There are always things to be done when one travels: placing a hold on delivered mail, for example, or making sure the plants are watered. I like to take apart my espresso maker and run all the parts through the dishwasher before I go. On longer trips, we like to take the garbage out so it doesn’t stink up the house while we’re gone.
There’s always some time pressure: the Uber car is about to arrive, last minute packing, trying to get everything ready without having to get up at o’dark thirty, and trying not to forget anything.
On a recent trip, we drove ourselves to the airport. We packed the garbage and recycling in the trunk of our car alongside our luggage. In our complex, the central waste collection is about a block and a half away. We usually walk it over but we thought it might be more efficient to drop it off on our way to the airport. We made sure the lights had all been turned off, we lowered the thermostat, double-checked with each other that we had everything. (Swimsuit? Check. Sun glasses? Check. Underwear? Check.) We got in the car, my shoelaces still untied, jewelry not yet donned in hand, and headed out.
As soon as we hit the freeway, we realized we had forgotten to drop off the garbage. Instead of stinking up the house, it was going to stink up our car unless we could get rid of it.
We had plenty of time, I suggested. We could turn around. Hubby thought we would cut it too close. We would have to find someplace near the airport to dispose of it.
Sure, I reasoned. There were hotels, restaurants, and plenty of retail stores nearby. We were bound to find an accessible garage dumpster somewhere. At the very least, we might find a pickup truck in the airport parking lot. Maybe we could leave it in the cargo bed?
Finding a dumpster wasn’t as easy to find as we had imagined. I started to worry that we would spend more time looking for a dumpster than it would have taken to turn around in the first place. Finally, we found one outside a fast food restaurant in an unlocked corral in plain view of the drive through window.
Now, I wondered if this was legal. Could we actually do this? Does dumping an unidentifiable package in dumpster near an airport create a homeland security risk? We kept the engine running as Hubby popped the trunk and made a break for the dumpster.
What an odd picture we must have painted. Hubby was wearing dark denim jeans with dress shoes, a crisp white dress shirt and a navy blue blazer. I sat nervously inside our expensive German auto, my diamonds sparkling from within. We are in our 50s and we were trying to stealthily dispose of our household waste as if our garbage might spark an international incident.
Go, go, go! We pealed out of the parking lot before anyone could get our plate number. We made our way to the economy parking lot relieved of our waste and evading pursuit from mall security. We reached the parking lot gate, took a ticket and the very first thing we came across inside was a freestanding garage dumpster practically begging travelers to rid themselves of whatever they couldn’t travel with or needed to empty their vehicles of.
Now we know. We've learned our lesson: Ask the maid to take the garbage out.
(Just kidding. They couldn't really see us from the drive through window.)