All For an Empty Bottle of Orange Sunkist
By Rico Swafford
Written on 9/26/08
I was on my way to work a few days ago, and I stopped at the Newport gas station to pick up a frappuccino. I was not in too much of a hurry this particular day, in fact I was ahead of schedule so I was taking my sweet and dandy time as I bought this beverage. I bought it, chatted a little bit with the cashier, walked back to my car, sat down and just kind of hung out in the parking lot while I drank my frappuccino. I like to do this from time to time….ya know, just park my car somewhere and chill while I eat or drink something. I always just look around and wait for something stupid to happen.
I have noticed that the older I have gotten, the more time I spend waiting, wanting and praying for some stupid, fucked up shit to take place before my eyes. I love witnessing events that make me realize how boring the world would be without naiveness, stupidity, randomness, awkwardness and social lopsidedness.
So I am sitting in my car drinking my frappuccino when this “gorky” old looking homeslice walks out with this bag of whatever he bought at the gas station. This guy was sporting one of those grey Mickey Mouse sweatshirts that I am pretty sure all of us have seen at least 472,000 times in our lives, possibly even more. I had one of those sweatshirts when I was 6 years old. Of course I was only 6 years old, and this chump was at least in his 60’s.
He was relatively tall, about 6 foot 2 with a “dumpy” physique, thin grey hair, and the only way I can accurately describe him other than that, is that he looks like the kind of person who goes home and eats a tremendous amount of strawberry jam sandwiches. Evidently, somewhere along the line, I began to stereotype or generalize people who eat strawberry jam sandwiches, because that was one of the initial thoughts that crawled through my mind when I first caught a glimpse of him. My first thought to myself was, “wow, look at this doofus, he looks like he eats a lot of strawberry jam sandwiches.”
Anyways, he took about 4 steps outside after he exited the building, and suddenly came to a complete stop and turned around. I remember thinking to myself, “oh God, is this fucking douchebag gonna go back inside the gas station and make sure that he got his receipt for the overwhelming $2 that he spent?” Or maybe he just caught a wave of the shits. He did come to a stop rather abruptly, with that “oh man I all the sudden have to take a shit” look on his face.
The answer was no to both of those potential possibilities. Instead he did something that annoyed the absolute piss out of me. He walked to the trashcan that he had originally passed by, and started digging through it. This isn’t the only annoying part. Its partially annoying, but here is the kicker. As this guy was bent over digging through the trash, he had a look of genuine and utter agony on his face. This guy looked like he was in agonizing pain from simply bending over to dig through the trash. He sounded like it as well. I had the window in my car about a quarter of the way down, and I could hear him moaning and grunting in agonizing pain.
The expression on his face showed that he had a rodeo cowboy who lassoed(roped) his balls and was pulling on the lasso with all his might, a wolverine was let loose in the back of his pants, and he was shitting out the world’s largest pinecone simultaneously. All three of these scenarios would hurt like hell, imagine if they were all happening at the same time. Pretty painful….and this man’s face looked like he was experiencing it.
I just sat in my car and shook my head. You ever witness an elderly person catch a glimpse of BET, MTV or anything that shows representation of current American mainstream youth? They will just sit there with a look of disgust on their face and say under their breaths, “damn kids.” Well I was doing the same thing to this old guy. I was in my car shaking my head at him, saying to myself, “fucking old guy douchebag.” Especially when he finally scraped out what it was that caught his eye. It was an empty bottle of Orange Sunkist.
He put himself through all that pain for a fucking nickel. I can’t put into words how much this annoyed me. I have no desire to cash in pop-cans, unless I am extremely desperate and broke beyond a joke. To me, pop-can cashing is an inconvenience. It’s like cashing in a bag or a box of oversized nickels. It’s a pain in the ass. With the time you spend boxing them, carrying them to the car, spending gas money to drive to the gas station, carrying the boxes to the drop off thingy, then finally getting paid the $5 or $6 dollars that you made from it, it just doesn’t seem worth it. In fact you probably average under minimum wage with the time and effort you spend performing the task.
I don’t have any problem with people who do take them back though. Someone has to do it ,or else your place will be flooded with cans and bottles. Its just not my thing unless I am insanely desperate for cash at the moment. I did have a problem with this guy picking up the empty bottle of orange Sunkist though and here is why.
By the pain this guy showed as he was bending over, it was obvious that he had something horribly wrong with his back, and this guy cared so much about a fucking nickel that he was willing to put himself through agonizing pain and take a chance of furthering his injury. I’ve got news for this guy, back surgery is expensive. He probably already needs back surgery, but if he continues to do stupid shit like dig through a public trashcan for an empty bottle of Orange Sunkist, then back surgery isn’t just “probable,”…its inevitable, and the money he makes from cashing in cans and bottles is more than likely not going to cover it, unless of course he has a kick ass health insurance plan, which is a strong possibility.
Not to mention, digging through a PUBLIC trash can is just nasty…period. Especially an outdoor trashcan. Drunk people probably pulled over to take a piss at this gas station late the night before, and when they found out it wasn’t open, they decided to just piss in the trash can. Hell I’ve done that before. That is why I thought of this scenario. Who the fuck knows what is in an outdoor public trashcan. Hell, while he was digging his hands probably slipped by a couple of dirty condoms and used tampons.
When he was on his way back to his car, clutching his lower back with his hand, I made sure I watched him all the way to his vehicle. I wanted to see what kind of car he drove. It would ease the annoying feelings that I was seething with if I found out that he was poor and was doing it because he was just THAT desperate for cash. At least that would give the situation a slight glimpse of logic.
Guess what he plopped his plump old dingleberry-infested butt-cheeks into? A 2008 Chrysler 300. When I used to sell cars, I used to LOVE taking the Chrysler 300’s for test drives. They are awesome, but extremely expensive. I won’t be able to afford one at least until I am finished paying off my college loans.
WHY THE FUCK DID THIS GUY NEED A NICKEL SO BADLY!!!!!!?!?!?! Some things don’t make sense to me.