Scrapping with the scrappy scrap collector
foolishly stupidly entered into a confrontation with another of the many people who go through the back alleys of Fairview looking for things of value.
He wasn’t a binner; he wasn’t looking for returnable beverage containers. Neither was he a dumpster diver. Nor was he homeless. He might have been a scrap collector or a flea marketeer but most certainly he was an opportunist.
Grabbing anything not nailed down isn’t stealing…is it?
This fellow had passed me in his silver-grey four-door and then stopped the car in the middle of the next block. Thinking he might have been a car binner — competing with me for returnable beverage containers — I dashed ahead to catch up with him.
If I caught him binning with his car he was at least going to get an earful about cutting in front of me in the alley.
Instead I caught him trying to grab a piece of metal off of someone’s fence. Fortunately the metal was firmly bolted down. He was still tugging at it when I got off my bike to talk to him,
I told him that as far as I was concerned he was clearly trying to steal private property.
He simply told me to “mind my own fucking business!”
I explained to him that stopping theft was everyone’s business and again told him what he was trying to do was stealing.
He countered by telling me that I was the one who stealing — by taking the returnable beverage containers out of the blue bins and dumpsters. And he repeated the bit about minding my own business — several times.
Unfortunately, I overreacted and let my temper off the leash more than I should have.
I know better but I did it anyway.
My weak defence for the lapse would be my dislike for thieves in general and the hypocrisy of someone like this who appears willing to judge a thing right if they can get away with it.
I should add that this is the second time at this same property that I’ve caught one of these “treasure hunters” willing to take obvious private property. The last time it was aluminum construction scaffolding.
On top of the insults and such, we both took pictures. In the future I should also offer to trade Twitter usernames so my opponent and I can continue to hack at each other with angry tweets; that seems to be the thing these days. Click the image to enlarge it.