Us vs. the Aluminum Can Cartel

Yesterday afternoon I received the following email from Cheryl:

So do you think that maybe at our new house we might NOT have two homeless dudes screaming profanities at each other in front of the house because one thinks the other one stole his cans?

A bizaare scenario to be sure. Equally bizaare was the conversation I had while home on my lunch break this afternoon.

While sitting in front of a large bay window in our dining room/office I see this dude carting a huge bag of cans from the back part of our lawn to the street. Now, there is a large fence surrounding our yard, so I was annoyed to think this dude (obviously) hopped our fence to cut through our yard. So I went outside to confront him.

Me: Say man, I’m gonna have to ask you not to climb our fence or cut through our yard. You can go around to get to the street.

Homeless Dude: But, I didn’t climb your fence.

Me: (Confused) Well, I saw you carrying your cans through our yard, so you must have climbed it to get there!

HD: No. I kept my cans in your yard last night, behind that tree right there. They were too heavy for me to carry anymore.

Me: Ooooh kay. Well, in that case I’m definitely going to have to ask you not to do that again!

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13 thoughts on “Us vs. the Aluminum Can Cartel

  1. The funny thing is, I’m pro can-dudes. I’m well aware that most of them use some of the money to buy booze, but at the same time I’m compassionate to the fact that they’re human beings trying to scrape together a few bucks to survive on.

    Usually, when I take our cans back to the store to get the deposit back I end up just handing the bag over to a homeless dude waiting in line to redeem what he’s collected. (I don’t really have the energy to return them, and let’s face it, he could use the buck more than me.)

    Lately I’ve been going a step further and just leaving the cans on the curb on garbage/recycling days. These guys go up and down our street at all hours of the night pawing through the trash and recycling anyway. I figure if I just set them aside for them I might actually be able to get some sleep! πŸ˜†

    I don’t really even care that he hid them in my lawn. I applaud his resourcefulness! Heck, I might have even built him a shed so he could lock them up! πŸ˜†

    But at the same time, it just invites stuff like what Cheryl witnessed yesterday. And that could escalate to something worse. And I just can’t have that around my house, wife, kids. So I had to break up the cartel’s operations in my back yard.

  2. @JoshWay: That’s good thinkin’. Maybe I should just empty out my garage and lease the space. Put a sign out front that says “Aluminum Can Storage” or something. πŸ˜†

    @jess: That’s our reaction to it too. It’s funny how different people react in different ways. The folks I’ve told this story to at work who live in the city all get a good laugh because, well, we’ve all dealt with similar situations from time to time.

    But those who live in the picket-fence utopia of the ‘burbs all gasp in horror and try to convince me that I need to evacuate the city before the fire and brimstone rains down. πŸ˜†

  3. Hey man, cut a dude some slack. πŸ˜‰

    In his own way, HE was attempting to get around said can fight. Competition can be vicious and if you can duck a fight, do so.

  4. Yeah. Like I said, I applaud his resourcefulness.

    It actually makes a good spot for someone who is homeless to take cover at night. With an 8-foot stockade fence to your back, you don’t have to worry about anyone sneaking up behind you. And the row of bushes and trees are so far back from the street you’d be well hidden in the dark of night.

    He’s a regular freaking MacGyver, or Rambo or something.

  5. Yeah…Shane…outside of the fact that my household doesn’t drink alot of soda…I put what cans or bottles we do have I just put in recycle and let who ever take them.

  6. We never have that much either, we usually let it stockpile for several weeks until we have enough to justify a trip. Or, more recently, have a bag full to leave on the curb.

  7. here’s something you’d never figure…

    there were waaaaaaay more can dudes back home in small town maine then here in providence. why? no redemption on cans or bottles here. which bums me out b/c i always enjoyed the $5 after a few months πŸ™‚

  8. I was just annoyed that the two guys are dropping the f-bomb in front of my open window and therefore 4 year old over what $1? (I get that it’s sad that they need that $1 so desperately.) I just wanted to go out and take the cans, hand each of them a buck and send them on their way.

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