Back Alley Dealings

Chicago is a city of alleys.

Most every block has a back alley.

Garages are off the alley.

Unsightly power lines run down the alley.

Trash and recycling bins are in the alley.

And so are the scavengers.


Since moving in, Wednesday has been using my old desk chair as her desk chair. It was a nice chair that I got from Crate & Barrel (that's the pic of the floor sample I took back when I was chair hunting). Real wood. Real leather. Tilting.

But, one of the caster wheels was loose. These wheels were designed to screw in, but since it was loose, it worked around and totally stripped the threads and would just fall out. And the wood on the back was wrecking havoc on the window sill behind her desk.

And face it, it's not really a teenager's chair. When I bought it, I had really wanted a chair like the "old school" teacher's chair, but with a green leather seat held on with decorative tacks. (My vision was VERY specific.)

Eventually bought a new chair for my desk that was closer to my vision, and had sent the old one into semi-retirement. Until the girls moved in and my daughter needed a desk chair.

Anyway, the chair's stay up in the majors ended two weekends ago, when Cora and bought a new chair for Wednesday @ Target.

Now, we needed to dispose of the old one. So, Tuesday night around 10:00, shrouded in shadows and mist, I crept out the garage, making sure nobody saw me, and left the chair next to our neighbor's garbage cans in the alley. I dashed back in thru the open garage door, and hit the button. The big door closed, like a theatre curtain closing on the scene.

Wednesday morning around 8:00, as I went work, I looked down the alley, and the chair was gone already.

The scavengers do quick work.


Candy's daily Dandy said...

Yup, the scavengers will take anything for their hoarding.

Maybe you will see it turn up on an episode of Hoarders. I love that show. I'll keep an eye out for it.

Cora said...

I'm telling you, I see the scavengers almost every day, driving down various alleys in pickup trucks overflowing with broken furniture and other alley treasures while I'm on my walk. And I feel the urge to hum the Sanford and Son theme song every damn time.

Anonymous said...

I've already fixed the caster. Much obliged.

J.J. in L.A. said...

My mom has lost many a trash barrel to scavengers...one even told her it was okay to pull out of the driveway onto the street. When she got back, the barrel was gone!

She painted our address (in white paint on a green barrel) on her latest purchase...so we'll see how long we get to keep it.

Scope said...

Candy - These aren't hoarders. These folks are "entrepreneurs".

Cora - Which is why I had no problem leaving the chair or those bed rails out there. But I've noticed they won't take a mattress. But be no resale value.

Joshua - Glad I could be of service.

JJ - They'll just duct tape over it. Your mom will lose this war. Accept it.

J.J. in L.A. said...

I have, but she remains hopeful. Ha!

LegalMist said...

We have alleys in our area, too. I hate to admit it, but we have been scavengers at times.... My husband once found a very cool mountain bike in the alley, leaning against the trash bins along with some other, clearly discarded items from someone's garage or storage shed (old chairs, picture frames, etc). The bike looked brand new. He checked with the police to see if any bikes like that one had been reported stolen, but they had not. So he adopted it. Later checked the retail value of the bike -- approximately $2000 when new. Only thing wrong with it was it was missing the front wheel, so he had to put a new wheel on, which didn't match the old one (because a matching one would have cost him $200+, and the one he bought was $50 and worked just fine).

About a year later, he found the missing/matching wheel in the alley in the same spot. Score!

Scope said...

LegalMist - Only someone very familiar with the legal system would even think of calling the cops to check to see if the bike was stolen.

And there's nothing wrong with scavenging, but we have crews who cruise the alleyways. You'd have to be darn lucky to beat them to it.