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Desert Solitaire
by Edward Abbey

Yankee Doodle Dumpster

Dumpster
This past weekend, I headed north to visit with some of my pals north of the Mason-Dixon line. We hit the three B’s — burgers, beer, and bocce — for a few hours as folks wandered in and out of the house rubbing elbows and occasionally noses. Eventually, it seemed like a good idea to take a group dumpster-diving excursion. So I piled into Lady Barnacle’s VW with a couple of other intrepid possums, and we creeped up on the Weis Market all stealthy-like. About an hour later, we were back home with several bags of lettuce, three watermelons, a bunch of baked goods, and a box of assorted fruits and vegetables. Not a bad take for a few minutes of work.
The thing about dumpster diving is that it’s really a niche interest. It’s not the sort of hobby that you can easily explain to your mother, particularly where food is involved. For instance, how can I possibly express to Mom my joy at having recently found about 100 boxes of instant biscuit mix in a Dollar Tree dumpster? Or the pleasure of having my fridge so full of bread that an armada of hungry ducks could barely put a dent in it?
I could write a manifesto called “The Tao of the Dumpster.” It would talk about saving money, reducing waste, consumerism, and include tips on dumpster etiquette and safety. But then, I don’t really want the competition in my local refuse heap, do I?

Hippies Love Soup

Soup
Back in the good/bad old days of the punk rock New Cumberland hovel, there existed a tradition called “Carnival of Soup,” in which the neighborhood miscreants would assemble to consume a pot of something strange. The tradition saw a brief resurrection this week, thanks mostly to the fact that I came across more potatoes than anybody ought to have at one time. So, there you have it — the hippies come to my house to eat soup. Not a bad soup, either, as far as that goes.
One important safety tip to keep in mind, however. If you fill a glass jar to the top with soup, and put the lid on, and put it in the freezer, it will explode. Apparently liquids expand when you freeze them. And apparently I should have paid more attention in fourth grade science class. So I’ll be picking glass out of my leftovers for a few weeks. Yum.