alley trawling with my housemate John
Friday, August 25 2000
My housemate John is definitely a man of action. He's like Krazy Thom that way. He needs to stay busy or he goes nuts. The fact that he doesn't start work (as a K-6 schoolteacher) until September 6th has forced him to launch all sorts of odd little creative projects. He's got his room (Kim and my old bedroom) all set up with drop cloths and he's been working on an enigmatic acrylic painting. Tonight we were discussing the need for dining room chairs, and when I suggested we check the alleys, he said "let's go!"
So we immediately set off in his 1999 VW Golf. First we picked up some possible painting surfaces in an alley just inside Santa Monica. Then, after he dropped off his first payment at Bodies in Motion (a local gym), we headed east and checked the alleys further into West LA. The very first thing we found was a perfectly acceptable modern metal dining room chair with cracked vinyl seating pads. "That's a resurfacer right there!" John said. Two alleys later we came upon a perfectly good couch that looked like it had been designed in the late 70s. It featured a super-simple design and was extremely light weight. Everything fit acceptably in John's car because it's a hatch back.
Back at the house I washed the couch cushions while John staple-gunned fresh new surfaces onto the chair. He cut these surfaces out of his fabric of choice: drop cloth. Later, when I made the observation that it's easy to fill a house with free alley furniture but that it's difficult to get it to match, John said, "That's why they make drop cloth!"
We've been feeling awfully lucky to have found each other, John and I. It's not often that you find a housemate to whom you can admit to dumpster diving, let alone one who will accompany and assist you on your alley trawls!
The Happy Wanderer read the above entry and was reminded of this analysis of a VW Golf advertisement. Uncanny!
I love how the rat/snake metaphor developed by that redneck Survivor broad (in the throes of semi-articulate sour grapes) has quickly been slurped up by the media as a rhetorical device.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next