Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Urban Survival Primer Part 2

Next, the "dumpster diving" aspects of some people's UrbSurv "plans."

The thoughts go something like this, "People in Central America eat stuff we would throw away. We should be ashamed of ourselves. We’re just too spoiled…"



They also have all sorts of lovely diseases too! Haven't you watched the commercials where they show the little kids you can save for fifty cents a day? How do you think people get sick? Maybe it’s because they don’t have enough food and the food they have is BAD. Maybe because of life down there, they cannot afford good food that does exist.

Do you want to be saved? Do you want to eat stuff so someone can send fifty cents per day to save you? How bad do you have to be eating or not eating, as the case may be, to be saved for fifty cents a day? Well, if that’s what you desire, move down there and be poor and quit trying to guilt people into terminal diarreah and vomiting by eating out of a dumpster.

I mean, really, I’m not arrogant or stuck up, I just can’t stand idiots like that, idiots that tell people the most ludicrous things. How many of you have been around when the dumpster truck lifts the retched thing up in the air and then slams it a half a dozen times to get all of the vitamins and minerals…uh…SLOP and GOOP…out of the thing?

You see, around restaurants, you can tell when the dumpster truck has been around because there is a line of fluid on the ground leading from the dumpster and all the way out onto the road or highway the dumpster truck’s route is on. That line of fluid? I have a name for it. ”Dumpster Juice.” Pretty nasty, huh? Well, if you think you can dumpster dive from the rear-end (literally – ass-end) of a restaurant, why don’t you go back there and get some of that and use it like Lea & Perrins or A-1 Steak Sauce. Give it a try!

Using American homeless people as "proof" that “dumpster diving” for food can be done is another Red Herring.

In most states, homeless people, real homeless people, they tend to have Medical Assistance, ID and they can get treated anywhere, no problem. If they get a nasty bug, they can go lie down in an ER for a couple of days with IV Antibiotics until it clears up...repeat as necessary.

Do you really want a gut-full of wilted lettuce and someone's discarded, sliced butter pickles that were sloughed off of a plate three nights ago and then mixed in with all manner of old, disgusting nastiness and a good, slimey squirt of the aforementioned dumpster juice? It's quite likely you will get something that Ajax won't take off and Cipro won't kill faster than the scraps will kill you.

You will please take note that every year during Thanksgiving now, people are reminded by food preparation people and medical personnel that they should be very careful because of cross contamination between raw poultry and everything else you are fixing. People have become very sick from this, a few have died. Do you really expect to get something good to eat out of a dumpster that accepts rotting poultry entrails along with the "food" you are looking for?

Hitting the deck cramped up with the squirts coming out of both ends on a sidewalk, or in a gutter, is not conducive to continued survival.

Most of the stuff you could eat if you were desperate enough would have already been taken by the homeless people. By the time you get hungry enough to be that desperate, it will be gone anyway. The only thing that could possibly be left at that point is vegetable and meat "materials" that the homeless people found to be inedible. Think about that for a moment.

Now, a lot of these myths that people like to write about when it comes to Urban Survival and how homeless people survive is based on what people like my Wife have done for homeless people.

My Wife is from Mattoon, Illinois. She used to work at a place called "The White Hen Pantry." Like many small stores, they can only sell their ready-made sandwiches for so long and then they have to throw them out. Same thing with sandwiches and doughnuts at places like 7-11. They are required by law to throw out food that's still good because they can't sell it up until the point it's bad! So, it has to be discarded early to make sure no customer gets sick.

As far as I can tell, this time period is 24 hours. It's also hard to sell a sandwich that is technically still edible and safe but has browning, wilted lettuce on it and I see that every time I purchase gasoline at the gas station that passes for a convenience store on the way to work.

Anyway, there was a homeless person and my Wife used to make sure that she placed any good food into a certain type of bag, a black bag so no one else would see what was in it, the rest of the trash went in clear bags, readily identifiable as garbage.

In turn, the homeless person looked out for her safety, considering she worked alone at the time on the midnight shift. That might seem rather odd, but not all of them are animals. Some of them have simply given up. If you think that is “mental illness” or “crazy,” I hope you never have something incredibly awful happen to you.

Anyway, this story is the sort of thing that gets around and people think they can eat out of dumpsters, etc. If you are homeless, you can survive that way and if you make a mistake, you can, more often than not, obtain medical care to take care of that unpleasant mistake.

In a survival situation, it's all going to be gone anyway and you won't have the medical support to cure any mistake you might make. Therefore, dumpster diving is not viable at all.


Anonymous said...

I would not call Mattoon, IL an urban environment.

Don Rearic said...

Not when compared to Chicago. However, for the purposes of the article, in this context, it doesn't really matter, does it? The main difference is the number of people. But in the context of the posting, it doesn't really make any difference at all...Mattoon is urban enough. 8-)