Big Billy – Billy the Bouncin’ Pirate

Heavy garbage season should be a week-long holiday. The government could close all the stores and banks and everything else and everybody could just stay home and decide what they want to put at the end of their driveway for me to come along and pick through.

There’s no better feelin’ than settin’ out early in the mornin’ with less than an eighth Big BIllyof a tank of gas and findin’ enough scrap metal so you can put some more gas in and get yourself a coffee.

Minnie just don’t understand the appeal at all. I don’t know how you can get so friggin’ excited about rootin’ around in people’s garbage, she said.

You know what it is, Minnie? I said to her last week tryin’ to explain it. It’s like you’re a pirate. Only, instead of a pirate ship, you got your rusty half-ton. And instead of the high seas, you’re patrolin’ side streets and keepin’ your eyes fixed on the horizon, lookin’ for any decent-sized pile of loot ya can plunder.

She looked at me like I had ten heads.

I’d wear an eye patch, I said to her, but I don’t want it to get in the way of the handsome.

Not hard to tell Pirates of the Carribean was on TV last night, she said, rollin’ her eyes. I’m tellin’ ya right now – I don’t want no junk brought into the house this year. No three-legged coffee tables, no microwaves with missin’ doors, no toaster ovens without electrical cords.

But we got use out of every one of them things last year, I said.

Takin’ up half the kitchen counter with a broken microwave with no door and callin’ it a mail holder is absolutely mental, Billy.

But it held the mail good, didn’t it? I said.

I tried, but I lost the argument. Minnie told me in no uncertain terms I was not allowed to bring any junk into the house.

But you know what she never thought of? I said to Cyril as we pulled out the driveway the next morning to go on our hunt. What she don’t realize is, there’s a whole lot of stuff I can drag home without actually takin’ it in the house.

We weren’t even off my street when Cyril drove right by a big pile that had a big metal stand-up tool box. What are ya doin?! I yelled.

I got a plan this year, he says to me. Think about it – what kind of people can afford to throw away the most junk?

Chinese people, I said.

Whuh? Cyril says, lookin’ at me funny. Where did that come from? Why do you think Chinese people can throw away the most junk?

Because, I said. Just about everything says “Made in China” on it, so I figure they probably got a lot of stuff over there.

No, bye, he said, shakin’ his head. Rich people – rich people can afford to throw away the most junk.

Ahhh, I said. That makes sense.

So we’re gonna start at the top and drive all the way out to Sydney River and Coxheath where all the doctors and dentists and lawyers and that live.

I had to give it to Cyril – it was a pretty good plan. It took all that gas money to get out there and back, but most rich people don’t know how to fix things and they’ll just throw away stuff that could be fixed pretty easy.

So we get out to one of them subdivisions where the streets are all crescents and got names with Wood and Rock in them. Great big houses with designs in the bricks, long paved driveways, and fancy trees in the yard. And holy cripes, as soon as we got there, it was like we found the “X” on the treasure map and struck gold.

First thing Cyril spotted was one of them mini-fridges with the Montreal Canadiens logo on the front, like ya see in the Christmas Wish Book. The inside of the door had a crack in it, but it was nothin’ that couldn’t be fixed with duct tape. Since I’m a Leafs fan, i would have let it rot there, so he snatched it right up.

We turned the corner onto the next street and right at the end of one of the driveways was one of them great big full-sized trampolines.

Little Rosie’s wanted one of them for years! I said, and we loaded it onto the back of the truck. As far as I could tell, the only thing wrong with it was one busted spring.

Yar, matey! The heavy garbage pirates strike again! I howled in my best pirate voice as me and Cyril drove away. And it really was one of the best heavy garbage days we ever had. Cyril found a bunch of other stuff and I found a belt sander, a shelf I can nail up to the wall in the baby barn and a perfectly good set of four patio chairs with no seat cushions.

I pulled into the yard ready to rub it in Minnie’s face that nothin’ I found goes inside the house anyway. But before I went in, I got Cyril to help me set up the trampoline.

Minnie spotted us just as we finished gettin’ it in place and stuck her head out the door.

What in the hell are you gonna do with that? she said.

It’s for Rosie! I said, kickin’ my work boots off and climbin’ up on the tailgate of the truck.

Looky this! I said as I jumped. As soon as I hit the trampoline, I could hear all the springs around me snappin’ off one by one like firecrackers. I landed flat on my back with the wind knocked out of me and hit my head pretty good against the metal frame.

Shiver me timbers.

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