I was out with the Trash Dogs last weekend, picking up a little garbage, like we do.
Usually, we get “normal” trash: hospital beds, swing sets, the entire kitchen, clothing, stereos, microwaves, boats, clothing, cat litter — you know. Trash. We bag it up and haul it to the landfill.
Last weekend, though, it was RVs. They don’t bag up so easily.
We were about halfway through the first of two vehicles when a sheriff toodled down the road. He probably thought we were “making mischief” and was going to “roust us out.”
I explained to him who we are; he could not wait to get out of his vehicle to check out our good deeds.
He picked a good time, too.
One Dawg was behind the wheel of his testosterone-laden truck whose ball hitch was affixed to a chain looped around the RV. With one violent yank, the whole thing collapsed in on itself with a satisfyingly loud crunch. Then the sawzalls started up on the metal skin of the vehicle, the pulaskis went to work on the corners, the mallets and ball-peen hammers on all the rest.
It was great fun. The sheriff deputy was jittery with excitement. He went on and on and on about how he appreciated our work. He passed out his business cards, telling us they were “get out of jail free” cards.
I should have taken one.
By the end of the day, we had collected tons of metal, wood, fiberglass insulation, tires, plastic, rubber, glass and a mouse — everything that goes into making an RV. We met at the parking area for our obligatory photo opp and slowly headed out. We looked like the Beverly Hillbillies. We go slow to ensure we don’t lose stuff — especially all that nasty insulation.
But we had the law on our side! Our deputy had said he’d let “everyone” know we’d be traveling slowly down the highway to Nesika Beach. He SAID he’d let everyone know we might have to stop and jump out to retrieve, say, a steering wheel, a gray-water tank or a tuft of insulation.
We only stopped twice to retrieve things that fell off the loads. But I went slowly, about 35 mph, because I learned, after unbuilding a house of my own, how easily things can fall off a seemingly secure load and create traffic hazards and tickets.
We were fine until we got to the turnoff. That’s when I saw the infamous “cherries and berries” behind us. We were wanted. — Woooo! Woooo! Woop-woop! Or rather, it looked like … I was wanted, as the red and blue flashing lights cut through our parade line and headed toward me. Gulp. WOOOOooooo.
The trooper slowly sauntered up to my truck.
“Ma’am, I’m pulling you over — “
“We’re with the Trash Dogs!” I exclaimed.
“You’re impeding traffic,” he said.
I looked around. “No, I’m LEADING traffic. See?”
Right then, all the other Dawgs started pulling over, behind me, beside me, like a pack of suspicious hyenas protecting one of their own. Some got out and slowly circled my truck.
“The sheriff’s deputy SAID he knew we’d be going slow. He said —”
“Ma’am … I’m from Coos County; I don’t know your—”
“He said he’d NOTIFY everyone!”
“Ma’am … I’m from Coos —”
“We’re innocent! We’re hauling trash! We just took apart two abandoned RVs! We’re the TRASH DOGS!”
Well, he let me go without a ticket. I think it was due to all the menacing Dogs lurking around, shooting him looks: Yo. Y’don’t know who we are? (I swear I heard some growling.) Threaten one of US, will ya. Not on our turf. No, not at all. Grrr.
Well, we dumped off our tons of garbage; my fellow Dawgs ribbed me for the little encounter at the turnoff.
“Did you offer him some insulation?”
“Didja give him your ‘get out of jail free’ card?” Ha, ha, ha.
I sped all the way home, tried to do double the speed limit.
I had to make it average all out, right?