What the Hell!?

What the Hell? A Public Safety Announcement

Public Safety Announcement: Driving DIY is more dangerous than driving DUI.

I can’t drive down suburban streets anymore. I’m a nervous wreck driving anywhere with her.

I’m asking for a lot here, but I think I need to ask the world to enact a new system. I call it Tarp-Rule. Here are the requirements:

  1. Trash left on the curb should be covered in a tarp.
  2. The tarp should be spread out as to obfuscate the shapes of anything beneath it.
  3. Your newly tarped garbage may only be placed on the curb if the sun has set and the trash is to be picked up the following morning.

Now that I have you all in an inquisitive state of mind I request that you picture the following:

It’s a quiet summer afternoon.  You’re driving a blissful 28 mph (I’m not speeding much, Officer) down a quiet street. The trees are that beautiful deep shade of green against the bold blue sky.   Your elbow is sticking out the window in that way that shows the world that you are “relaxed”.  You’re driving by a house with crisp white curtains billowing in the breeze.

Then your lovely girlfriend next to you screams:


You slam on the brakes and the car screeches to a halt. DANGER. Instinctively you’re checking the mirror, the blind spot, looking for snipers in the trees… What emergency is occurring?!? (Not to mention how did a girl spot it before me.)

As you’re scanning for danger and hidden threats or maybe even a kitten precariously near your front tire,  the woman you love is half-turned, looking over her shoulder, and says

“Oh nevermind. The table is missing a leg.”


Image via Melinnis on Flickr

The danger has been identified. Someone threw out something which might be “re-purposed”.  You take a few deep breaths and calm down.  Slowly, you pull back onto the street and resume your journey.

But something changed that day.

You don’t realize it at the time, but you’re a different person now.  You drive on.  Enjoying the same summer day with the music playing. But now there is something else.  Your eyes nervously flicker from curb to curb. No, you’re not trying to <shudder> re-purpose something.  Don’t be ridiculous.  But maybe someone is throwing out something cool.  Like a stack of video games, or an airplane.  And it never leaves you. You’ll be driving to work and scan the yards for garbage.  You’ll play a game of Grand Theft Auto and as you race down the road with the cops behind you… you’re checking out the virtual ghetto for curb-treasure.

What the hell happened?  Take it away.  I can’t live like this anymore.  Vote for Tarp-Rule today.

*New reader?  Check out the Ryan’s other posts here.

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  • Reply Thriftydecorchick at 9:48 am

    Hilarious!!! Only because it is TRUE — we can be dangerous. 😉 Love it.

  • Reply Lisa at 10:01 am

    That is too funny! My husband finds this scenario all too familiar. Unfortunately, he doesn’t approve of this habit, so he now spots the stuff first and won’t slow down despite my craning neck. So many missed opportunities!

  • Reply Christine at 10:11 am

    OMG – too funny! I find that spring is the most dangerous time of year, when folks are doing their spring cleaning and throwing away treasures at the curb. Good luck, drive safe!

  • Reply Samantha at 10:11 am

    I just cried/laughed because of this post. Both of you guys are great and I definitely just subscribed to your blog! Great posts 🙂

  • Reply Jane at 10:13 am

    Ladies, today I’m working from home and it’s killing me. . . my neighbors are moving out, and from my office window I can see the pile of “trash” on their curb just growing bigger by the hour. I have a feeling Ryan is going to come home to some new additions…

  • Reply Ashley's Thirfty Living at 10:23 am

    hahahahha so true! Thanks for the laugh!!

  • Reply Mikalah at 10:29 am

    Ahahah! So true! I actually have my husband trained so well that he will stop the car before I even ask! Just one more step in the evil plot to re-purpose the whole entire world…

  • Reply Robbie at 11:06 am

    I cruise the neighborhoods in the spring seeing who threw out what

  • Reply vicki at 12:21 pm

    This is so funny because I definitely relate! I love stuff left on the curbside, and sometimes I find something (when I’m on vacation in the States) and think I should ship this home and get it fixed. Labor is so inexpensive here. You guys in the States throw out a lot of fine “junk”!

  • Reply Alicia at 1:16 pm

    OMG I love it! Too funny – and too true!

  • Reply Amanda at 6:23 pm

    My bf needs to read this post. Although I will say, I have learned how to be more calm when I demand the car be stopped, so as not to cause an accident (of any kind).

  • Reply Meghan at 10:08 pm

    So funny and so true. I do this to my husband too. Poor husband.

  • Reply Katie @ Making This Home at 12:34 am

    haha! Ryan always cracks me up. We’ve yet to do this, but I tease my sister endlessly!

  • Reply Sunny's Life in Rehab at 2:33 pm

    Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! Sam has learned in 22 years together to actually SPEED UP. And he auto-locks the doors just in case I look like I’ll jump and hit the ground rolling.

  • Reply Lauren at 8:32 pm

    hahahhahah so true!!!! love it

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