I took a different route home from Target today. I drove through one of those Oakland neighborhoods where all the windows have bars, graffiti covers nearly every wall, and there are heaps of trash in the streets.
On my way through, I passed a particularly interesting example of that graffiti and stopped to make an Instagram photo. As I did, I had to make a u-turn at the end of the street and noticed a filthy pink tricycle at the top of a stack of mattresses, old wood, broken Ikea furniture, and worn out towels. At any point prior to my having a toddler, I wouldn’t have given it a second look. Actually, even now I’d probably not have usually given a second look.
For some reason today, though, something clicked in my head. “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that thing except for its being dirty!”
At first, I dismissed the idea. I drove past the pile to where the graffiti was, parked the car, got out, and took my photo. From there, it was a quick right turn and I was on my way home. I didn’t turn right, though; I made a u-turn again and headed back to the pile. When I picked up the trike, I noted it was actually kind of greasy.
There’s no way of knowing where it’s been, what had happened to it before it was dumped on the street, but I suspect it must have been stored in a sloppy mechanic’s garage. I’m picturing a west coast redneck with engines hanging from the garage rafters, junk all over the floor, and chemical stains everywhere. I’m picturing greasy little kids running around the nasty property. I’m picturing the kind of people who pack their unwanted stuff in an old pickup and dump it on a road in east Oakland.
No matter who those people were or where the thing had been, I was pretty damned sure I could clean it up. My trunk was already full of groceries and other miscellaneous Target purchases, so I had to set it on my front seat. I did so carefully and headed home.
I was so excited that I started on the cleanup before I’d even unloaded the groceries. A short bit of scrubbing with a brush, some Goo Gone, and dishwashing detergent and it was as good as… well… as good as “slightly used”.