealing cans and bottles for a giant sculpture a bunch of aliens told me to complete by the time they get to our planet.

There was a huge rip in the side of the bag but I pretended that there was no way the gift card had fallen out of the rip.  I mean what is the likelihood that I would mess up an Amazon order, Tim would recycle the gift card and then the card would fall out of a hole?  I MEAN RIGHT?  Thirty minutes later, I was at the bottom of the bag surrounded by recycling -which I was very grateful was not straight up trash- and very close to tears because the gift card was not there.  I put everything into a new garbage bag and stomped back down to the curb saying "Fuck fuck fuck" again.  Then I realized I was standing on the curb wearing a dress and yellow rubber gloves saying "fuck fuck fuck" so I switched to "damn damn damn" because that seemed more kid and old lady appropriate somehow and I totally figured everyone on my street had probably stopped whatever they were doing to watch me at the curb cussing at pizza boxes.

So, clearly the gift card had fallen out of the hole.  And, you know, I'd come so far.  And it was a hundred dollars!  And it was my fault.  And it was ALL HE ASKED FOR FOR CHRISTMAS.  So, I did what I had to do.  I pulled everything I could out of the recycling bin yet again and stood peering into the dark stinky depths.  Did you guys know that Los Angeles county recycling bins are really tall and really heavy?  Well, I can tell you for sure that they are.  At this point in the story, you're gonna want to point out that it might have been easier to roll the container back behind the house where no one could see me or to lie it down on its side in the grass so I could scope out the gross bottom and see if the gift card was down there.  And, YES I COULD'VE DONE THAT.  I did not.  What I did do was bend over and reach down into the container so I could move that one last box and see what was underneath it.  That's when my boots left the pavement, I flashed half the street and I almost became a scene from New Girl.

Luckily I didn't fall.  I moved the box, righted myself by kicking my feet in what I'm sure was a really graceful way (my waist hurt where I went over and it was stinky!), cried a tiny little bit, replaced all the Coffee Bean cups and pizza boxes and ran back into my house waving my yellow gloves around saying "fuck damn damn fuck fuck fuck damn."  Then I washed my hands so hard, you guys.

All that and I never found the gift card.

I went back to the Amazon website, intending to call them and ask if they'd somehow kept the code of that particular gift card.  (I mean, they still remember that one time I ordered a Twilight book way back in 2005 so it's not that big of a stretch, right?) Anyway, while looking for the number, I saw a section that said "gift certificates."  I clicked and there was $150 in credit from when I'd punched in the codes a week earlier.

The first thing I did was yell, "YES."
The second thing I did was complete the order real quick like using the money from the gift cards and signing up for Prime so I'd get the games in two days and get free shipping. Yay games!
The third thing I did was realize I'd done all of that trash digging for nothing like I was Hogan McSmalls or something.
The fourth thing I did was to say "fuck fuck fuck" some more, which felt really nice and not at all crazy.

Then I returned a text asking if my day had gotten any better with:  "Sorry, just got this.  Was digging in a dumpster like a homeless person."

I haven't seen any of my neighbors since then but I can't wait to blurt out, "I'M NOT A TRASH THIEF I WAS LOOKING FOR AN AMAZON GIFT CARD THAT I DIDN'T REALLY NEED ANYWAY HA SORRY I SAY FUCK SO MUCH OH FUCK I DID IT AGAIN."

I'm sure they'll understand.  I'm sure they would've handled it the same way.  I mean, who checks the website before digging through a trash can, right?

Exactly. Fuck.

*photo of Hogie being super squishy because he's way cuter than a recycling container.